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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1-It's almost winter here in NH. I have 2 Pygmies, a 4yo wether & an about 7mo doe as well as about a 9mo Fainter. I know they need well ventilated but low draft housing, which they have. Do I need anything for when they're out in the day? A goat jacket or something in the wintertime? They always have access to their shed but the door is open all day so they can come & go.

2-1st cut vs 2nd cut? I know 2nd cut is supposed to be too rich but how true is this & is that such a bad thing? We've been buying 1st cut but have someone who gets large quantities of 2nd cut for super-cheap. Last week we got 1 bale of each (1st & 2nd cuts) & I've been mixing it but I'm finding they are pulling out all the 1st cut & leaving it on the ground in favor of the 2nd cut. Can I just switch w/o them getting sick? Also, wouldn't it be BETTER in the winter in particular to give them a little more nutrients?

Thanks very much!!!
 

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No coats they'll be fine. I close mine up at night and when it's blustery.

We use 2nd cut, and just keep it in front of them at all times. That first winter can be scarey for first timers in the North Country, but they'll be just fine.
 

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They are fine without coats. If they are cold, they will just stay in their shed. But they do have a natural coat that will be just fine for them.

Not sure where you heard that 2nd cut is too rich. That is the only thing I buy. Just 2nd cut hay is fine.
 

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I live in north central Maine. My goats have a run in type of thing where they can be inside or outside. No matter how cold, I do not blanket them.

2nd cut is great stuff. I wish I could find it for a reasonable price. In my neck of the woods, it costs twice the price of 1st cut. I can't justify the price. sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@lottsagoats-Normally we couldn't justify it either but we only have 3 goats (pets), 2 pygmies & 1 fainter so we only go thru about a bale per week or so (depending on how much they & the chickens waste...) & we found someone local who has cows & horses & a barn so they get HUGE amounts of hay a couple times a year so they get it cheaper in bulk & were willing to pass that along to us...we pay $6/bale for 2nd cut while we WERE paying $8/bale for 1st cut...plus it's more convenient b/c we go there weekly anyhow for milk & don't have to fuss w/the stores' hours lol! We couldn't justify passing THAT up unless it would make them sick. I'm not sure where I heard 2nd was bad for goats but I have..at least twice..which is why I asked 1st (better safe & stupid than sorry!!! haha) SO glad it's gonna work out & the goats LOVE it, totally ignore the 1st cut now-wont even touch it.

The goat shed is a nice, sturdy 4'x8' w/a door at 1 side (not the end). It's pretty draft-proof, except where the door is, obviously. I leave the door open so they can come & go all day & shut them in at night (just in the habit since when Marlee was little I had to worry about predators). I'm considering adding just a random piece of plywood or something just inside the door as a "windbreak" just for the winter but...haven't decided yet. I'm not used to leaving animals outside in the winter (never had "FARM" animals) so this is going to be a little worrisome for me but I'm also not an idiot lol..I know that they're just built a little better for it than us :) I also use both straw AND shavings on the floor & clean it every 3 days or so so it never gets real stinky or yucky.

Anyhow-sry, got totally distracted. Thank you all again for your advice & I'm so happy they can have their favorite meal...& that I don't have to dress my freakin goats hahaha!!!
 

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To cold for goats????

Katie, I live in northern Maine. Last winter was the first for my doe and wether.I was a reck thinking they would be cold. They did just fine. Make sure they do have nice clean very warm water to drink, my two love it. They have the door open to their shed all day and closed at night. I also shovel a big path out for them to walk, since our snow is always 3-4 feet deep all winter. Good luck.
 

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yes, they will be fine without a coat as long as they have a nice barn to get into. One year we had over 3 ft of snow and temps got down to -20 at night (a record low) and all of mine did fine, even had some 2 week old Boer kids outside and they were all nice a cozy in their little dog house. Hay is the best thing you can give a goat in the winter, keeps their fire (rumen) stoked. 2nd cut hay is usually better than first cut because it is less stemmy, 3rd cut is better yet and 4th cut is really nice, almost all leaves and very little stems. If you are worried about the hay being too rich, you can take a sample and have it tested.

In the winter I do close up most of the front of my barn, just leave about a 3 ft walk way in each bay so that they have something to get behind no matter what direction the wind is coming from.
 
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