Q About Substrate

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by TomOBedlam, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. TomOBedlam

    TomOBedlam Guest

    Jan 23, 2008
    Hi there!

    I am a brand new Nigerian owner, with two doelings and two boys who will be wethers when they grow up. They are about three weeks old, and growing and bonding well with me and my family. Since they are so small and it's still pretty cold out, I've got them in a slightly small space for most of the day, with supervised playtimes in the big wide world of my backyard. My question is concerning the types of substrate appropriate for their sleeping/relaxing area.

    Right now I'm using nice soft pine shavings, the same kind used by the breeder where they were born. But as they're growing I'm noticing that their space is getting wet much more quickly. I'm wondering if its safe to use pine pellets (like Woody Pet or Equine Pine) to help absorb some of the wet, or will they confuse them with goat pellets eventually and have problems? They're still bottle feeding, obviously, but I know some baby animals, as they learn to eat regular feed, will confuse these bedding pellets and wind up with impactions.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    welcome to TGS!

    I wouldn't know about the pellets sorry :( but I wanted to give you a welcome to our nutty place ;)

    Nigerians are such great goats I know you will enjoy them so much.

    I use hay for bedding or I would help. I know others use different things so maybe someone knows more about what you are talking about and can give you an educated idea on how well it would work for your situation.

  3. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    welcome to the goat spot, and the wonderful world of goats. AS far as bedding for the little guys i have found the best bedding to be pine shavigs with straw over the top of it. I have used those wood pellets that turn to dust as they get wet, they don;t hold odors well and they are messy and hard to clean up. They are nicer for horses. But i don;t like them for goats. they tend to stick in the goats hair when tye get wet.
    hope this helps.
  4. mystic's_mom

    mystic's_mom Guest

    Oct 5, 2007
    As they get older you can increase the amount of shavings as well, to compensate for the amount of urine they are putting out; In a stall with an adult mini I put a good 3 inch, if not more layer of shavings. Scoop out the wet spots daily, and change the entire stall weekly. Just replenish the spots that you take shavings out of in between full cleanings.
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    This time of year and having above ground floors, I don't clean the barn as the manure composts and provides heat as well as insulation under their bodies. I do however use a combination of the "Woody Pet" pellets and shavings as an absorption layer with wasted hay and straw on top so the "curious" mouths don't pick at the pellets. Your babies are young enough that they really wouldn't have too much waste but old enough that you should provide a small pail with water as they will be curious as well as a basket of hay. Whatever hay they "mess" on can be used as a top dress for the pellets. Also, the pellets I use say to mist them lightly with water to help them start absorbing better, I don't do this because I cover them up with shavings and they do seem to keep the ammonia level down in the winter, right now my little barn smells like hay and goat burps...not poop!
  6. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Well, I like the "deep litter" method also. I started out with a layer of pine shavings, and put a thick layer of straw on top of that (we have concrete floors in our old barn). Then, I use the waste hay from the feeder to add to it, with more straw if needed. It was fine all last winter, then in spring (before it got hot), I hauled it all out to the compost pile. I checked it the other day and it is beautiful compost, I'll be using it on the garden this year. The deep litter didn't smell bad, until I started digging it out!LOL It was quite a job to get it all out (I'm "just" a woman), but, probably easier then changing the bedding every week. I never had a wettness problem...my floors are slightly angled to a "catch" trough "thingy", LOL, so any excess urine would drain into that...but I never noticed any collecting there.

    Good luck and welcome to The Goat Spot, alot of nice folks here to help, I'm a newbie too...go back and look at old posts, very informative.

  7. Buckeye

    Buckeye Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    If you are in a colder climate it is good to let the bedding build up to provide a layer of warmth and protection from the cold ground or flooring. Every few days we spread on another layer of shavings to freshen up the top. Once nice weather arrives, I am on the weekly cleanout bandwagon also. Not really looking forward to that spring cleanup either - ugh.

    Just wondering about your bucklings that will be wethered. You know, there is a chance they can breed a doe their size once they get to be a couple months old. Forgive me if you already are on top of that, but if not, you might want to plan on separate pens until you wether them. Wethers do make great pets!