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  #1  
Old 01/13/13, 03:24 PM
GoatJunkie's Avatar
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Goat Coats

Living in Southern California it seems very wrong that I have to even ask this question, but our night temps have been in the 20s, but it's a cold snap, and when it passes it's going to be shorts and flip flop weather again.

I know these temp variations are hard for me to get used to, and I wonder if I shouldn't be thinking about getting Goat Coats for the girls when it's really cold.....?

What are the benefits? Are there any downsides? Around what temps tire would you suggest putting them on?

Im thinking only on cold nights, with them being removed in the morning....

Advice? Thoughts?

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  #2  
Old 01/13/13, 06:22 PM
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If they are hunched up and shivering, it won't hurt to give them jackets.

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  #3  
Old 01/13/13, 06:30 PM
 
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My goats are usually fine until the temps drop below 20, and then only get chilly if it's a sudden change (as often happens here), but we are colder for most of the winter than you would be, so they have nice winter coats, etc. I would just watch the goats and see how they do. Mine get really puffed up-hair sticking on end, and hunch up when they are cold, and sometimes shiver a little. I have not bothered putting coats on any but the ones I expect to keep producing all winter, because the others aren't working as hard. If I had an old doe or something, I might jacket her too.

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  #4  
Old 01/13/13, 08:32 PM
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Thank you, both of you. The only one Ill watch then, is my milk mama. I've seen her hair stand on end twice..... and then she shakes it out (could that be a shiver????) and her coat goes back to normal.

Is that a shiver? Or, when goats shiver, is it constant and longer than a moment? I've seen horses, standing in a cold rain with no shelter, shiver, but they didn't stop..... My goats aren't wet, but there is a cold wind accompanying this cold spell at night, and their only shelter for now is a tarp "building" with a pallets & straw windbreak front. I keep piles of straw for them to sleep in, and it's piled about a foot off the ground, packed solid, inside "the building."

An actual structure is in their near future, but I'm concerned about now.

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  #5  
Old 01/13/13, 08:45 PM
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Go out and look at them in the shelter when it is cold. When mine are cold they look fluffy and their backs are humped up. Usually they aren't shivery unless they are wet too but it is continuous, not like the sudden shiver that stops as soon as it starts that we all have from time to time.

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  #6  
Old 01/13/13, 11:29 PM
 
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The cold here is usually a dry cold, so being wet and windy like that, they may get cold at a higher temperature. If you are free-feeding hay, and they have lots of bedding to cuddle up in, a dry place to get out of the wind, they are probably going to be just fine.

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  #7  
Old 01/14/13, 12:56 AM
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It looks like mine are doing okay.... they were not in the shelter, but out walking around in the pen.... everyone's coats were normal.... no backs were hunched.... but my teeth were rattling from the cold! *laffin* Gotta love the goats!!!

Thanks for the advice. I feel better.

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  #8  
Old 01/14/13, 11:17 AM
 
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Moved

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  #9  
Old 01/14/13, 11:35 AM
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It is -18* here this morning and most of the school buses wouldn't start, but all but my old 11.5 yr.old goat are fine. They have shelter from the wind (windchill -31*), and I put a blanket on her.

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  #10  
Old 01/14/13, 12:27 PM
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I would not get coats for most goats. They don't need it if properly housed and fed. With issues of tanglement and the fact that each coat is about 40.00, it's a huge waste of resources for something that, IMO, properly managed goats do NOT NEED.

A goat with a full rumen and recieving proper nutrition has a built-in furnace - it's rumen.

Goats (and most livestock) are comfortable at MUCH lower temps than us naked apes are.

A beloved old pet that may not be able to handle the temps is one thing - but your average herd - NO.

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