Ammonia smell overnight?!?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Jillis, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Okay, here is the frantic newbie asking for help again. I have already told you all that I got 10 babies from a dairy.
    I put them in the stall last night---it is about 8 by 16 ft. There are openings all along the steel roof between the rafters, although a great deal of the stall is tarped to hold in warmth, there are definitely enough big spaces for ventilation. This morning, I definitely smelled an ammonia smell when I went in to feed them. This is after only 12 hours!
    Do I need to use lime? Change the bedding?
    OR, and this is a worse thought---is there something metabolically or medically wrong with a baby or babies that I need to correct?
    Help please!
     
  2. Sher

    Sher Well-Known Member

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    Is there a solid floor under them? I would guess that if that is the case...some new bedding might be called for. I have gotten that smell, but usually when there is a hard solid floor, ie..wood, cement.

    And the ones that live outside and use huts...there "floor" is the ground with hay layer for bedding. They almost never smell...UNTIL ya start digging down and clean it! LOL!!

    Ten babies can pee-pee quite a little bit. Especially if they are nerved up.

    Hope someone can help you more soon.
     

  3. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

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    I agree, ours are outside, as far as in the dirt no barn outside, and we have NEVER noticed an amonia smell, I live in Florida so we do not need a barn it is NEVER that cold.
     
  4. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    We have a dirt floor in the barn. We put down fresh pine shavings to cut the damp and cold from the floor and put down hay on top of that...I'll sniff again when I go back in to give them their afternoon bottles...
     
  5. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    Well 10 bottle babies in an 8x16 pen is the reason for the ammonia smell. Can they get outside at all?

    Is your shed 4 sided or 3 sided. If it is four sided, you have a door that leads to the outside for you to enter in and out of right?

    How far from the top of the walls does the roof start? How much of an over hang doe the roof have? Which way is the roof sloped?

    If it is a four sided building and the roof has a decent overhang (8' or more), if the roof is no more than six inches from the top of the walls, and the high side of this lean-to is facing the south or east, leave the opening around the top open. Don't tarp it. The goats will be fine. The opening at the top is for ventalation, it will not make them cold or wet.

    Leaving that door that you come in and out of open (that is if the door is facing the South or east) during the day at least, would also be good. Those babies need plenty of fresh air.

    Bottle babies cycle a HUGE amount of moisture into the ground. I have found that sawdust, and or any type of wood bedding dosen't do the trick. Cleaning it out completely, add a Good layer of lime (6' to a foot) on the floor will help tremendously. Then, put down a thick layer of straw. Make it thick because those babies will have it trampled down in no time flat and they will make it nice and wet if there isn't much there.

    The babies will cuddle in that nice warm straw and keep warm if it is cold.

    My main concern for your kids would be enough room to run and play. An 8x16 pen is really not enough room for them. It is enough room for them to go into and keep warm and eat their bottles and hay and grain and to get water, but they need more room than that to move around in. It would be best if they were able to have access to an outdoor "play pen" where they could have room to run and jump and stretch their legs. They love cable spools, and big rocks or logs.

    Also, a big concern I would have is the overcrowding disease of coccidia. If there are so many kids in that small of an area, I would be concerned about this. I would change the bedding (going down to the floor) at least once a week. Sprinkle lime on top of the old lime and then put new straw down. This will significantly reduce the chances of coccidia. Also, keep the feed pans off of the floor where they can get stepped in all of the time.

    Good uck with your babies, they are very sweet little things that will worm their way into your heart.
     
  6. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Strangely, today the ammonia smell is gone. There was a strong ammonia smell in the pens they came from at the dairy farm, so maybe I was smelling the residual. I really can't let them out because the big girls will be too rough for them. We do shut the big girls out entirely when we feed them and play with them---then they have the whole barn to run about in. No one is out today because there is very cold rain coming down. If I leave the door open, the babies definitely get too cold. It is much cooler in my barn than in the rooms they were kept in before. Although they were unheated, they were smaller and seemed humid too.
    6 inches of lime! WOW! That seems like a lot but I will try it if it seems to become a problem.
    Thanks so much again!
     
  7. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Though I do use lime with my goats, with the babies I prefer to use PDZ stall freshener. It costs a bit more, but is not as toxic in small, enclosed spaces. I scrape out my goat house and put down the stall freshener, then a nice thick layer of pine shavings. If I use straw in a baby house. I only put it along the back wall where they sleep. At my place, I have a seperate pen with a small goat house for the babies. This way they have their own play area away from the big goats.
     
  8. trnubian

    trnubian Twin-Reflection Nubians

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    Yep, six inches of lime. This is only a one time deal however. After the intial dump of lime, you will only need to sprinkle anymore on top whenever you clean out. The lime will work it's way into the ground over a long period of time.
     
  9. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    Lime is toxic? I use feed grade lime in my chicken coop---it is just powdered Tums---calcium carbonate! Is there another type of lime that people use?
     
  10. oberhaslikid

    oberhaslikid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, the White lime(hydrated Lime) is the Bad lime that burns.

    The Grey ,Dolomite or slag lime is the one your looking for, it is the feed grade lime my goats will eat it out of the bucket.This doesnt burn.