As temperatures plummet to as low as -38 degrees in Maine, people are layering up with that long underwear they swore they’d never wear. Though many farm animals spend their winters outside, they’re far from immune to the cold’s effects. Baby animals in particular need to be protected from potentially deadly chills. This has led to an industry of wild winter-wear that goes far beyond pure fashion.
Though most mature cows can handle a little snow, newborn calves are a sensitive bunch. Because no one likes frostbite, many farmers use specially designed hats to keep those big bovine ears warm.
Unlike their wooly cousins, goats can easily get a winter chill. Keepers who notice their charges shivering are likely to gussy their goats in a nice fleece or sweater on those below-zero nights.
Most farmers prefer heating their insulated coops with lamps and allowing chickens to naturally flock together for warmth. In the urban chicken community, that simply isn’t enough. Chicken coverings from fashionable tweeds to crossing-guard neons are available for the poultry who have it all.
This is the rare item of animal clothing that can be worn year-round. Equestrians layer their animals to protect them from UV rays, insects, and inclement weather. Tack stores also sell special foal blankets that keep newborns warm and dry.
While ewes and rams can take the cold as well as any Midwesterner, lambs born in winter need a little extra help. Farmers use everything from old sweaters to specially made lamb-wear (not to be confused with Gwen Stefani’s clothing line) to keep the little guys warm.
Though most pet owners are familiar with buying winter clothing for man’s best friend, farm dogs need to stay warm too. Many breeds used for herding or guarding are lucky enough to have warm coats by nature. The rest have plenty of dog duds to choose from.
There are plenty of websites that will sell potbellied pig owners handmade sweaters, jackets, or scarves for their porcine darlings. Farm pigs are a tougher bunch. The happiest piglet will spend winter snuggled up with the other swine – straw bedding is preferred.