How cold can kids get?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by MillsFarmFamily, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. MillsFarmFamily

    MillsFarmFamily Well-Known Member

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    Our goats live outside. We have our new mama and her 2 new kids in a littl house with hay covering the ground on the inside. We have cinder blocks covering the entrance so that mama can go in and out as she wants, but the babies can't follow her. My question is how cold have you successfully had kids out in? I don't want to leave them out if it's too cold, but I don't know what "too cold" is. We live in N. Florida and temps should only be in the low 40's maybe mid-lower 30's. Thanks ;)
     
  2. Rachel K.

    Rachel K. Well-Known Member

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    How old are the kids? I think that low 40's and mid 30's is fine for them to be out in.
     

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They should be fine....I have had kids born on very cold days(18*) and that night it dipped below 0*. As long as they have mommy to snuggle with, they did fine.....
     
  4. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    let the kids out of the house. We have kids that sleep out in the cold with the big goats. (houses are offered, they just refuse them). I too have 18 degree days and 1 or 2 degree nights. They do okay.
     
  5. MillsFarmFamily

    MillsFarmFamily Well-Known Member

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    Super, that's what I wanted to hear. I'll move the blocks and let them come and go as they need to.
     
  6. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I live in Montana, where it gets very cold. We keep the goat houses strawed and the kids are never prevented from going outdoors. I've only had to treat 2 for hypothermia and I think that was mainly because they weren't eating enough. I had to keep those twins in the house for a few days. Some of my babies start snugggling with their moms outdoors when they are only a couple weeks old. I do not have electricity in my goat houses, so I have never used heat lamps either.
     
  7. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

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    I live in Northern VT. where it also gets very cold. Very cold. Very cold. Oh, did I say it gets very cold here?
    Th babies have no mamas to go with them. I have 12 babies in a about 6 x 16 kidding stall that is tarped and has 3 heat lamps going at all times. They are pretty good, a little cold around the single digits, but once it went below zero they were just TOO COLD! Very shivery, getting sick, water freezing over the bucket...not good.
    We rigged up a sealed oil electric heater---put it in a large rabbit cage on end, set 2 heavy cement blocks in the bottom of the cage. They cannot knock it over---they've tried! They can't nibble the cord, it's too high. The wall behind it does not get hot. If it tips over, it goes off.
    Best of all, the babies are comfortable, playing eating, growing...
    I have it off right now because it is in the high 20's and they are comfortable with just a couple of lights. In these temps I take them out to play about once or twice a day. But only the Alpines and Alpine crosses come out of the barn. They like the snow and the cold, apparently. The others stand in the doorway and Maaaaaa piteously at me. Or eat the big girls' hay.
    HTH!
    Jillis!
     
  8. Misty

    Misty Misty Gonzales

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    this brings up another cold wether subject however...feed and warmth. Corn or carbs is a fast heat maker...good to have fed in the am's after a cold night. Hay is a heat maintenence feed....they will keep the warmth with hay.
     
  9. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess I must be doing the right thing then. The goats get hay and grain in the morning and more hay at night. It got to -18F last night. Isis chose to sleep outside! BRRRRR. She is such a cold hardy goat. She actually is more comfortable when it is cold than on hot summer days. The other goats snuggled up in the straw in their houses. Poor Carnival, my 10 year old Nubian was cold and wanted to eat her hay in the goat house. She did come out for the grain. I'm sure this will help her warm up. The good news is that it is supposed to be warming up soon and be above freezing my the middle of the week.
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I try to always feed lots of long-stemmed grass hay when its really cold. I can see the difference when I do. They may be hairy puffballs in the cold, but at least they are happy, hairy puffballs.... :D
     
  11. chamoisee

    chamoisee Well-Known Member

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    i have had goat kids born in below zero weather (like, -20), and they did fine. I have never used a heat lamp for them, and never had a kid die from cold as long as it's mother had mothered it and the kid had nursed and gotten the colostrum.

    I don't know if I'd feel safe having them out in that weather if they were bottle kids- the mother keeps the kids warm and even a whole bunch of bottle kids wouldn't have all that rumen activity going on keeping them warm.

    Also, I let the manure build up and compost over the winter, and that also keep them warm.