winter on

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.
See also: on, winter

winter on

v.
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.
See also: on, winter
References in classic literature ?
They mounted -- the king on Winter's horse and Winter on that of the king; then Winter took his place at the head of the first squadron, and the king, with Athos on his right and Aramis on his left, at the head of the second.