If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats, or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
- Ensure all animals have some form of identification that will help facilitate their return.
- Evacuate animals whenever possible. Arrangements for evacuation,
including routes and host sites, should be made in advance. Alternate
routes should be mapped out in case the planned route is inaccessible.
- The evacuation sites should have or be able to readily obtain food, water, veterinary care, handling equipment and facilities.
- Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and
supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced
handlers and drivers.
Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to
vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.
- If evacuation is not possible, a decision must be made whether
to move large animals to available shelter or turn them outside. This
decision should be determined based on the type of disaster and the
soundness and location of the shelter (structure).
Cold Weather Guidelines
temperatures plunge below zero, livestock producers need to give extra
attention to their animals. Prevention is the key to dealing with
hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries in livestock.
Making sure your livestock has the following help prevent cold-weather maladies:
- Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals and legs from the frozen ground and frigid winds.
- Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions.
- Plenty of food and water
take extra time to observe livestock, looking for early signs of
disease and injury. Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily
occur in the very young or in animals that are already debilitated.
Cases of coldweather-related sudden death in calves often result when
cattle are suffering from undetected infection, particularly pneumonia.
Sudden, unexplained livestock deaths and illnesses should be
investigated quickly so that a cause can be identified and steps can be
taken to protect remaining animals.
suffering from frostbite don’t exhibit pain. It may be up to two weeks
before the injury becomes evident as freeze-damaged tissue starts to
slough away. At that point, the injury should be treated as an open
wound and a veterinarian should be consulted.
- Do not corner wild animals or try to rescue them. Call
your local animal control office or wildlife resource office. Wild
animals often seek higher ground which, during floods, eventually become
submerged (i.e., island) and the animals become stranded. If the island
is large enough and provides suitable shelter, you can leave food
appropriate to the species (i.e., sunflower seeds for squirrels).
Animals have a flight response and will flee from anyone approaching too
closely. If the animal threatens to rush into the water, back away from
the island or you may frighten the animal into jumping into the water
to escape from you.
- Do not approach wild animals that have taken refuge in your home. Wild
animals such as snakes, opossums, and raccoons often seek refuge from
floodwaters on upper levels of homes and have been known to remain after
water recedes. If you encounter animals in this situation, open a
window or provide another escape route and the animal will likely leave
on its own. Do not attempt to capture or handle the animal. Should the
animal stay, call your local animal control office or wildlife resource
- Beware of an increased number of snakes and other predators. These
animals will try to feed on the carcasses of reptiles, amphibians and
small mammals who have been drowned or crushed in their burrows or under
- Do not attempt to move a dead animal. Animal carcasses can present serious health risks. Outbreaks of anthrax, encephalitis and other diseases may occur.
- Do not corner wild animals or try to rescue them. Wild animals will likely feel threatened and may endanger themselves by dashing off into floodwaters, fire, and so forth.
- If bitten by an animal, seek immediate medical attention.