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Shivering Goats... What to do?

40830 Views 21 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  mckinneyjenifer54
I moved Cissy and Hermione to the goat house last night, and they were fine last night... I put hay in, and they had some of that, they ate a bit of grass outside, and they downed their pan of grain last night (2 cups of goat ration, 2 cups of alfalfa pellets) but this morning when I let them out they were shivering in their pen, so I locked them back up in the insulated goat house with their grain and hay and all that until it warmed up outside, it's now 4 C out. ANYWAY, I checked on them and they haven't really touched their grain or hay.

They've been locked in the chicken house for about a week and its since gotten quite a lot colder out since they were out last, and I was thinking it was because they were in a new place and scared or because it was cold out... Is there anything I can do to ease the transition? How worried should I be about the shivering... Is there anything completely irresistable I can put on their grain?
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I feel for you. It went from being nice out to COLD. My guys aren't eating their hay as well either and some are shivering, but no temps. I don't know what to do. :shrug: You can try making some warm molasses or karo water for them. Mine loved that the other day.
I'm glad I'm not the only one with shivering goaties, they're only Pygmies and their house is insulated with R 14 Roxul housebatt (lol...they live in lurxury ha). I think I might keep them in for a couple days, and in the morning keep them in until they down all that grain.

For the molasses... I've seen elsewhere people mentioning they put it in the water? Explain!
Did you get temps on them?
shivering and not eating.... doesn't sound normal.... :hug:
They're both eating now I believe.. I know for sure Cissy is, and I saw Hermione taking some hay so things are looking up. I haven't gotten temps on them yet, I'm looking for the themometer! ... Its around here somewhere. Everything was normal until this morning, they're no longer shivering. I put them back to bed for a bit until it warmed up outside and then they let me know when they wanted out so I let them out. Poop and Urination is normal.

They were both fine yesterday evening, ... I know this cause Cissy kicked me while I was trimming her feet LOL

I still have to trim Hermiones, now thats going to be an interesting time...
Mine love hot water, yes hot.....not warm. I take out 2 buckets full of hot water 2-3x's a day and they will run to the hot water and gulp and gulp! I put down lots and lots of boys will not go outside until afternoon, once it warms a bit, unless the sun is out.
The sugar from the molasses brings their energy up. I always give it to does after kidding, they gulp it down. Goats LOVE warm water in the cold, so that is what our goats get. Warm water + a little molasses makes for very happy goaties.
I agree with Olivia...the molasses makes the water more enticing to them as well as giving a boost in energy levels. I normally just do molasses in the water after kidding but will add it in the extreme heat of summer to ensure that everyone stays hydrated, including my boys.

In extreme cold, it's best that they get alot of long fiber, hay, as it takes more energy to digest and with the rumen acting as a living composter it generates heat...grain is ok, but be sure they are getting plenty hay. Giving them some B vitamins will stimulate their appetites, I don't use the injectible but I do use " people vitamins" 2 B complex pills crushed and dissolved in a bit of water and syringed into their mouths.

Also, keep in mind that shivering is a "natural" way to keep warm, the body's involuntary action burns just enough calories/energy to try and keep a normal temp.
You have to be careful not to make their homes to warm. They need to adjust to the temp outside. Remember they are outside animals and the warmer you make it for them the sicker they could and more then likely will get.

If you have their huts draft free and with straw on the ground that is all they really need. If you don't let theme get use to the cold weather, and somehow they are not able to get in or something then they are going to get the death of cold. That is somewhat I do for my new born babies. IF they are small or it is below 0, then I will either put a heat lamp on them or a sweater for a day or so. They NEED to learn to regulate their own body temp. I have always kidded in Jan and Feb and I have never lost a baby to being sick. Matter of fact I have never had a sick goat. (Believe me that is ONLY from the help of the Lord :pray: )
I agree with lori, keeping warm they should be able to do on their own. Adult goats shouldnt need anything extra if they have a full coat of hair, a draft free shelter and a full manger of hay.
If a goat isn't ill then shivering is a normal function of generating heat. When it accompanies other symptoms, time to investigate and see if there's a health issue.
I've seen my goats shiver on cold mornings before. It is usually right after they come out of their little straw "nests". When they are bedded down they get really warm and comfie so when they "get out of bed" it's kind of a shock to the system.

Have you ever not wanted to get out of your bed in the morning because it's so warm and toasty?...and then when you finally do drag yourself out of bed you feel like you're freezing and it takes awhile to start feeling warm again, right?? Well, it's the same principle with goats...and probably any other animal. :)
I am new with goats and I have gotten loads of help from here already! I don't want to sound dumb here but everyone is referring to "draft free" barns. My goaties have an opening cut in the barn to go in and out of so the sheep cannot get into their area, do I need to cover this??? My chickens are in the other half and I cover their windows with heavy plastic because it is just chicken wire over the openings for ventilation. Do I need to do more? I thoroughly cleaned the pen in the fall before it got really cold and told the kids to not clean as well to keep letting the hay there as it creates insulation , is this wrong???
no that sounds right no worries :thumbup:
its currently -22F outside, and mine arent shivering, they dont have heat lamps. keep hay out 24/7 and keep the water coming...mine like it nice and warm with some nutri drench in it!
when do you start giving the warm water? Now it is in the 50's during the day and mid to upper 30's at night. If I put molasses in the water, how much? Sorry, I want to make sure I am doing the right things so my children properly care for their little guys, it is a little overwhelming but so worth it when they come up and nudge you for a hug or want you to .....pick them up!
I don't know about others goaties.......but mine LOVE :love: very steamy water first thing in the morning.....they had rather have their hot water than breakfast first thing........and then I give them a bucket of hot water whening closing them up for the night. I don't add anything to my guys water......just good old hot water! I'm going out of town for a week and I'm showing hubby how and what to do for the boys and he could not believe how hot they love their water......I also make sure they have plenty of hay during the night to munch on.........yes, it is a pain to get the buckets of hot water ready and out to the barn every morning, but when they come running to lap it up it makes it all worth it.
remember a goats temp is in the 101-103 range so warm to hot water isnt as hot for them its just right :thumbup:

When the temp is in the 40s or below thats when I bring out warm water for the goats. I do it morning and night. I want them to be drinking and the warmer water encourages them to drink :thumb:

I dotn put anythign in the water unless they have kidded and then thats when I use the molasses
Yep, I totally agree with Stacey.

The only other time I do molasses in the water is when I think they are not drinking enough water. Mine don't seem to have that problem.

remember, keeping the rumen active is how they really keep warm, so always have hay for them especially at night when it is the coldest. Give them lots of stray for bedding to get warm with also.
ok i hope i dont get bonked on the head for this..during really hard temps here in North Dakota i feed rehydrated beet pulp with molasses mixed in with my horses grain and supplements.. and feed it to them as warm as they can stand it..
I dont know how this would effect a goats digestion but is it possible we could give a little mixed with the grain if it is completely rehydrated..not too much year when i have better facilities i am hoping to build individual feeding shelves with holes for their dishes or buckets depending on what i'm able to buy...kind of like cubicles side by side.. and this would be specifically for that mixture ..mixed with their pellets.. any thoughts? this is supposed to be a higher caloric intake to create better body temps.. wording may not be right but thats the jist of it..
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