Heat lamp or not?

Discussion in 'Kidding Koral' started by Cinder, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Cinder

    Cinder New Member

    Mar 2, 2008
    I am hearing conflicting opinions on this so I wanted to ask the pros on here!

    I have a roughly 8x16 area that is divided into two 8x8 kidding stalls. The middle is wire fencing so I can take it out for one large stall if I need. Otherwise it's completely enclosed (except may for the top half of the door - it's not finished so I haven't decided on that yet) ... all four sides and ceiling are solid.

    Do I want to have a heat lamp in there for after the kids are born (I have Nubian, Alpine and Nigerian Dwarfs) or just pile up the straw? I will also have a dog airline crate taken apart and sitting with the open side up for a smaller cozier place for the kids (if they use it). So, it won't have a top on it but will have sides.

    Oh, it's important to know that our January and February weather here can easily get below zero and we can have high winds.

    Heat lamp .... yes or no?
  2. trob1

    trob1 New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Middle TN
    I use a outdoor heated pet pad. It is made of hard plastic so it is easy to clean. I place it under a bench and the kids naturally are drawn to it. It has a thermostat that keeps the pad at a constant 102 degrees shutting it off if it gets too hot then back on to warm it back up. You can buy them in many sizes.

  3. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    I have one of those too...mine is designed for pigs. It's great, I also have some of those heaters that look like a small radiator. I probably use my heaters too much. I had a doe with twins in a stall with the radiator style heater and when I went in she almost cried, looked at the kids cuddled near the heater and called to them, nope they were warm and toasty, does udder was huge, I had to turn the heater down so the kids would leave to go nurse! LOL. But, I really like the heat pad the best, I got the large one, so if you get one get the smaller one. Helps with human comfort too...we sit on it to play with the kids.

    But, regarding your question of whether to use a heat light. I would, at least for the first few days, till they are totally dry and eating well. Then, just at night for a while. Just don't take it away suddenly.

    I also noticed that my does that kidded in Oct., didn't grow as thick a winter coat as the others. I'm wondering if it was because of the supplimental heat? We had a really cold Oct. The kids are very thick coated, but the does are kinda thin, they stay pretty close to the barn!
  4. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    We use a heat lamp because we have babies being born now and it is getting into the single digits at night and 20's and 30's during the day.
  5. dragonfly farms

    dragonfly farms New Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Pfafftown, NC
    We used a heat lamp once out in the barn last march and have decided this winter to not use one. Our barn is pretty small and with all the goats inside it stays pretty cozy. We did make sure that we insulated it, and that there is plenty of bedding for mom and babies to curl up in.
  6. rgbdab

    rgbdab New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I use heat lamps and to make them safer I used baling wire to attach them to the rail in addition to the clamp. They aren't going anywhere. I think they are great, but you do hear horror stories about them setting fires.

  7. goatnutty

    goatnutty Active Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    South East,IN
    I do the same exact thing Denise and I have never had a problem...there are stories about bad things happenig with about everything....freak accidents happen or people are careless but most of the time things like that could be avoided.
  8. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    We use these 4 bulb heat lamps from Farm Tek that will turn bulbs off when it gets to a certain temperature. We have them probably a foot or two above the heads of the mother and they work great for kidding. We have them attached to chains. We use only 125-175 watt bulbs in them because we've found that using 250 is too hot for the goats. A couple years ago we bought some heat lamps that were supposed to be especially sturdy and good for animals(not the ones we have now) We used them and within 5 minutes after they were turned on it caught my herdqueen on fire :roll: She was fine, just some singed hair in a couple spots but ever since then we dont' use 250 watt bulbs.
  9. redneck_acres

    redneck_acres New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Please make sure you put that heat lamp high enough that the kids cannot jump up and bump it. My folks had that happen one year-years ago- and lost the barn and all of the kid crop for that year.
  10. Firestone Creek Farm

    Firestone Creek Farm New Member

    Jul 11, 2008
    NC, USA
    I don't know if this has ever been talked about before, but I thought I'd share it. I reborn vinyl dolls and sculpt babies, and several years ago when I first started, many of the vinyls were very hard to work with so people recommended heating up the heads while rooting the heads (adding hair with a felting needle). To make this short, one way I found to do this is by taking some minute rice (uncooked--do not cook it!) and placing it into a sock and heating it in the microwave. Essentially, to help keep babies warm, and if you have pet pillows or use fabric bedding, you could try the following:

    *Take a pillowcase and add a 1/2 or so layer of rice to the inside of it
    *Heat the pillowcase and rice in the microwave for approximately 30 secs or until hot
    *Place the pillowcase inside of a pet pillow or add another layer of fabric over it--so it's not TOO hot but will be insulated for a while
    *Then let the babies lay on it
    *Remove it from the fabric or pillow to warm it up when it cools down

    It actually stays warm for a little while, similar to but hotter than a hot water bottle would. BUT you don't have to worry about it freezing and breaking. I'd make sure no one can nibble on it, but you'd not have to worry about the barn burning down due to wiring. I know they make little pillows and things with rice in them for other animals; they are expensive! We bought a little one for a shih-tzu puppy last year and it was almost $15 for a little bitty pillow! This would probably work really well for sick or incapacitated animals or new babies.

  11. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    id say yes, especially if it goes below zero.
  12. lesserweevil

    lesserweevil New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Just be very very very careful if you do use a heatlamp... because they ARE dangerous and you dont want them close to straw, etc. or to be able to burn the mother when she stands up, etc.

    A good way is to chain/wire the lamp to wherever you're hanging it as well as using cord/cable /just/ in case!

    You dont want a fire...
  13. fcnubian

    fcnubian New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    I use heat lamps for the kids. All of my Nubian kids are raised on CAE prevention so they are removed at birth. If they are not in the kitchen, they have heat lamps in their stalls in the barn.

    I usually bring the bottle kids up for the first week. Much easier to feed them that way. lol Besides...they are quite entertaining...lol
    :roll: :cool: :thumb:
  14. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    I've never used one, mainly for fear of fire and also because it allows the goats to be acclimated to the weather, kept too warm they will not be able to withstand the colder temps and if the power goes out at all you have chilled goats. I had kids born in the single digits and as long as I am able I make myself available to thoroughly dry them and I have used puppy sweaters on them for 2-3 days. They snuggle down nicely into dry bedding with their moms, I've never had a froze or chilled kid yet in 7 years of breeding. The kidding stalls are solid with slightly slatted solid bottomed gated fronts, so they catch no drafts when the main door is opened.
  15. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Cinder, I had all those babies last Sunday and I DID use a heat lamp on them. It was so cold and they were pretty small. They had it Sunday and Monday night only
    I had Monica kid on Tuesday and they were bigger and it was not as cold so they were not given a heat lamp.
    Wednesday I did give Hope one because he was really small.
    Zyla kidded last night Saturday and she did not get on because it was nice enough and they were big.

    I only do it if it is bitter cold here and if they are really small, and i only do it a day or two so they do not depend on the heat lamp.

    I agree, please make sure not only that they babies do not get on them but I have seen mom get burned from them because she stands under it. I had a 4H er about about lose a goat from a burn. It was horrible. I put it high enough that mom will not get close and that it only takes the real chill off.
  16. badnewsboers

    badnewsboers New Member

    May 9, 2008
    Newport, NC
    I've never used a heat lamp myself but the farm where I just got a doe from used them. They cut a hole inside a big blue barrel and hung it there so only the baby could get inside.. They also used only a regular light bulb since they said the heat bulbs got too hot.
  17. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    I have always used a heat lamp. My barn gets real frigid in the winter, and because I don't have a cool heating pad, I put the lamp inbetween my two stalls so the kids share one lamp. I did learn the hard ay that it is so important to keep it far up enough so you don't burn down your barn, or catch your goats on fire..Nothing too bad happened, but it could have been horrible..
    One of my goats likes to play with it, so it has to be far away from the bad girl :wink:
    Just be careful, oh, and I too use the lower wattage bulb, usually 150 is plenty..
  18. redneck_acres

    redneck_acres New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    We put baby goat coats on our babies for the first few weeks of their lives-that helps them stay pretty warm. And it helps if your space is enclosed where you have them.
  19. Amy Goatress

    Amy Goatress New Member

    Oct 1, 2008
    We don't heat lamps or pet heated pads since we had not a very good experience with them since the goats always put hay or straw on top of them and we had a little fire going on in our barn so we just use insulated houses and we put kid sweaters and coats on the kids born in frigid temperatures.
  20. Victoria

    Victoria New Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    Vernonia, Oregon
    I made goat coats for my babies, used an old flannel shirt, insulated it with sheeps wool, and put them on the babies. I can't be for sure but I think that is what got the babies sick! I was careful to keep them dry, but they came down with colds, I think the flannel wicked in moisture. I still plan on using coats, but I am getting small sized water proof dog coats...and using the lamp still too! I can't wait for summer!!! Then I can worry about my goats staying cool!! :roll: