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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi forum friends,

i've been awfully reliant on your opinions and advice lately, thank you.

we had nigerian kids born yesterday morning. they are healthy and strong- now that the runt was smothered :( - BUT check out our forecast. i don't worry about cold and livestock typically since they all have cozy places to get out of drafts, into sun, fresh water, roughage, etc. i've got coats for the adult goats that i use when temps stay single digits and below. it ends up being once or twice a year for a few days. mama and kids are in a draft free barn and i just ordered a prima heat lamp and 175 watt bulb so i can sleep, without as much fire worry. is a little sweater/sweatshirt sleeve coat enough for the 2-4 pound kids with this crazy cold (indoors, with heatlamp)?

i'm SOOOO glad they came before and not during the insane temperature drop.
 

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Fair-Haven
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I wouldn't put coats on them unless they show hunchy behavior. I would instead, check every few hours to make sure tummies are full, they are nursing and snuggled in well. Check temps and weights if you are concerned. If I have really cold kids, I put on dog coats that strap underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, we even vacation in the winter to Lake Superior, but brrrrrrrrr is right! We hoped to sleep, school and work in an outbuilding while some work is done inside our home next week. Plan B is cheap motel. I probably cannot check them every few hours, certainly not at night when it's coldest (house work, hotel...).

...maybe I'll put a pen together in the insulated garage and turn the propane heater on real low.
 

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Hi from central Wisconsin! Yes, my husband and I are watching the weather update to see just how cold it is going to get and if we need to think about bringing our two doelings inside. That would be the last resort, of course. By Sunday morning it will feel like -25 to -30F here. We have a good shed for our goats, plenty of straw, and can shut the door to the wind, but we are wondering at what temperature is it too risky to not bring goats to a warmer area? We are taking it day by day and monitoring how they are handling the cold. Also, would it be more harmful to bring goats inside because of the difference in temperature from really really cold to warm? Am I overthinking this? I don't want to make a costly mistake. I understand your dilemma! Look at us two new goat owners in Wisconsin worrying!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello! Mini Obers?! Fun. My next to kid is a mini Nubian (so excited).

We've had goats for several years now, just not usually days-old kids with this long of a reeeeeaaalllly cold stretch- it's a long time for WI! Of course today we have an ice storm now with snow coming.

I just drew up a little lean-to idea to keep their body heat from rising away from them but not sure I have time to build it before cold, ruled out garage idea. Simpler is better. Preserving body heat. I would like an old cooler, lay on it's back with the lid open (all secured and anchored to stay put, of course) for them to snuggle into with straw, but don't have a cooler.

I'm going to coat them (just a wool sock), at night at least, for the coldest temps. Bringing them inside doesn't seem good to me, too extreme to adapt safely. Good luck!
 

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I have a large dog kennel in their shed, which the "queen" uses for herself so I built a little wooden box for her sister and stuffed it with straw and now they each have their own area. I heard about low ceilings keeping the heat in better. I think you are right about the drastic temperature change if we were to bring them inside. Hey--good luck! Even if you have a large crate or something they can crawl into, I think that will help. Have you seen the barrels that people cut a hole into and put a heat lamp in through the top for newborn goats? Will the moms snuggle with the babies?
 

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Those igloo doghouses work good for smaller goats, especially with straw in them. Water is super important in the cold. Warm almost hot water- most goats slurp it down. I use heated buckets, that basically prevent freezing, but, your goats will be fine if you offer warm water 3 or 4 times a day. Lots of good hay- the more hay the warmer the rumen will be. (and lots of hay waste- sorry!)
 

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When my doe’s first baby was born in the winter, I got a wood pallet, a bunch of hay, and a outdoor blast heater. I cleared a corner in my garage(we left the car outside), put the pallet wood down, put the hay on that, put the blast heater a good distance away from the hay to avoid a fire hazard, and cranked that baby up. It’s best to leave the baby AND the mother their and check that the doe has been feeding the kid. If she hasn’t been letting the kid get something to drink, I recommend holding her in between your legs and petting her whilst talking to her in a calming voice while the baby eats. I checked on them every hour or so and they were in their for a little less than a week. Don’t leave them their for too long or the baby will become acclimated with the warm temps and could end up not adapting to the cold.
 
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