Animals are very hardy and God created them to grow thick winter coats to protect them from the elements. So why do we need to worry about winterizing our stock trailer to protect them from the elements?
Most of our show animals stay in the barn during the winter. There are several reasons for this, but mainly to keep them cleaner and easier to access for working. They still grow winter coats and are still accustomed to the cold, but they are just babied a little more. Last winter was brutally cold. We traveled to most the shows in below freezing temperatures. All stock trailers have openings and vents that allow air to move through the trailer. When that wind is 20 degrees below zero, and you add in rain, snow and freezing rain, you have a recipe for a very cold animal. Transporting a animal can be very stressful so we try to make it as comfortable as possible.
Several months ago, we were fortunate enough to be able to buy an older Eby stock trailer. We had outgrown our other trailer and it was time for an upgrade. If you have seen some of the newer stock trailers going down the road, you have probably noticed the nice black plexiglass windows running down the sides of the trailers.
We had to have some repairs made to the trailer and also wanted to add some upgrades while it was in the shop. One of the upgrades was adding the plexiglass windows to be able to keep the wind off of the animals in the winter. It was going to cost about $600 to add the plexiglass all around the trailer. We quickly decided that that was an upgrade that was going to have to wait. New brakes were much more important.
At the time that this trailer was built, they did not have the option of adding the plexiglass. In order to be able to add it, a channel had to be cut in the aluminum to allow for the plexiglass to slide in. Since we already had the trailer in the shop, we decided to go ahead and have them cut the channels.
Daniel found an alternative to the plexiglass for a fraction of the price. He visited a local sign shop and had them order 4x8 sheets of Coroplas. Coroplas is the corrogated material that they use for yard signs. You know, the stuff that is made out of plastic but has the honeycomb center like cardboard. He ordered 2 of the 4x8 sheets in black for just under $100. He then used a table saw to cut the long narrow strips and slid them into the channels on the trailer.
From a distance you can't even tell the difference. It is not perfect, but for the price you won't hear me complaining. It serves the purpose of keeping the cows warm and dry. We don't know what the weather will bring us this year, but at least we are prepared. If it gets too warm in the trailer, it is easy enough to just slide out our homemade windows. Just a few hours of work saved us five hundred dollars.
I think I'll keep my handy man around for a little while longer...
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.