kidding in the winter?

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by StaceyRosado, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I have to many does to have kidding in the spring (well to many because I get overwhelmed easily and my pen can only handle so many goats and the kids just make it overcroweded).

    so I was thinking of doing a winter kidding. I have NEVER done this before. a couple years ago when I decided to do a spring kidding I was nervous as I have never done that before either but now I feel confident on that.

    I know MANY people kid in the winter months. What do you do to ensure no frozen kids? what are the differences and how cold is to cold?
     
  2. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Stacey you know the importance of no drafts & dry bedding for kids whatever time of the year.
    We are usually kidding in Feb...sometimes with snow on the ground. Everbody does just fine.
    Hopefully Katrina will come on telling you about Alaska kiddings.
    Honestly I have come to the conclusion that kids do much better than we think with cold & acclimate better than in the spring when there are worms & cocci possibility.
    We never use heat lamps (dont trust them)
    The only "downside" is having to haul water.
     

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I am working on the draft part --- right now the barn has an opening that is 12 feet high by 4 feet wide... so without a door I am trying to come up with ideas to "close"it off I have some ideas. But the door may happen, but I am not going to count on it
     
  4. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Stacey, my kids have always been born in mid to late February. Last year was the coldest ever, babies arrived in the single digits.


    I am very lucky though that I am with my girls when they deliver, I dry the kids thouroghly and get them nursing, I did use sweaters on them after they were totally dry, and took them off a day later, so they could learn to regulate their temps.
    I never had a froze kid and never used a heat lamp either, my kid stalls are draft free and they have a deep layer of dry bedding too, moms snuggle up and the little ones will stay very close to mom for warmth. Since my kids stay in the stalls with moms for a few days, I make sure they get play time in the afternoon sun that comes thru the windows, they are alot hardier than most think they could be.


    Oh and yes, the troublesome issues with parasites are fewer in the colder months :greengrin:
     
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I've always had winter kiddings (Jan-Mar) and actually prefer it. The kids tend to be healthier in my experience...there are fewer problems with parasites, for instance. I'm planing for Feb. kids this time around.

    I've used sweaters for kids, but never a heat lamp. I took one of my old plastic totes (like the 35 gallon ones with lids) and cut and opening into the side so the kids can crawl in there and cuddle up. It's easy to clean and if I need to get them out I can just take the lid off.
     
  6. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Stacey, I will sat ditto to what Liz said. I always plan for Jan 1st babies and I want them as soon after that as possible. I have never lost one to the cold or to them even being sick. I have never has Cocci trouble or worms. I TRY to be there when they are born but that is just not possible. If I think they are close and it is going to be below 0, I MIGHT put a heat lamp in on the doe but normally I do it at night, and for only a day or two, or I do the sweaters. I do not do the heat lamps on them all, just when it is really cold or they are really small, and the lamp is really not close at all, not even the does can touch them, but they are there to take the chill off. The sweaters are great, and they look so darn cute in them.
     
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Stace you know you could block off that entrance with a sheet of 4x8 plywood "gate".
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    my dad would be so disappointed -- he worked very hard to build me a nice barn and he wants to build me a door....its just going to take time. I would rather wait on kidding then hurt him.
     
  9. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Stacey, you could even do solid stall fronts up to the height of your does backs, that will also keep the draft off the kids. Temporary of course, but you could use thin sheets of paneling attached by screws so the pieces could be removed in the warm months.
     
  10. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    the barn is all open and is like over 12 feet high so I wouldnt want to risk the cold -- it would be very drafty
     
  11. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Do you think your dad would mind a tarp covering the opening for a short while? It would cut out some of the air until thedoor can be built.
     
  12. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    most of my kids are born in winter...like -30. or spring...-10 LOL. never had a problem..noooooo drafts. that wind is going to chill them more than the snow or ice. Mine are in a shed with a lamp..no drafts whatsoever, it tends to be very cold and very windy during winter, and also very dark. so a lamp is a must. in the shed it stays about +14F which is fine, when the does kids, I stick a heater in there and it warms up to about 40F. and stays like that for a week, then they start going outside, and by the time theyre 3 weeks theyre outside 24/7..and do very well...if the kids arent as thrifty i leave them in the heat until i need it for another doe, or they get stronger.

    my goats arent spoiled! lol. thats sarcasm :greengrin:
     
  13. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    I'll be doing winter kiddings again this year. My kiddos were born in February and I didn't have a problem. They'll be kidding between December and February next time, and so will most of my friend's does too.

    Here in Texas, we don't get "cold" like some of you do, (although I personally think its horrid cold!) and many of us prefer to have kiddings/foalings/calvings/etc in the winter.

    By then, I'll have my kidding pen/stalls set up, right next to my house, where I can peek out the window in my office at them! I'll also have lamps, so I don't forsee a problem at all.
     
  14. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    i prefere jan/feb/march kiddings as well. Like several people mentioned...less problems with parasites. And when show season rolls around your kids have more of an immune system built up. They are also usually bigger and do better at shoes as jr's. plus i can breed them as yearlings rathern then waiting till they are two year olds. I hate having dry yearlings.
    beth
     
  15. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    I've kidded all around the calendar. I have different opinions on the times they're most successful. I actually prefer colder or warmer months instead of Fall. Fall is the only time I've lost a few kids to pneumonia.

    Anyway, I use the 55 gallon barrel drums with a hole cut in the side and a heat lamp suspended from the top inside for the kids. I call them heat barrels. The kids pile up in there and snooze. They do very good with that.

    My only real concern with cold month babies is the actual kidding. You HAVE to be there. The kids will chill and die if they are not warmed up very fast. This can be done two ways. If the temps aren't too cold, you can take a blow drier down and dry them. Use lots of towels and the blow drier. Check the kids mouth for temp and use a thermometer if you need to. If the kid is a little too still or not moving around like it should, warm it up inside. I have done this too, especially with multiples because we just don't have enough hands and blow driers to go around a group. By the time you get one warmed up, another is chilled and you have to change to them and then the other chills again. So in those instances we take them in the house. Bring mom if you need to. Set her up in a crate or partition off a room. I did that with one born in March this year! Triplets on the coldest night we'd had in a while. The babies weren't thriving in the cold temps and with triplets we couldn't tend to any one of them as well as we wanted so we loaded up mom and her babies and took them to the house. We closed off the utility room and bedded it down with straw and put them in there. They did exceptionally well. We let the cold snap pass and then took them back down to the barn. All 3 were extremely healthy and strong and two have long since moved on to their new homes, the third is Echinacea.

    So if your on top of things they'll do just fine. The nighttime, cooler temp times are the only time you really have to worry. During the day when its warmed up a lot, its just a matter of drying off and helping them find the teat. Ensure they're familiar with the heat barrel before the night and they're smart enough to settle down and be comfy. I've even used heat lamps in stalls without barrels. I triple ensure the lamp will touch absolutely nothing that is flamable and also ensure that should it get bumped loose, that it dangles or touches only a cattle panel. I tend to worry a lot so I usually keep the camera on them too. I don't want so many kiddings so close together either. So I know what you mean. I've got a whole heap I'm planning for Feb/Mar so I maybe starting up kiddings a lot sooner than I thought and dragging them out throughout the spring to make it easier on me.

    I did breed Zee yesterday. She was trying to climb into the buck fence. Haha! Yes so I went ahead and put her in the breeding pen with River just to go ahead and prevent a break in. Ha! Silly girl. But with her kidding in late December, I may as well try another one or two then too. That way I can move them in together sooner and the babies can pile for warmth. Figures I decide this yesterday, after I'd had about half a dozen does in heat just days before. LOL No watch, not one will go in heat for weeks. That'll be my luck. Hehe
     
  16. I very easily apply a sheet of ply wood on the North side to keep the north wend out. My shelter is not neat as high so I do add a large carpet over the top and side for insolation.

    Until the door is made what I do is get a metel fince post drive it in behind the ply wood. No harm done. The door comes up with the stake and off with the wood. :thumbup:
     
  17. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    haha then you have never seen me with tools or a shovel -- lets just say I am still in need of work in that area. :oops:

    I dont trust myself to do a thing to the barn, my dad and brothers did a great job with it and I worry about messing it up with my half ability jobs :sigh:
     
  18. Stacey, you would not be doing anything.

    You lean the wood and stake so it does not fall over. The stake is the metal ones you drive my hand with a post driver, Not hard and you would never touch the barn at all.

    By the way, at the "add me" you can find some winter kid pics I posted in good humar.
     
  19. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    well I honesty cant imagine what you are describing -- but thanks for the effort though.

    my barn isnt facing north. The barn door opening is to the west.

    My dad and brothers just made me this new barn last year but never got to the door
     
  20. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    I think i know what she means. Set a couple of t posts on either side of your door only a few inches away from the wall of the barn. Take a sheet of plywood thats larger then the opening of the door and slide it in between the posts and the barn. But i think staceys barn has a small wood porch right outside the door. so theres nothing to actually drive the stakes into.
    beth