Do you know how much water you need per day to keep your animals healthy? How about feed. Have you calculated how much per animal, how many bags per week? How far ahead do you restock. when you run out or when you are opening the last bag.
It pays to know how much you consume per day on your farm. I recently had a lady contact me about hay for her horse rescue. We have had a more severe winter than normal for our area and their funds were being depleted rapidly due to feeding more hay than usual. I asked her how many bales of hay it took to feed the horses for one day. She immediately responded with 5 bales. This was all the information I needed to go out and gather some donations for the rescue. It was easy to calculate it into dollars because she knew exactly what she needed. The next day she was able to come and pick up enough hay for two days, enough to get her through until the regular delivery of hay arrived.
It is important also, to know how much water the animals consume too. Of course this can only be a rough estimate, but if a situation is heading your way, either weather related or another type of emergency, you know how much you need to store. I know that in order to get through a couple of days without running water, I need 25 to 30 gallons a day to replenish the water buckets for the goats, sheep, ducks and chickens. The cows and pigs have large water troughs with heaters, so in most instances, we can go a little longer with out refilling. We also keep some extra troughs filled with water, just in case. Unless the electric goes out too. Then we have 5 cows and 5 pigs to gather water for also.
Feed may not be the biggest concern if you have enough good quality forage. The animals can survive a couple of days without the concentrate grains. But why add stress to their lives? When I put the last bag of feed into a can, I then know it is time to bring more home. I don’t wait until we are completely out.
While I am not advocating hoarding of feed or water, I do advise you to have something to fall back on. As I repeatedly say, have a plan for the worst case scenario. This will go a long way in getting through crisis times. In most instances, your animals have no one but you to depend on in a bad situation.