The cold snap that hit the U.S. last week quickly become an emergency situation in Texas, where millions of people experienced power outages. These outages left homes without electricity or heat, and the weather is thought to be responsible for dozens of deaths there.
The cold didn’t only affect human residents. Many animals were at risk from the cold, too, and it led some farmers to take unprecedented measures to keep their livestock alive.
While large-scale farms usually have adequate heating systems for their animals, smaller farms and independent owners can find it a challenge to keep creatures warm, and some of them decided to bring the animals inside their own homes.
This led to some endearing social media posts featuring adorable animals cozying up inside their owners’ houses. One Twitter user posted a photo of some chickens “camping out” in a tent inside their human’s living room.
Yep… friends’ chickens pic.twitter.com/4DqVYyzdWi
— Kristen Fisher (@kristenafisher) February 17, 2021
Another Twitter user revealed that her chickens had taken over her bathroom.
Mine are in the bathroom but. pic.twitter.com/Ac1NhRBHur
— Stacy Strehlow (@woodlandsmfm) February 17, 2021
Blue Heron Farm, a dairy farm in the Houston area, posted a cute picture of a goat making friends with their cat in the mudroom.
It's just the mudroom. Calm down. pic.twitter.com/LHNQlnxE6C
— Blue Heron Farm (@BlueHeronFarmTX) February 17, 2021
One of the best shots, from Twitter user @pdcmedical, has to be the cow hanging out beside the fireplace, looking like he’s living his best life.
— Susan S. McKay (@pdcmedical) February 17, 2021
Texas isn’t the only state to have an animal emergency on its hands.
“My heat went out on Saturday and I live in the mountains of Tennessee,” wrote Twitter user @bekahs_backyard alongside a picture of a duck. “So the animals are hanging out in the bathroom and we’re all under extra blankets.”
My heat went out on Saturday and I live in the mountains of Tennessee. So the animals are hanging out in the bathroom and we're all under extra blankets. pic.twitter.com/uQSuaFlqIn
— Bekah (@bekahs_backyard) February 17, 2021
Households trying to survive a cold snap should bring their animals indoors, the American Veterinary Medical Association advises. If that’s not possible, it’s important to ensure they have plenty of food and fresh, unfrozen water, and a way to shelter from the elements, especially the wind.
Particular care should be taken to protect animals that are pregnant, and those that are very young or very old. And keep emergency medical supplies within reach, including any required prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives to get through at least five days.