Winter housing

Discussion in 'Goats' started by HilltopDaisy, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 26, 2003
    New York
    I'm sorry if this has already been covered, but I'm starting to get worried ( :rolleyes: ) since the weather is getting cooler, I know winter isn't far away.

    This will be my first winter with goats. I have them in an Amish-built wood shed. The shed is 8'x12', and I have 3 Nigerian Dwarf goats and 2 full-size ewes in there. It's a very nice shed, 2 barn doors that open out and 2 small windows that close. I installed a vent, 12"x12", on the back wall. The goats stay in a stall area about 5'x8', and I will put a solid wood wall there, about 3' tall to block the wind. The wind comes predominately from the back side of the shed.

    I hope to have power to this building before it gets much colder. I want lights and I would like to use the water buckets with the concealed heating element in the bottom. I will have to carry water 50' or so to all the animals. I'm in NY, so we get lots of snow and temps well below zero for weeks at a time. I'm getting nervous. Anyone with words of wisdom?
  2. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 8, 2002
    I live on the frozen tundra up here on the prairie, so I know all about cold, lol.

    As long as your goats can get out of the wind and dry, they will be fine. Bed them down nice and thick, and they will just snuggle in.

    You'll have to have their feed and water in the shed, because if weather is bad, they will not venture out for it. Mine really love it when I haul hot water from the house for them. They will drink it just as hot as it will come out of the tap. When our barn spigot busted last winter, that is what we did -- hauled hot water from the bathtub in those wal-mart 5 gallon containers.

    I also use those 5 gallon buckets with the heater in the bottom.

    All my pregnant goaties come into the big barn for the winter, but that's mostly because we have such deep snow. A normal year (not that we've had one for awhile) is 5 feet on the flats.

    You may have to go out with your shovel and make little paths for them when the snow gets deep....they like to venture out on nice days, but they won't go through the snow to do it.


  3. elly_may

    elly_may Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2004
    5 feet on the flats - wow, that sure is a lot of snow !!!!

    We live in the thumb of Michigan and last year was a really cold one. Many temps were way below average for most of the winter months. My sister lives in NY, so I know a little about what you get in the eastern states.

    We have two 10' x 12' wood sheds similar to what you have in NY with stalls to house 4 pygmy's in each (boys in one, girls in the other). I make sure to give them plenty of bedding, that way they stay drier since they will spend more time inside and won't go outside to pee or poop like they do in the summer months. The poop in the layers of the bedding actually will start to create heat, so I just put more bedding on top of that.

    An idea that I am going to try this year in case we have a winter as cold as last is: on the rafters I screwed cup holders and purchased some of those silver colored survival blankets that radiate body heat. I am going to tack some velcro loops on the corners and edges and loop those to the cup holders to create a tent that will drape over the stalls, but far enough they won't chew on them. On the long edges I will tack some velcro lengths so I can roll it up to the rafters when I don't need it. That way on cold nights, I can unroll the blankets and roll them up in the day. In the spring I can take them down easily and hose them off and reinstall without too much trouble.