Winter temperature fluctuations

These are the fluctuations that are hard on all of the animals. It will be -25 with windchill down to -36 tonight, having a cold, but more moderate temperature and added windchill on Saturday, then going to a high of 0°C (so, melting point), by Sunday afternoon, then back down again.

We've had these types of fluctuations happen within days, up & down, up & down, in the past. This is at least only once. It is always easier on everything to have a steady temperature one way or another...unless it hits the low -40s & colder and stays there. That's just hard for everything all the way around.


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have wondered about how the temperature fluctuations will affect my animals. It isn't as cold here as there in Canada but we are seeing days at highs of 15°C and lows of 4°C then the next day it would change as much as highs of 3°C and lows of -4°C. We are used to temperatures fluctuating here but usually it it's that large of a swing. I have noticed that when the weather is swinging like that my ducks aren't eating much. I'm not sure what to do for them. The rabbits don't seem to care.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    I would like to say that doesn't sound cold. 😏 But when local climate temperatures are generally higher, that cold would be hard on an animal. A fluctuation of that difference is a huge variation in temperature in itself. Plus 15 to 4°F would be equivalent to our +9 to -15°C.

    If you see those days coming, I would make sure that feed is at the ready, a bit of scratch would help with the addition of a bit of crushed chilis, & lots of straw (not hay). Treat it like we do. It won't hurt anything, should help them feel more comfortable, and give you a greater peace of mind. In times of stress, electrolytes dissolved into the water would also help.

    I find it odd that the ducks wouldn't eat as much when that happens. Ours always seemed to chow down no matter what. Birds do enjoy chilis though (maybe because they are red), and it might encourage them to eat more.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,415 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It has been unseasonably warm so far this year. I'm definitely not complaining about the lack of cold! We have been seeing huge fluctuations for the last 2 weeks. It looks like it is expected to level out next week. Hopefully the ducks will find balance. They have been unwilling to eat anything out of feeders or bowls. I usually put out feed in the coop for them in a bowl. They go hide in there when a hawk is around. The last week and a half or so they will only eat if I spread it on the ground. Maybe they miss foraging since the bugs have all disappeared? They have plenty of straw and various wind breaks in the area where they spend their days. I know they aren't cold. It does worry me that they are eating less. I would think in the winter weather they would need more fuel.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Cigar is now wearing his blanket. He colic'd 4 days after moving him out of the old boarding facility. He was being underfed there. Got soaked during turnout on Weds., the temps dropped and he colic'd on Thursday.

    The roller coaster weather is not very good for older animals. New barn has 4 horses that immediately get blankets when the barometer starts doing the "bounce".

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We have not had to plow in NW Pa yest, so I have not broke out a coat. But I was tempted today.

    We have had light dustings of snow and about 6 inches one time but this is unusual. But, we have had horrible mud which pulls off boots and is slipperier than ice. I wacked my head a few weeks ago from a fall and am just getting back to some sort of schedule.

    Weather looks good (or bad here, depending on you outlook, for the rest of the year.

    I agree its hard on animals and nature when you have theses up and downs and unpredictable weather patterns