Cold Nubian question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by alpinegoatgirl, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. alpinegoatgirl

    alpinegoatgirl Member

    Nov 1, 2004

    I have a question about Nubians, yes; despite my screen name I have two Nubians lol.

    Our weather has been a little cold recently; the high yesterday was 17ºF. My barn is North facing, not something I can help. When it's this cold I try to feed extra hay. I have *really* good hay this year so I know they're getting a lot out of it. The Nubians are always shivering though; is this ok? Are they truly as cold as what they look? Sorry for the dumb questions... Alpines are my breed of choice and I don't know all that much about Nubians. :eek:

    Thanks for your help! :)
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Southeast Iowa
    In the winter here my Nubians shiver - mostly their back legs, and mostly while they're actually eating. This does not seem to bother them at all. They also spend a lot of time out in the snow and the cold, but in the sunshine. It has been between -10 and -15* at night here in the past week. Northwest Iowa winters get cold and I have found that my Nubians and Saanens are particularly suited to this kind of weather. They are nice and shaggy and DO NOT seem to mind it at all.

    With their "internal combustion" in eating the hay, especially at night, as long as they have a place to get out of the wind/drafts, and they have thick and dry bedding, they should be fine in the cold. If it's really windy, definitely keep the barn door shut to avoid that wind getting into their area.

    Obviously, if they develop other symptoms, keep an eye on them and take care of other problems as they come up. But just the shivering seems very normal in my herd.


  3. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2003
    I find the same thing is true. I raise Nubians. But today, and on really cold days, I add, karo to their water, with nutir drench, and some jello , to flavor, a small box, to a 5 gal pail. the ylove it, and it gives them more energy.
  4. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    I don't like seeing my goats shivering- if they're shivering they're body temps are low. A long period of low body temps can cause goats to abort. If they're cold enough to shiver, they will also be more likely to get frostbite.

    But it does get A LOT colder here than in most places- it was -44 Monday at 7am. When its this cold, my goats burn through 6 lbs of prime alfalfa a day- they usually get 4 lbs each.
    I also bring them hot water to drink, about 150 or hot tea temp. The buck knocked back 5 gallons of hot water at one go on Sunday!
  5. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I am in awe.

    I don't know how you all do it. I live in Fort Myers Florida, It got really cold here last night, 42 degrees. For a barn we have built stalls in a pole barn that only has one long wall built in to it , the rest is open . Last night I closed in the open walls on the pole barn with tarps to keep the wind out , put heavy coats on the donkey and horse and bedded the goat in their stalls with piles of hay.

    It amazes and humbles me what conditions you all are in and that to you it is normal and handled with grace. I guess i feel a little stupid for worrying about my animals at 40 degrees but with no natural protection for them it really is terribly cold, my geese were even shivering this morning.

    I Just wanted to compliment all of you who are enduring under such weather extreemes
  6. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    My dd brushes her goats really well all through spring, summer, and fall to help remove any old hair and bring in new hair...i dont know if this really helps or not but their coats seem to get thicker when she does this.

    I have to say that only my nubians "seem" to get cold, my alpine never did, and neither does my ober, it must be a nubian thing.

  7. M&G-Nubians

    M&G-Nubians Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Sorry to say. Something you must understand. It is possible to get hyperthermia at 60 degree's. In Desert Storm the daytime temp would be in the 110's. At night the temp could drop to the 60-70's and I can tell you you'll have your parka close by or freeze. So people may laugh at your 45 degree nights but they can be dangerous also if conditions are right. Yes, obviously it's not as cold as what they deal with in say Frostbutt North Dakota but the standard precautions serve all just about equal. Proper facing, dry, no drafts (but well ventellated) well drained, dry bedding, food and water. Of course in colder climates it is nicer to keep the sleeping quarters smaller and let the manure pack build up a bit. As it begins to decompose/compost underneath it releases heat and helps hold the animals heat in the bedding.
  8. havenberryfarm

    havenberryfarm Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2003
    Northwest Ohio
    Ok, I am a newbie, so take that into consideration, but it has been really cold here in NW Ohio. I have two nubians. One put on a really nice coat and she is generally fine, but the other did not and she gets cold. I bought her a goat coat on ebay and she loves it. I don't leave them outside any longer than I would leave the dogs out either. They are fine in the barn, plenty of straw built up in the corner, hot water to drink, and extra feed. I also add a little sugar or molasses to the water for extra energy and sometimes give them electrolytes in their water along with the sugar. Nubians are more prone to getting cold because they are an African breed, not bred in Northern Europe like most dairy breeds.
  9. sbfarmer

    sbfarmer Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    I worried about my shivering nubians too, but the vet said just add a little more molasses to the feed, to give them more energy to shiver with. Aside from shivering, I've also noticed that they will lay down on their legs once in a while while grazing...I'm guessing this is to warm up their feet? (My girls have plenty of brush to work on, so they're grazing through the winter).
  10. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    north central Pennsylvania
    we in in northern PA and it has and will be mighty cold for a couple more months. We use heat lamps in our barn. I know alot of people are "afraid" of using them in a barn but just be sure to tie them up far enough from the noisey goats. I am awaiting a kidding ...soon..I hope but will keep the lights on through the winter especially during the cold night Of course, we do the same as mentioned before, good hay and a little extra feed Use to haul up warm water in my"younger" days but they seem to be just fine without the warm water now a days. When our kids are born I have in the past actually put baby sweater or sweat shirts on them in the really, really cold weather. Momma goat doesn't seem to mind them on her new babies either. You can buy them at thrift shops for less than a dollar. Good Luck and Keep Warm !!