How hardy are goats...really?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Earthbound, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Earthbound

    Earthbound Well-Known Member

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    Well we've come up on our first cold snap and now is the time I start stressing that i have everything in place for the critters..lol!
    I was wondering how hardy goats are and what you all do for them in the winter? Do they need to be shut in nightly on COLD nights?
    corry
     
  2. mammawof3

    mammawof3 Well-Known Member

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    Mine are never" shut in "-they have shelter available--the more dairy they have in them-the more likely they are to want to "stay put"-while the more Boer they have in them-the less the weather concerns them (in my herd anyway)--the Boers will eat at the hay ring w/snow flakes covering them, and never bat an eye--prefer to sleep outside in all but worst weather also. On the down side--have been known to kid outside in the snow! (where the dairy will always seak the shelter for kidding-unless it is beautiful out) :shrug:
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in Maine we have long cold snaps below zero in Jan. and Feb. I've not had any cold issues...and feeding just good quality hay and warm water 2 times daily. My goats are mostly Nubian with some Alpine thrown in...the eves on my barn are also open for ventilation and I let a manure/hay pack build up and or make houses inside the barn with half sheets of OSB tacked in the corners (the goats lay in doubles under them in the REAL cold.... :shrug:
     
  4. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    If goats are healthy, they can tolerate very cold temps. What they don't like is drafts. Also my goats have indoor/outdoor access right from birth and the moms take the kids outdoors within a day of being born. They will only voluntarily go inside during inclement weather.
     
  5. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

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    When I was first buying goats, I noted that many of the breeders I purchased from didn't dig their barn out all winter - I was usually buying kids in the spring, and the barn would be a foot or more deep in hay/manure. Now I understand why - it generates heat. I dig down to bare ground and scrape, dry, and otherwise clean everything in last summer, then start building up composting "beds" in my pens/shelters.

    Last night was our first really cold weather (+17 degrees), and I ended up putting goat-coats on all 20 of my goats. They did seem to appreciate it. I think a lot of the hardiness of goats has been bred out by show breeders. Animals that survived on brush and a little hay in the winter now require minerals, wet cob, alfalfa, and major coddling.
     
  6. Sweet Goats

    Sweet Goats Cashmere goats

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    The only time I LOCK goats up is when it is going to snow like it did here last week. We had 6 foot drifts and the way I had the barn the snow blows right in there (now I know where not to put it). They love to be outside unless it is raining or snowing. Then they like to go inside. Mine are all cashmere.
    Here is one side of the barn. They are all like this. That is why I lock them in.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unless it gets *really* cold where you are, goats will be fine with just a good dry area to get out of the wind and rain/snow. Drafts are the problem. Its better to leave a door open if possible so that the barn can "breathe" and moisture doesn't build up. My girls do fine in 0* weather as long as they are not in a draft. :)
     
  8. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Lori, I bet your barn is nice and toasty with all that snow packed up against it. Snow is the best insulator around. (but did you have to put up that pic and remind me winter is coming?!)
     
  9. FarmGoddess

    FarmGoddess Well-Known Member

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    Now I remember why I don't live where it snows!!
     
  10. Sweet Goats

    Sweet Goats Cashmere goats

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    The barn was really warm. I couldn't imagin living where there wasn't any snow. We lived in Louisiana for two years and I thought I was going to go crazy with out any of that white stuff. :dance:
     
  11. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Super important the girls bed down with a rumen full of roughage...hay, hay pellets, cottonseed hulls and meal, something. Their rumen is their furnace and it regulates their body temp. An empty rumen is a chilled goat.

    Manure packs are an art form, too wet and you have staph and pnemonia! You should be able to kneel in your bedding and not come back up with wet knees. Vicki