Although some grazing animals like sheep, horses, and beef cattle can live outside all year, most Canadian farm animals, especially pigs and poultry, live in barns. There, they’re protected from extreme weather and temperature, diseases, and predators, such as wolves and coyotes.
Another reason for indoor housing is better animal monitoring and care. It’s much easier to ensure that each animal receives the right feed, clean water, and good animal care inside a barn. Many barns now have side walls with curtains that can be rolled up when the weather is warmer, letting in fresh air and sunlight, and some animals spend the summer months on outdoor pastures.
Did you know? Many barns have smart sensors that closely monitor key metrics, such as temperature and humidity levels in the barn, and will instantly text or notify the farmer the moment these conditions change.
Most livestock farms have very strict rules in place to keep animals from getting sick. In farming, these rules are called “biosecurity protocols”, and they’re designed to keep diseases from coming into barns.
Farmers keep a log of any visitors to their farms, and what they bring with them, from vehicles to equipment and feed. Visitors to the farm only go into a barn if they absolutely have to, and if they do, they may be asked to put on protective footwear and clean overalls to keep outside germs from entering the barn. At some pig farms, anyone going into a barn has to take a shower before entering, and again when they leave, just to make sure no disease gets in that could make pigs sick.
As with people, it’s always best not to get sick in the first place, than having to take medication to get better.