Goat Winter Care

Discussion in 'Goats' started by AllWolf, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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    How do lots of you folks care for you goats when the weather is turning off very cold?

    Here it already has hit 18 and that is early for here to hit that low.

    Some people may think I'm nuts or crazy but what I do for my goats is make sure their hay is all nice and dry and lots of it alone with every morning, afternoon and night time I take them all a big nice bucket full of really warm water to drink alone with putting a little bit of powerade in it.. When it is down right really awful cold I go out 5 to 8 times a day to check on everyone and make sure no one is cold. If they are even low on their water I run to the house and get another bucket of really warm water for them to have. I may sound crazy but I think during the winter if they have warm water to drink alone with some powerade they will handle the cold better. I'm later on today going to go and get more hay, more grain, medicated feed and all to stock up because now the weather has been really getting cold. I'm fixing to stock up on powerade and lots of treats for my goats. Where I live and it snows I be stuck on hill for a while. I spoil my goats rotten with all types of goodies.. :)

    Getting ready for winter and I'm afraid our winter here this year is going to be out right bad.. :rolleyes:
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine get free-choice hay, fluffy straw and a warm barn.
     

  3. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

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    Warm water.... very good idea.
    powerade on a regular basis is probably not so good unless it is just a very tiny bit in the water.
    That is usually used to give an energy boost to a doe that had just kidded or doing like you do to get bucks to drink more water to prevent urinary track problems.
    They will drink the water anyway if it is very cold out and the water is very warm. They love that stuff.

    They don't need grain at all in the winter unless you are milking them or they are still kids and are growing.

    The main thing you need to be careful of is the barn being closed up or very much warmer than the outside.

    Drastic temprature changes or poor ventalation is a recipe for desaster.
    amonia builds up in barns in the winter and they should not be breathing that stuff.
    Bedding buildup is good as long as it is dry. Make sure there is plenty of stuff to keep the floors dry. At my place the hay spillage alone does the trick.
    floor pack composts and produces heat to warm the barn.

    I understand that some keep their animals in a very large barn all winter and do not let them out at all until Spring. If there is good ventalation and the floor is kept dry that would work as long as there is lots of room for them to get excersize. I don't live in the far north so I don't know about that.
     
  4. toomb68

    toomb68 Well-Known Member

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    question..? do you think goats would sleep in a designated bed like a dog or cat? in the warmer months i used no bedding other than wasted hay. i would sweep up every day or every other day. made keeping things clean easy. last winter i used straw and wasted hay for bedding....that is messy and more expensive and is hard on my wood floors. i was thinking of building like a raised bed out of 2x6's filling with straw....with the hopes of them bedding there but doing the majority of their pooping and peeing elswhere....anyone try this? will goats do that?

    thanks
    chris
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They will bed down in it most likely. If they are eating elsewhere they will probably do the majority of their dumping outside the "beds". They almost always poop and pee after getting up, so you will certainly have some stuff in the "beds", but it would be easier to clean.
     
  6. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, our does (and bucks) have constant access to hay outside (get out their guys and girls and walk). They are grained daily (most are at least 2-4 months bred or growing when winter really hits) as much to give them something in their stomach as to get them moving and to supplement alongside the hay.
    I check water daily and haul down hot water when the weather allows it to provide warm water to encourage intake.
    By the time winter really hits (January) we are down to only breeding stock. All does due to kid within a month's time are generally up where they will be kidding. The barn and this year the kidding shed. A bit more closed in, but with access to an outside area for the exercise requried for healthy deliveries and healthy goats. There the water is in a heated bucket and their grain is increased and they are fed as individuals rather than as a group.

    The barns are bedded fairly heavily and there are numerous options for shelter. I need to do some serious cleaning still though...ugh! All that bedding has built up and is starting to push out the sides of the shed.
     
  7. xoxoGOATSxoxo

    xoxoGOATSxoxo when in doubt, mumble.

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    I use the deep bedding method, and a water heater in the bucket. It keeps the water as warm as cool bathwater, and the goats drink a lot more. They have a door that they open and close as they please.

    I heard it was supposed to be a mild winter, something about the El nino? But it has gotten down to about 30 here, with snow, and it usually doesn't get that cold till November sometime.
     
  8. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    If you've got wood floor, you may want to think about using epoxy garage floor covering. It is made for cement garage floors, but works great on wood floors to preserve it. We've used it in our shed and our chicken coop floors to keep the wood from rotting. I love it. You just mix and slather 1/2 the mix on the floor the first day, then go back the next day and mix and slather on the other 1/2 of the can. It works great. You have to do it half and half because wood is more porous than cement and it's better to allow a first coat to dry and then put a second coat on to prevent too much from soaking in. You should either use the epoxy flooring or put a layer or two down of straw and pine bedding. If you don't, you're wood floor will rot out really fast from urine and poo.
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have cold winters here in Montana. The goats live in goat houses. We bed with pine shavings until it gets really cold, then use straw. They have constant access to the outdoors and on clear, cold nights, some even choose to sleep outdoors. They are fed good alfalfa hay and grain. When the temps stay below freezing, I use electric stock tank heaters in their water. If it's really cold, as in below zero cold, I sometimes add hot water to their water tubs. I don't use Powerade. We give warm water to a goat that is sick or just kidded and sometimes add a bit of Kayro syrup. The healthy goats don't get sugary stuff in their water and they do just fine in winter. Except on days when it's really wet, they are fed outside so they get exercise and poop and pee outside. This keeps the ammonia odors down in their houses.
     
  10. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

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    I let the manure pile up in the winter for heat. I found pellets (woody pet) that work FANTASTIC! I just sprinkle a couple of feed scoops worth on top of the manure with waste hay on top of that. It keeps it dry and no ammonia smell at all. Sometimes in the middle of winter, if it is nice out, I will take out about 8-12 inches and continue bedding. Of course, at the end of the winter, it is hard work cleaning out the barn but you can feel it is warmer in the barn because of it. I even leave the barn door open all winter, except for really bad nights.

    I will also put hay in the farther pen so they have to walk to it and get excersise. Especially if they are pregnant. Then again, I have Boer's and they seem to be hardier.
     
  11. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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    I don't give powerade everyday I give very little in their water when do but I do give some powerade through out the cold times but a jug full just very little. I give warm water when the temp hit here below 20 to help keep everyone warm. I also put hay down for some bedding because up here where I live the winters can get really cold so I want to keep everyone nice and warm.

    I give grain to all my does and soon have pg goats so they will need all the good stuff to get ready to kid later. My other goats get hay, fresh water, medicated feed and of course treats once a while. My goats also can go outside at night if want I do not close no door on them at all. Oh I fogot I don't have no doors to lead outside. LOL.. Way my barn is the opening is away from the wind so in winter don't have to worry about the wind coming in on them. Father up in the winter I go out and reclean the stalls and add fresh bedding but so far knock on wood have never had a major problem of them getting their bedding wet or droppings unless very very cold and then mine will not go out of barn they hate the cold.
    If I made in mistakes in typeing this morn it due to being to slow this morn due to over worked. :)


    Forgot to add my does just don't get grain they get a big mixture of stuff with grain alone with fresh water and hay alone iwth browse incase I forgot to say that and alfalfa pellets .
    Everyone have a good day and tc. :)
     
  12. PygmyLover

    PygmyLover nigerian & pygmy breeder

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    As to the power aid if it is anything like electrolytes or gatorade then don't give it to them daily! This year a buckling of mine got this horrible infection from it!
    http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g231/StaceyRoop/Everything and Anything/newgoats002.jpg

    This was from an imbalance of acids in his rumen (mostly because it was just developing). I stoped using the electrolytes and gatorade and wala he started to get better :). He had this infection for 4 weeks (treated with pen and then naxcel with only minimal results).

    Just wanted to add that little bit of info.


    As to how I treat mine in the winter....well they get plenty of bedding, lots of hay and TLC! I am going to get heated water buckets this year :D.
     
  13. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

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    I'm hoping to get them heated water buckets also because when it gets very cold here I have 3 different locations to have warm water. On the powerade I only give very little and it not everyday just once a while. It has now been almost 2 days since I gave powerade to my goats. That was on Thursday morn when it hit down to 18 and I gave everyone warm water with very little powerade. I hadn't gave any powerade until that morn. Then I will not give no more for a while. I may not made myself clear I don't give my goats powerade everyday just once a while but I do give it through the winter some not a whole lot and when do it is only 1 time every 3 months and then rest of month warm water. Trying to explain it better so everyone want think I give my goats powerade all the time. Which I do not.. Gosh when trying to explain on the internet it hard. :) During the spring, summer and early fall nonone gets powerade unless needs it. Maybe that is better.. Lots of hay and food for winter alone with like you said TLC.. :)
     
  14. PygmyLover

    PygmyLover nigerian & pygmy breeder

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    oh I am not getting on you - sorry if it felt that way! :-( I just like to pass on information that I have learned the hard way (basically how I learn!) so that you don't have to!

    I know what you mean about explaining things on the internett!