Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What do you guys do to keep your goats warm at night with the changing weather? Mine seem to be having some trouble with warmth, and I worry about pneumonia (one of my wethers is running a temp and has a runny nose).

I am thinking that - besides treating with vitamins, probiotics, supplements, etc - having a warmer shelter at night should help? Any ideas?

Has anybody tried a heater or is that too much of a fire hazard?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
I totally would NOT use a heater. Make sure their shelter blocks all the wind. Mine is only three sided, open to the south. Our prevailing winds are from the north and west. If it gets really cold I add a lot of bedding (straw usually). The heat from those combustion engines they call rumens keeps things nice and toasty as long as the wind can't blow the heat away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,210 Posts
Our 2 Nubians are in a barn stall overnight so they are fully sheltered from wind/precipitation however the barn siding is, um, let's just say it's well ventilated at the upper level/loft. Lots of straw and the silly girls sometimes crawl into an XXL dog igloo together - so they can huddle together for additional warmth if they choose. I've seem folks use sweaters on their goats as well - might try that this year if it's super cold again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,353 Posts
How cold is cold? I have a book on raising meat goats that is peppered with pictures of the author's fuzzy coated goats standing near her husband who is bundled from head to toe in a snowmobile suit with snow up to his calfs.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,837 Posts
Well ventilated shelter, feeding for a good body condition, and reliable regular food is all you should have to do. The other thing to consider is when there is snow on the ground and their bellies are dragging in the snow, they won't want to go out to the waterer or hay bale (if you feed outside) because they're essentially standing in something that is as cold as the temperature outside. We ran into this problem over this past winter when it was getting into the negatives with snow up to the bellies of our alpines. After a snow I'd actually semi plow them a path, whereas normally I would never do that for them because they'll be fine without it. Just be aware of it.

I do NOT close my goats in (poor ventilation leads to pneumonia before temperature ever does), I do keep clean/dry bedding, I would NEVER use a heater or heat lamp, too dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
I would not do anything to heat their space or use sweaters... yet. The cooler temperatures help to signal to their bodies to grow in a good winter coat. If you disrupt that now, you'll have to pamper them more than is necessary through the winter. Save the sweaters for the REAL cold.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,837 Posts
12 years raising goats here in Michigan, and I've never put a sweater on a baby goat. The only one that had a coat was an adult doe with a wound on her side that she wouldn't leave alone, so she wore the coat to keep her out of it, not because of temperature.

The only one that may get a coat this year is my 12 year old pet goat. She hasn't ever had one, but she'll get one if need be.

Unless the animal is suffering from other illness, cannot get out of bad wether, or is in poor body condition - they will be fine in just about any temperature you can find in the US. With baby goats, they are pretty much the same so long as they get dried off well (That is the only time I use a heat lamp for them is while they are wet), they don't get stuck somewhere, they don't go hungry, etc. I wouldn't want livestock that I had to baby too much. :) I'm a cull-er, not a cater-er.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,352 Posts
12 years raising goats here in Michigan, and I've never put a sweater on a baby goat. The only one that had a coat was an adult doe with a wound on her side that she wouldn't leave alone, so she wore the coat to keep her out of it, not because of temperature.

The only one that may get a coat this year is my 12 year old pet goat. She hasn't ever had one, but she'll get one if need be.

Unless the animal is suffering from other illness, cannot get out of bad wether, or is in poor body condition - they will be fine in just about any temperature you can find in the US. With baby goats, they are pretty much the same so long as they get dried off well (That is the only time I use a heat lamp for them is while they are wet), they don't get stuck somewhere, they don't go hungry, etc. I wouldn't want livestock that I had to baby too much. :) I'm a cull-er, not a cater-er.
I totally agree. I live in Georgia, the kid pictured was born in January. With temperatures around 25 degrees the first couple of nights, the babies would have done just fine cuddled up with mamma. I know, I know! But I slept better a couple of nights. And dang they're cute with those sweaters!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
hi I have waterproof coats for my more timid goats as they have on occasion been booted out the shelters! We have enough now for everyone but last year a couple got cold.

My billy also has a coat as he shivers for britain in hte winter and i hate to see him cold - he's usually serenading a female in another paddock and cant get to her and refuses to come in out the rain, so he wears a coat. its grey with pink edging. he looks lovely!

I have a range of emergency indoor coats that are actually for foals, i use them when we get deep snow and the weather is very cold (well very cold for us) our weather is really unpredictale, so i like to be prepared.
 

·
Katie
Joined
·
19,970 Posts
I agree, this time of year any where in the US it is not too cold for goats if they have proper shelter & plenty of bedding with hay to eat & keep them warm.

I'd keep an eye on that wether with the temp & runny nose, pneumonia can pop up this time of year & most places have been cooler & wetter than normal this year.

What is his temp.?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
When I take my pack goats to higher elevations in cold weather I usually put their "goat coats" on them at night. That's because they aren't used to the suddenly colder temps than they have at home. But at home all they need is their 3 sided barn (open side facing south) and their 6" or so of wood chip bedding. That and full bellies. Goats are really tough critters. They just need to be kept dry and out of the wind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
What do you guys do to keep your goats warm at night with the changing weather? Mine seem to be having some trouble with warmth, and I worry about pneumonia (one of my wethers is running a temp and has a runny nose).

I am thinking that - besides treating with vitamins, probiotics, supplements, etc - having a warmer shelter at night should help? Any ideas?

Has anybody tried a heater or is that too much of a fire hazard?
The only thing I've ever done is to provide sufficient grass/alfalfa hay, bedding (the colder the temps, the deeper the bedding gets), and sheds that face away from the prevailing winds and don't leak. I would absolutely NOT provide them with a heater. Not only is it a fire hazard, it will interfere with them growing a winter coat and then they really will be up a creek! The only time I use heat lamps is during winter kidding and, even then, they are only provided for the first 24 to 48 hours depending on the temps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,741 Posts
During our very cold winter months and during kidding season in early spring I will use heat lamps. I wrap the cords around the rafters and also tie up with string so the goats can't knock them down into the pens. Use the bulb protectors that come with the heat lamps too. If just a little warmth is need..use large regular light bulbs. I have used sweaters on kids but no very often. Yes..keep a well ventilated barn. Away from draft. It's not the cold that is bad for them...but drafts. A vet told me many years ago to keep the barn open and let air pass through but no drafts.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top