I love all season for various reasons. Winter is a season of rest and recharge for most homesteads. It does bring it’s own challenges with it but if you properly prepare ahead of time, you can minimize the extra work. We have a relatively mild winter around here. Usually a few snowfalls each year with several inches or so at a time.
Winter time is a nice time to take a little break from the work that comes with warmer weather. There are usually extra projects going on outside like building fence, gardening, and whatever else needs to be done while the weather permits.
Winter also is a time for the ground to rest and rejuvenate for the next year of gardening. One of my favorite things to do in the winter is browse seed catalogs and dream about the next year’s garden abundance.
There are certain preparations that need to be made for the homestead to help through the winter. We need to prepare the garden, the barn, the livestock, and the home for anything wintertime may throw our way.
In the garden, we remove all of the dead plants and use leaves or wood chips as a mulch in the beds. I must confess that when we use leaves most of the leaves blew in there on their own. I was ever so grateful that we didn’t have to put in much effort to get the leaves where they need to be.
The critters also need some extra care to make sure they can keep warm, stay out of the elements, and have water (not ice blocks) available for them to drink.
For our pigs, we add a nice heap of straw to their pig house. They love to root under it and lay in a pile. It is really funny. I have tried getting a picture of them but every time I sneak down there they hop up and run out. They have a great sense of hearing and think that I must be bringing them something delicious when I come to see them.
The chickens also got extra straw in the coop. We always make sure there aren’t any drafts in the coop. While chicken coops need plenty of ventilation they also need to be relatively draft free in the cold winter months. If we have chicks during the cold months, we make sure they have access to heat so they don’t get chilled.
Frozen waterers are the bane of many homesteaders winter life. We make sure to have water heaters/de-icers on standby for when we need them. This is one of the most important preparations we make for the animals in the winter.
Another very important preparation is to make sure we have plenty of hay and feed on hand. It would be dreadful to run out of hay in the middle of winter and not be able to get more. You’re always better off to be over prepared when it comes to hay.
It is important to prepare for the colder temperatures and weather even if you don’t live on a homestead. I have collected some great posts from other homesteaders on preparing for winter on the homestead, for livestock, your home, the garden, and just life in general.
The Homesteaders Ultimate Winter Prep Roundup 32 Expert Tips
Winter on the homestead:
How to Get a Small Homestead Ready for Winter Freezes by Healing Harvest Homestead
How to Stay Warm for Winter Homestead Chores by The Rustic Elk
How to Prevent Frozen Chicken Eggs by The Rustic Elk
Everything You Need to Know About Caring For Chickens in the Winter by The Rustic Elk
Preparing for Winter on the Homestead by Montana Homesteader
Prepare the Homestead for Winter from The Homestead Lady
How to Keep Chickens Warm During the Winter by The Prairie Homestead
Winter Animal Care Preparations from Timber Creek Farm
Pig Husbandry in Extreme Cold Conditions from Spring Mountain Living
Getting Your Chickens Ready for Winter from The Farmer’s Lamp
Tips to Prepare Your Livestock for Winter from Mom Prepares
Winterizing the Barn & Chicken House from The 104 Homestead
The Homesteader’s Blizzard Checklist by The Prairie Homestead
How to Prepare Your Home and Farm for the Winter by Boots and Hooves Homestead
Winterizing the garden:
Winter Compost: Managing Your Bins During the Winter Chill from Mom Prepares
Preparing the Garden for Winter from Northern Homestead
Tucking Your Yard in for the Winter by Country Living in a Cariboo Valley
Winterizing the Garden by Better Hens and Gardens
Protecting Plants From Frost Damage in the Winter by Organic Gardening Advice
Is Your Tree Ready For Winter? by A Country Garden Journal
General Winter Preparation:
How to Stay Warm in Winter: Clothes Must Haves by Healing Harvest Homestead
Dealing with the Stress of Winter Preparations from The Farmer’s Lamp
The Importance of Winter Preparedness from Survival at Home
Are You Ready For Winter? Prepare Now! by One Ash Farm and Dairy Homestead
Prepping for Winter 2014| Free Printable from Finding the Story
Winter Car Kit and Vehicle Maintenance Checklist by Common Sense Home
4 Layers of Cold Weather Clothing that Everyone Should Know by Common Sense Home
Keeping Warm- Winter Prep List for You and Your Home by Common Sense Home
3 Ways to Safely Thaw Frozen Pipes by Common Sense Home
Emergency Heat During a Power Outage and Other Winter Storm Preps by Common Sense Home
Living Off the Grid in the Winter- How We Prepare by Off Grid Life
How to Prepare for Power Outages by Boots and Hooves Homestead
Maintaining Off Grid Systems in the Winter by Practical Self Reliance
I hope you find this advice helpful as you prepare for the winter. Do you have any extra tips or advice?
More posts like this:
Thanks for including our link, Jenna! Sharing all around! I love a list like this because I invariably miss something important of which someone else reminds me.
Nancy W says
Thank you for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again tomorrow! – Nancy
The Home Acre Hop
Mark Henry says
Its a really nice post…..Thanks for sharing.
Nancy McKeown says
Winter on the homestead sounds like it could be kind of challenging at times. I hope you get through the polar vortex that has dipped your way. Meanwhile up here in Canada, we’ve been seeing temperatures in the -40’s degrees Celsius, so we are definitely staying in and staying warm.
Better to be ready and safe than be sorry. I once experience being stranded and I would definitely no longer wanna experience that.