Keeping my goats warm in the winter

pilot10062003November 19, 2008

We bought a year and a half old nanny and her 5 month old kid and built them a nice stable in owre hay barn. I put in a thick layer of hay and keep it dry. The floor has plenty of drainage. I put a bale of second cutting alfalfa in there and was told they wouldnt over eat. I give them grain in the morning and evening and warm water at night when I put them in. I keep them in all night hoping they will feel safer in there new home.We live in Idaho and it gets into the single digits at nite and the top 2 feet of the stable sides is open. Should I close it off to keep out more of the cold? It really is very nice and well kept. We love them very much and want to do the right things for them

Thanks for your help


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With the wind off them and a dry place to lay, and plenty of carbs in their diet they will do well even at -30F. Plenty of oats (very high in carbohydrates) will maintain their fat reserves that will keep them warm.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:53AM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

I agree with Seramas. My 2 Pygmy goats do very well here in New England where we often have single digits and last year a record 157" of snow. They appreciate having a place out of the wind and dry (mine hate rain). They develop very nice and thick coats to keep them warm. Some really cold mornings my shiver some which makes me feel bad but they do fine after some hay.

I feed my goats an all purpose sweet goat feed called Caprine Challenger by Blue Seal. I learned the hard way that goats need all their nutrients to thrive and stay healthy, especially the B vitamins.

I think it's good to keep them in at night as they are certainly a target for coyotes.

I hope you enjoy your new Caprine family as much as I enjoy mine! They are so smart!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:55PM
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We just make sure our goats are dry and have a small shelter. We feed them more hay on cold nights and give them Probios once in a while to make sure that the rumen is working well--that is the furnace that keeps their core body temp up. We have Nubians and Boers, and the Boers seem to be just as happy at -40 as they are at 20. We take a little more caution with the Nubians when it gets below -30 or so to make sure there is no udder frostbite injury by draping a blanket over the door to their "house", which is usually left open for ventilation.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 1:01PM
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We have 3 wethered nubians. One has a winter coat to die for, one has very thick fur and one poor thing just has a light coat and is always freezing, when they let him he cuddles with one of the others. They have a barn to get out of the wind and rain filled with dry hay (key word "dry"). Be careful feeding these guys, getting them fat is not the way to keep them warm, they will get founders. (no extra corn) They have this great built in furnance think of it as their very own compost. Hay will keep that furnance going (mine also gets grain in am and pm) with plenty of clean water. And yes nice really warm water is like a cup of hot chocolate. You can purchase coats if your concerned, mine have horns and they use them to get under the coats and drag each other around or else Charlie would have a coat!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:17AM
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kristenmarie(Z4-5/New Mexico)

My goats never have a problem with negative temperatures, even, and their barn is probably not as nice as yours! They will be fine.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:42AM
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