Shivering goats

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by TheMixedBag, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    The current temp is 7 degrees w/o windchill (don't know what it is with that), and all 3 goats are shivering. Maverick and Milky Way were the worst, so I put fairly thin shirts on both of them, and put them back outside once they stopped shivering.

    They're not still shivering (Jenny is-I didn't put a shirt on her, not with that hair), but my question is how long can I keep them on before I have to take them off? Can they be kept on all day, and let them sleep in them at night? At what temp would the makeshift blankets be a no-no?

    (I did include a picture, solely for giggles-I attempted to cover Mav's neck with a handkerchief, and I doubt it'll last the hour. He is fed separately, but only about a scoopful, and is put back out in the back in roughly 10 minutes, so no worries about tethering him)
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    when the temps go back up then you can take the shirts off

  3. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    free choice alfalfa is another good way to keep them warm... I agree with Stacey....shirt on until the temps go up. :)
  4. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    That might take a while...the high is only supposed to be 25 today, and 36 tomorrow. Fortunately, tomorrow I should be OK to not use them after tomorrow, the lows don't go below 20, and the highs are in the 40's, it's just today and tomorrow I'm concerned about.
  5. ()relics

    ()relics New Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    2 things...
    First free choice hay is a very good idea. But I would go with your coarsest first cutting Grass hay. They don't need extra protein they need extra roughage. Coarse grass hay stimulates their rumens and will heat them up. Where as alfalfa will just make them fat.
    second...although the shirts are a good idea and may help a person, they actually get in the way of a goat or any animal's Natural insulation, their fur. Their fur should stand out,away from their body, providing a layer of dead air space, insulation, just outside of the skin. By adding "clothing" the hair is forced to lay down and then Does Not provide the insulation of the air space...It is really cold here as well, in the teens with a wind chill. I have 2 week old kids in the pasture with their mothers, granted they are boer goats and used to being outside. I just make sure they have a dry place to lay down at night and give them plenty of hay...JMO
  6. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    That's why I didn't put a shirt on the last one-her hair is so thick it wouldn't do anything but harm, however, for these tw0-I saw them as a different case. The nubian never really got her winter coat and has had fairly short, flat hair all winter (just look at the recent pics of her-it looks pretty close to a summer coat to me), and while Maverick does have thicker hair, he has none on his neck, and absolutely no fat layering (his hair is also fairly thin, which shouldn't be an issue).

    They also get all the hay they want, and I switched them from alfalfa bales to pellets for now.
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Use your best judgment...if the shirt has to stay on is long as.... the goat is doing better with it.... Also ....Alfalfa.... is a good hay to feed in winter....with the cold temps....they burn off alot of that hay.. to keep warm.... :wink:
  8. Hidden Waters Farm

    Hidden Waters Farm New Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    I see no problems with leaving them on until its not so cold, However keep watch that they dont get tangled and also make sure they dont get wet (Snowed on, rain, wet bedding etc.) because then the shirts are more harm than good.
  9. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    Took them off fairly early this morning, Maverick managed to utterly destroy his. They seemed to love having them on yesterday, and I may make a more permanent one for Milky Way, since she hasn't got much of anything in the way of a winter coat.
  10. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Try dog coats or go to Goodwill and buy a vest. Do what you have to do. I don't see a problem with having a coat on as long as they need it.
  11. Mully

    Mully New Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Mt Ulla , NC
    The shirt thing would be ok for short term..a day or so but their fur when it can fluff will keep them warmer. Also when the sun is out they can stand and warm up better without a shirt on. Polyester would work better than cotton and dry faster if it got damp.