Looking for a good cold hardy goat breed?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by kirkmcquest, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. kirkmcquest

    kirkmcquest Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone advise me on finding a good goat breed for the cold winters we get here in Northern NY (below 0 for weeks sometimes)?

    I am looking for a good milking breed that can take cold weather.
     
  2. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    All of them can do just fine in such weather, as long as you provide for them properly. Proper nutrition, liquid water, non-drafty housing, good bedding and you're good to go.

    The main thing to consider is PROPER nutrition. An ill fed or ill-nourished goat is a sick goat, especially in high temps or very low temps. Free choice quality alfalfa hay for dairies is necessary. Free choice, quality, loose GOAT mineral (low in salt, high in copper, proper levels of selenium) are necessary. Free choice baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) helps with rumen acidity. A grain mix on the milkstand, usually fed at a rate of 1lb per 2-3 lbs milk produced is also necessary. The grain mix will vary person to person - could be a pre-mixed feed or it could be a home-mixed feed. I home mix, and my personal mix is 5 parts oats, 1 part corn, 2 part BOSS, 7 parts alfalfa pellets. Mixes will vary.

    Usually copper and selenium need additional supplementation, as well, in the form of copper bolusing every 4 months and selenium injections on about the same schedule.

    The only 'cold related' thing to consider among the breeds is that you would want to avoid the coldest part of the year for kidding, if you get nubians. This is because the long ears are prone to frostbite in cold weather. This is less of an issue if you pull kids and can bring them inside or at least out of freezing weather until they are completely dry. Otherwise, the only consideration is to breed for warmer kidding seasons - which is likely preferable with any breed if your winters are that cold. :)
     

  3. Becca

    Becca Active Member

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    I live in Northern NY and i have Sables but i have also have had LaMancha, Saanen and Nubians
    They all did fine in the winter
    As long as they have a draft free well bedded stall with plenty of hay.
     
  4. crazygoatgal

    crazygoatgal Well-Known Member

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    Just saw this and wanted to stick in my two cents. My nigerians are very cold hardy and I live in the northern most tip of Vermont, 10 min. from the Canadian border. Looking to reduce my herd also. Hmmm, you ever consider the dwarf breed?
     
  5. saanengirl

    saanengirl Well-Known Member

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    Your best bet is to buy from someone in your area who has animals that are adapted to the climate. Individual animal or even bloodline adaptation is more relevant than breed. Animals bred and raised in the south can adapt to cold weather as well, but they should be purchased during the summer to let them adjust gradually.
     
  6. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Definitely agree with Saanen girl. Good advice.

    If you are purchasing kids this is not as critical - the kids just need time to adapt for winter, so a Spring/Summer purchase should be fine.

    Look at the ADGA book in Alaska - every breed is represented (personally know Nigerian, Saanen and Boer breeders up there), so goats are pretty adaptable.

    We can start the whole "which is the best breed, most milk, etc" discussion again if you want, ROFLOL. Or you can just do a "Search" and find the dozen or so that have been started in the past 3-4 months, :rotfl:
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2010
  7. CaliannG

    CaliannG She who waits.... Supporter

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    I think we have one about once a week now. :baby04:

    I am beginning to think the best answer is: "What is your favorite color? Okay, buy the breed that comes the closest to that color. :):) "
     
  8. natty threads

    natty threads Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.

    I feel like such a dope because I want spotty goats.

    We even bought the spotty pig.
    The pig breeder insisted the black ones would be better sows- from that litter- it was just how the piglets shook out that round-

    I said "I don't care. We want a spotty pig."
    We got our spotty pig and we LOVE her.

    I have some strong white Boer and cross does.
    One even looks like a cave painting, all round and stumpy legged, but we want SPOTTY goats, lol.

    Isn't that funny?

    Maybe it's to make up for my years riding breeding stock (no spots) Paints and Appaloosas. (Yes, there are Paints and Appies with no spots. Kind of sad, isn't it.)

    Bless up.
     
  9. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Niggies come in spots - but there is no guarantee they will pass on their spots to their offspring.
     
  10. natty threads

    natty threads Well-Known Member

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    Where are you in the Willamette Valley?

    I lived in Eugene for several years, ostensibly going to college.
    I miss it, I miss Portland, I miss Seattle, I miss the Olympic Peninsula.

    When I had moved back to Oregon (eastern) I missed Alaska.

    Now I am back in Alaska and I miss Hermiston, too.

    ***no*appropriate*gremmy***
     
  11. SilverFlame819

    SilverFlame819 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Spotty, lots of milk, and great in freezing temps... Well... How about Icelandic Sheep?

    :hammer:

    Sorry, I couldn't help myself!

    :gaptooth:
     
  12. natty threads

    natty threads Well-Known Member

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    LOL's...

    Baaaad, very very baaaad.
     
  13. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    The posts above are correct. All goats will live with cold temperatures. If given a literal ton of expensive feed.


    IMHO get long haired goats. The ones below can be with a bit of selection...
    LaMancha
    Toggenburg
    Saanen
    Norwegian
    Kiko
    And there are more...


    Fact is most of the breeds are just mutts so pick a hairy boy, breed his hairiest, then his hairiest... Get a hairy goat. It's what I did here in cold damp NEPA. This guys great granddad had short but thick hair. This guys is long and thick. This is his "summer" coat.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  14. Cheribelle

    Cheribelle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    stanb999, enjoyed your pics!
     
  15. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Your welcome. :)


    I went out and took two pictures of the hairy boy this morning... Here he is with his winter coat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    P.S. the rope on his horns makes him think he is on a leash... Makes him be a good boy. Kinda like the elephant and the string.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  16. natty threads

    natty threads Well-Known Member

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    LOL- I've seen a horse or two that had a short rope off their turnout halters for the same thing,

    Not long enough to trip over but long enough that someone can still catch and lead them when they want to play head tossing games.
     
  17. natty threads

    natty threads Well-Known Member

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    One of my does, out of and by Kiko-Boer crosses, has a pretty wooly coat that seems to overlay rather than underlay her guard hairs.

    I'm planning to keep her.

    I think it's fancy.

    Bless!