Bedding for goats and flax oil question

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by paulaclk, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. paulaclk

    paulaclk Member

    38
    Sep 1, 2009
    Hi,
    What is the best bedding to put in my goat house now it is getting a little colder? My neighbor said to use Pine chips but I am not 100% sure.
    Also, I have been giving them some flax oil in their food to help with the dry, flaky skin one of them has. How long should I continue?
    Thanks so much.
    Paula
     
  2. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    I honestly do not use pine chips. It's horrible to try and get out and caused some problems with my goats skin and eyes so, as soon as we changed it, our problems cleared up and we haven't had a problem since. But if you clean out pens frequently, and you're goats don't have a bad reaction I say go ahead and use it, but definitely put straw overtop.

    I personally, when treating for dry skin, haven't used it, so off the top of my head I do not know. Ours is appliable. I found since changing beddings, we haven't had much of a dry skin/lice problem.

    Just my experience. Good luck!
     

  3. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Since mine are housed in a 12x8 shed, whatever hay they drop from the racks is bedding.
     
  4. paulaclk

    paulaclk Member

    38
    Sep 1, 2009
    Do you give hay all year round for them to eat or just in the colder weather?
     
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Mine get hay year round, more so in the winter because there is no pasture/browse for them, spring/summer it's best to have some hay in their bellies before they get into the fresh green pasture and of course, when it's raining they won't go out to eat so they get hay :greengrin:

    As far as the flax seed oil, it helped with my bucks' dry skin but I think the brushing he got once a week helped to loosen the flakes he had to allow the skin to heal.
     
  6. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    i like straw for bedding. Pine chips help absorb moisture, but they shoul definatly have hay or straw over them.
    As for the flax seed, my goats get it as part of their daily ration. Its really good for their skin and coat.
    beth
     
  7. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Guest

    101
    Oct 12, 2009
    I've tried using both straw and wood shavings in our goats' houses. (They have big wooden dog houses to get into, for shade mostly since we live in a warm climate). They usually kick all of it out and just lay on the wooden floors :roll: Then they eat it. I put half a bale of straw into their pens for bedding a few days ago and it was all gone in a matter of hours, and they were so full they didn't want much dinner! Our goats are in small pens with the natural sandy dirt around here on the bottoms. I scatter some straw on it to keep the dust down, and whatever hay they don't eat and whatever straw they leave alone sort of builds up a soft bedding. I rake the pens out once a week to get rid of the poop, and then the bed builds up again.

    I'm giving up on bedding though, after we use up what we have; we're just buying straw at $7 a bale (it costs more than our alfalfa!) and it's filling up our goats with useless fiber. I bedded down our kidding stall this spring with a nice layer of comfy straw, and our one doe that kidded kicked it all into a corner and dropped her kids in the dirt.
     
  8. OurJourneysEnd

    OurJourneysEnd New Member

    33
    Nov 1, 2009
    Caro, MI
    That was a question I have...we put new straw down and our two goats have been eating and eating it. Their tummies are huge! This is in Michigan, so I feel the girls need straw for extra warmth this winter. Meanwhile, our 6 month old Nigerian looks like she could pop. The two didn't look like this during the summer and we were feeding them pellets then. They looked healthy and their tummies would protrude after a big meal, but they would go down. Not now. Our pygmy has chunked up, but I think it's a winter thing. We stopped giving them pellets a week ago to see if the Nigerian's tummy would go down but she's still eating straw and keeping her spherical shape.

    Is this new goat owner anxiety?
     
  9. Mully

    Mully New Member

    408
    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    To keep goats from eating the straw bedding get a spray bottle of bitter apple and spray the straw ...they hate the taste and it will keep them from filling up on straw which has little food value.
     
  10. OurJourneysEnd

    OurJourneysEnd New Member

    33
    Nov 1, 2009
    Caro, MI
    Forgive me, is that the actual name of the product? Is it a product? Or is it something I'm making myself?
     
  11. Mully

    Mully New Member

    408
    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    It is the brand name.... used for dogs to keep them from biting themselves. Probably several brands do the same thing.
     
  12. jefner

    jefner New Member

    18
    Sep 13, 2009
    western washington
    Hi! I just thought I would say what I use too... My husband knows a guy that chips wood-so he gave us a load of pine chips for free. So after I put soil sweetener (agri-lime) on the dirt, I put a thick layer of those chips and then a very very thick layer of straw down.. I just clean the dirty straw spots out and toss in new as needed, or use whatever the girls don't eat from their hay. I wanted to make sure the straw was deep enough they weren't going to be laying or walking on the chips at all... they have smooshed it down nicely and it all seems to be working pretty good. I don't have a barn for them, we just have a large dog kennel inside of a costco shelter thing (used for cars I think).. they get penned in there at night, and let out for the day.. but it gets chilly here at night now.. I think they seem pretty cozy.. and fat. Maybe they are eating straw too and I just don't ever catch them doing it! lol!