winter on (something)
1. To rely on something as a primary source of nutrition during the winter months. With so many trees having been cut down due to the beetle infestation, the various animals that winter on them will face the very real danger of dying out. There is nothing for the birds to winter on here, so they have begun migrating south to warmer climates.
2. To feed something to some kind of animal as a primary source of nutrition during the winter months. We'll have to winter the pigs on our scraps as there has been a shortage of proper pig feed the whole fall.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. To feed on something during winter: The deer winter on tree bark.
2. To feed some animal something during the winter: We wintered the cows on cornstalks.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.