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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had goat coats on my goats a few weeks ago when we had a very bad cold spell. In the midst of the extreme cold I had my vet friend come over to check on one of my goats. While he was here he mentioned to me that I needed to make sure I did not leave the goat coats on longer than overnight. He said that leaving the coat on too long can lead to skin problems and hair slipping. I had never heard that before. Is that a real concern? Has anybody out there had hair slipping problems (goats, not packer ;) )after leaving goat coats on?
Goats are 2 yr old Saanen wethers, appear healthy, and growing strong. Thanks!
 

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Hello,

I have one goat that now for the second winter carried a coat every night. I took the coat of during the day and ruffled her fur a bit to make it "stand" because the coat flattened it.

On a few days she would wear the coat also during the day but I would take the coat off and ruffle her fur and check for rubbing on these days before putting it on again.

I could also see the area where the edges of the coat rubbed a little bit against the hair around the shoulders. This would be an area where I would check for rubbing/soreness. Same with the girth area.

No hair loss but the winter coat was thinner than that of the other goats.

I've heard from donkeys that they will develop skin fungus quite fast when you keep a blanket on them for too long.
 

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I've had the same experience as Sabine. My goat has worn a coat in the winter for many years now and I've never had a problem except wearing out coats! I also will usually remove the coat during the day (although we've had long cold spells where the coat never came off for weeks at a time). I also fluff the hair under the coat at least once a day, especially around the neck and shoulders where the edge of the coat can rub out the hair. If I begin to see broken or missing hair on the shoulders or hind legs (my blanket has leg straps but no girth), I readjust the blanket so it rubs in a slightly different place. That way it can't rub a bald patch or a sore.
 

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I believe the concern you friend has is true for lots of animals. Its not so much as 'hair slipping", but winter coat not forming properly or sheding too soon.

It is a common occurance for animals whom are adorned with blankets to keep warm. Their body is tricked into thinking that the hair it has is sufficient to keep in the warmth. In reality, its the blanket creating the heat. The same effect happens in late winter/early spring, the body thinks that it is time to start shedding because the days start getting longer and the body is nice and toasty thanks to that blanket. So you may see the hair "slipping", or shedding early. Once you take the coats of, all of the sudden, you have a cold goat.

I haven't heard of too many problems that are long term, due to coats or blankets, but I have heard of a couple of horses that have lost the ability to grow sufficient winter coats after years of having a blanket. I think proper use of a coat and daily "fluffing" should help avoid any issues.
 

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Hair growth and loss is primarily connected to the amount of light due to days lengthening and shortening. As long as they are off in the daytime you won't have problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to everyone for the great replies. What a great forum this is!
It sounds like my veterinary friend was pretty much in line with most of the replies. I'll make sure that I remove their coats during the day, assuming day temps are not super cold too.
 
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