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My kids have hooves
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I swear, my three Nigerians must rely on water vapor. :shrug: I keep very clean, fresh water in front of them and the water levels seem to change very little. I do see them drinking, but it sure isn't much. With the heat, I've added ice cubes in one bucket and actually froze another full bucket so it could melt over the day, but no dice.

I read other posters saying their goats will go through far more water than my guys do on a regular day, much less in a severe heat wave.

Any ideas to get them drinking, if only for my own peace of mind?
 

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Have they always done this? Maybe they just don't like the taste of your water. I add Apple Cider Vinegar to thier buckets and they suck it down no matter where we are. This works great when we are at shows because the ACV seems to mask the taste of even the worst smelling sulfar water.
A trick that another breeder I know uses is saltine crackers.
 

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Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....?
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If they are on good pasture they really dont drink a lot of water
 

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Do they have access to salt? I know goats don't sweat like humans, but their body is still mostly made of salt water. For example, yesterday even though I was drinking a ton of water I was peeing it right back out b/c I didn't take in enough salt for my body to be able to use the water. When I added sea salt to my food and even some plain boy did I start feeling better today.
 

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Hmmm...It's 100 degrees here now too, with no end in sight. I have started adding electrolyte stuff to their water and they still drink it up.

I have to go down at lunch and fill everything b/c it's practically gone by then. Normally, they make it to dinnertime.

I do know they prefer fresh water. The main stall has two buckets side by side. They always drink out of the one on the right. Always. Well, one day I was rushed b/c the baby (well, she's one now so a toddler) was fussy. I dumped the last half of one bucket into the other to fill it. Then I filled up that one with fresh water. So one had fresh, one didn't. Then I put the not as fresh bucket on the right so they'd drink it first. Well, they didn't. They drank the one on the left--which they NEVER do. Luckily, I came down after church and checked so I filled them both again with fresh.

Are they eating o.k.? I know in the heat, mine don't eat as much. But they do drink more. Are they acting o.k. otherwise.? Mine are laying around alot right now. It's HOT! Is this a new thing? They need more water right now. Has their water consumption gone down...or they have just always been like this?

How much water do you have for how many goats? I know in the stall where I only have one doeling it looks like she doesn't drink much. The main stall has two 12 quart buckets--for 7 does. I fill them both three times a day. It's never completely empty, but it comes close when it's this hot. On an 80 degree day I only have to fill them twice.

Dee
 

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My kids have hooves
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Discussion Starter #6
They've always been like this, in the three months I've had them (all three are 5 months old-ish).

Minerals are free-choice and they occasionlly have a bite. I keep out three buckets, one per goat, and water is changed every 12 hours. Nice, lovely well water. In this heat, I've been changing it every 4-5 hours to keep it cool. They're eating fine, still playing. They are breathing a little heavier and nostrils are slightly flared, but it was deadly hot today. Even today, the level in the bucket might have dropped an INCH. :shrug:
 

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If you have a bucket for each of them and they're that young....it might be totally normal for them. My little one hardly drinks anything, it looks sometimes. I dump out water and put more in.

And my girls are all Nubian, Alpine and Kinders......


Dee
 

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Namaste
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Good Morning, It's good that you put out so much water since if they knock over one bucket they have another, but for 3 goats you might be fine with 2 buckets and save some water. Also since they aren't seeming interested in the mineral I would suggest you try adding a handful of dried kelp (from garden store) to their mineral box and see how they like that. My Niggies swarm the mineral box now with kelp, I use goat mineral from Southern States and also add a handful of DE. Since you are in Cen. VA you might also look at Countryside Naturals up in the Shennadoah Valley for mineral ideas.
 

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I've got 3 nubian wethers that weigh about 50# each. They drink at most 1.25 gallon a day but they are on pasture.

Given the name "Nigerian" could it be they are adapted to hot dry conditions and don't require much water?
 

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Sunny Daze Farm
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My nigerians do not drink very much water ever, compared to my nubians and other livestock. I do see them drink some, but even with five goats in a pen with one bucket, the water level creeps down pretty slowly. I usually end up refilling just to keep it fresh, not because they drank it down. When they go out though, they have access to pasture and a larger water bucket. They seem to drink more when they are out n' about and not so much when they are resting in their pen.
 

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Goodmorning ,
Yep it sure is hot, hot, hot. :flame: With my girls who are nubian dairy goats and working hard filling the bucket twice a day ,I give them sloppy soaked beet pulp for dinner it seems to help keep them hydrated better. Of course they also have a water bucket filled fresh twice a day. But they really love the beet pulp and sound so silly slurping away. Like little piggies. :1pig:

meggie
 

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My kids have hooves
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Discussion Starter #13
Yep, I was hoping that their size and heritage had something to do with this. And to be fair, they're nonproducing wethers so they're not going to drink like milkers.

They do have access to good pasture. I think I'll go with Liese's idea and add kelp to their mineral, too. :)
 

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Beth,

I'm about 60 miles west of you in Buckingham (work here in Cumberland) so first let me say it's nice to meet a neighbor! And yes, hot hot HOT! We didn't feed our guys until 8:30 lastnight and it was 87 then! Really the only animals that consume water noticably is the horse and donkeys, they drained the tub yesterday. Our ram, and buck do not drink any water hardly at all during the day ( I have a bouy that sits in the trough and I mark the side) because I like you, was wondering how they functioned. However I noticed that they tend to drink their water at night when it is cooler, the bouy moves.
Provided that they have adequate mineral intake, good pasture or hay supliment and if you do extra feeding that supplies them with even more nutrional support they retain their water levels well. Plus ruminants in general (compared to a horse, dog or cat) tend not to drink alot and can go long streches of time without, it's all in their systems. If your guys are looking good and not acting out of the norm for all the heat we're having I'd say you have nothing to worry about.
However, if you want to encourage them to drink, use elecrolytes. You can buy horse electrolytes to add to their water, flavored and unflavored, my guys for instance LOVE Apple-dex, tastes like apples....supposedly. There are also other flavors, but you could even use Pedialyte, or Gatorade, provided your dilute them in water as the sugar tends to be high in these. You can also mix them in a little feed. You can also feed Apple-dex on their feed too, just to help them keep everything up to par to help with the heat and retain their water better.

However as it has been pointed out, with your specific breed they are probably laughing at you sweating and carrying on while we're feeding and caring for them. I know my guys are. This is a hardly heat tollerant breed. As long as they aren't showing signs or mild to severe dehydration I would think everything is fine. Good luck and nice to meet a VA neighbor!
 

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Mine get a 1 1/2 gallons in the pasture. That is for 2 pygmy goats and a 150 lb PBP. They don't finish it. They get a lot of moisture from the weeds and pasture. Try a mineral block in the pasture(if you haven't already done so). If they have the water available and choose not to drink it, then they probably don't need it. Do they seem otherwise healthy? If so, I wouldn't worry. Do you have plenty of shade? Maybe they just aren't as uncomfortable as you think they are.
 

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Its hot here too. I can't stand to be out for long. Humidity is what is killing me.The Boer goats have actually been laying in the shade. There are still a few hold outs in the sun.Mine are not drinking any more than normal.They are going through a bit more mineral.But my pasture and browse are lush (think rain forest) so there is alot of moisture in that.
 

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why hide it?
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I dump out and change the water in their big plastic trash can that i use for a waterer everyday and they think that is a real treat. One doe drinks out of the hose while I am refilling it, everyday, that is her thing. Even if the water is apparently clear and not warm in the container, they still swarm to it when it is fresh. It is topped off twice more during the day as two Pyrs live in there with the does as well. The doeling pen has 2 water containers, smaller, that are dumped and refilled twice or three times a day....the pyrs have access to this pen too, they have a hole under the fence so they can go into both areas so they need water in both pens (strangely, the goats stay in their assigned pens :shrug:

If the goats are not eating there minerals, you might try a different type, mine go through them like crazy. I am using "Cargill Right Now Emerald". A loose cattle mineral with 2,500 ppm copper. I want to use the Cargill Right Now Onyx but must wait for the feedstore to have it in stock.
 

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Goats can survive in desert environs with NO liquid water at all. None. You go out on the Navajo reservation, they have sheep and goats they just turn out on the land and those manage to survive on plant juices and reproduce.

As long as they have water available, I wouldn't worry over it. They're ahead of those desert goats.
 

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why hide it?
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Those of us who raise high production dairy animals push them to give lots of rich sweet milk during lactation and we rely on cool clean water rather than cactus juice...especially in August. We're funny that way :)
 
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