Keeping livestock warm made easy

COSY CALF: This newborn is snug in the cold, winter weather.
COSY CALF: This newborn is snug in the cold, winter weather. Molly Glassey

THE SOUTHERN Downs is expecting a cold snap this weekend, and one farmer has the perfect solution for all livestock set to shiver.

Gippsland farmer Margaret Egan posts her home-made ICU Small Animal Rugs across Australia and the world.

"I grew up on a dairy and beef farm and have always been interested in the care of animals," Mrs Egan said.

Her coats can be used for a range of animals, including lambs, llamas, calves and goats.

"The rugs are three layers, and the top is laminate so it's waterproof, windproof and breathes," Mrs Egan said.

She said the coats could be used regardless of the weather.

"What is good about the inside liner is that it will wick moisture off the animal," Mrs Egan said.

"If you put it on a damp lamb or calf it doesn't matter with the fabric because it disperses the water off the skin and lets it breathe."

When generic rugs are used on newborns there is a risk mother could reject it because of changed odour.

Mrs Egan said the coats could be used more than once and on different animals.

"The rugs are odourless so it won't hold an odour," Mrs Egan said.

"You can put this on multiple newborns and the birth mothers will still acknowledge them."

She said the rugs were especially useful for sick animals.

"I've incorporated a pouch where you can place a heat pad over the kidneys," Mrs Egan said.

"When an animal is sick, those are usually the first to go, so it's important they stay warm."

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