The freezing cold

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Chi Chi, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Chi Chi

    Chi Chi New Member

    240
    Mar 7, 2010
    Our temps here are just plain freezing- actual temps down into -29 to -35. When I went to the barn this morning my goats actually had frost on their coats. We already take them out warm water 3 times a day and feed them into 3 feedings- is there something else we should be doing? I have been toying with the idea of putting coats on them but was informed that it could do more harm then good- what do you think?
     
  2. WarPony

    WarPony New Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Michigan
    I know with the horses if their coats have frost on them that isn't melting that is a good sign that their hair is insulating them really well because their body heat isn't getting out enough to melt it. I am doing the same thing with my goats as i do with my horses, lots of small feedings with plenty of hay to keep their bellies working and generating heat, and not doing anything as far as blankets/heat lamps unless the animals start to shiver.

    If you have blankets that you are SURE are warmer than their own coat then blanketing might be ok, but you have to keep in mind that blankets prevent them from fluffing their own hair up which is how they regulate how warm their coat keeps them. That is why it can do more harm than good. If you have really warm blankets that make up for the lowered insulation abilities of their haircoat it should be fine.

    The main things, IMO, are keeping them dry and out of the wind with plenty of water and lots of forage/hay then watching to make sure they don't start to shiver.
     

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Is your barn 3 sided? If it is and you can close it in.... as much as possible... yet keeping plenty of ventilation....they should have less frost... if any on them.... :wink:
     
  4. Chi Chi

    Chi Chi New Member

    240
    Mar 7, 2010
    Our barn is enclosed completely- and yes the goats are shivering- more in the morning than any other time- usually by fine after they have their morning feedings.
     
  5. pelicanacresMN

    pelicanacresMN New Member

    I broke down with my boys Sheryl. They are constantly shivering..it's been cold enough for a long enough time that I think they have as much of a winter coat as they are possibly going to get so we ran some extension cords from the house to the boys & hung a low wattage bulb in our heat lamp in the top of their little mini barn. We keep the lamp on 24/7. They go outside to eat & drink but can go in their barn whenever they feel cold. I figure if humans can be just fine going from indoor warmth to outdoors all of the time then it's fine the goats. I spent a lot of money on those boys & absolutely love them & don't want them suffering through our cold MinneSNOWta weather. These winter temps are terrible this year & it's only Dec!!
    I know you don't have a power source at your barn, give them plenty of straw to snuggle in..you can also push snow up around the outside of the building to help insulate. I'm sure they appreciate the warm water brought out multiple times. Feed them extra hay during these cold snaps.
    It's so cold out that all of my goats are doing their little leg lifts outside while eating their hay because their hooves are so cold in the snow.
     
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree with pelicanacresMN...if it comes down to it...put around heat lamps...so if they do get to cold.... they have that option ....to go under them..... Using them for... really cold nights.... It is an idea... :wink:
     
  7. Chi Chi

    Chi Chi New Member

    240
    Mar 7, 2010
    Thanks- it's ONLY Dec- I can't imagine what we will do for them if it gets much colder. I guess I am going to have to try and make some exta heavy duty coats for them and keep whiskey on hand. Chip loves coffee so it shouldn't be hard to get that down him-he always tries to get onto mine if I have any out with me. The girls tho....what if they are bred...will the alcohol harm the babies? We already have a bunch of straw out there but we may have to add more. Wish this weather would break!!!!
     
  8. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    I feel your pain and we aren't even as cold as you......I have a heat lamp hanging in my guys sleep corner of their pen inside our barn.....I have also lots, and lots of straw down. The past 2 days I have been offering them very warm molasses water, like 2 tablespoons to a 3gal bucket. I have my guys closed up inside our big barn and I am not letting them out at all as the cold and wind here is awful! I do go out and let them out of their pen to run around the inside of the barn......I play with them, it helps warm them up.
     
  9. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    I posted early this morning in the goat frenzy section about what to do because we are especting freezing rain/sleet tomorrow night. I am worried about my doe who is due in 2 1/2 weeks - don't want her out if it gets slippery.

    I take warm water to my goats. I am no longer going to fill up their buckets because they just freeze, so I am going to take a little water at a time so if it does freeze, it won't be such a pain getting the ice out.
    I recommend saving milk jugs, cleaning them out and using those to take the water out in, which is what I am going to do.

    Okay dumb question. What is a heat lamp? LOL I know really silly.... I have one of those utility lights with the metal protector/rim that clips on, could that be used with a heat lamp bulb? We don't have electric in our barn, but when my does start kidding, we'll run our exterior extension cords out to the barn if need be.
     
  10. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    Yeah Hoosier that's it Just get a heat bulb from TSC and you will be all set just make sure they can't knock it around or down. Because you might end up with a fire.
     
  11. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Yep....that is what I use.....just make sure where ever you put it, that it's secure and they can't knock it down.....my guys about caught the barn on fire the first winter by playing with it.....I had it hooked onto their pen railing (wood) and they pushed it down on top of the railing......thank God my husband went out to get more firewood and found it smoking. He welded up a frame that bolts to the wall and then has an arm that hangs out over their sleep area and we have the light hanging from it and out of their reach.
     
  12. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    It's cold here too.75 mph winds..ugh

    but everyone is ok here,they all slept outside in a pile of hay instead of in their insulated barn! crazy goats.

    water is the most important thing.
     
  13. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Wow you guys, I will never complain about being cold here again. Wow. I am so spoiled. I think it was 14 here one morning so far this year. I am so hoping everyone manages your winter weather all right.

    Jan
     
  14. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Thanks everyone! I can snap the light to a beam above, and use some rope to secure the snap so it doesn't come loose. We don't have hay up there, so there isn't anything that can cause fire, and it can hang right above the stall :)
    They have been fine with the temps we are having, so I am not going to worry about it until closer to the time the first doe kids.
     
  15. MissMM

    MissMM New Member

    645
    Oct 22, 2007
    McGregor, MN
    These heat lamps from Premier1 are an absolute godsend:

    http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail. ... =heat+lamp

    well worth the $. We have them secured from the ceiling on a chain. When the goats get too cold, they will huddle underneath it but by afternoon they are farting around the pen again.

    And yes - lots of hay - continuous supply, fresh water and I bump up the grain this time of year. Good, quality goat feed. Don't forget the loose mineral too. They actually eat more of this this time of year IMHO
     
  16. cdtrum

    cdtrum New Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Northern Indiana
    Thanks MissMM for the link.....I do believe I will be ordering a couple!
     
  17. Chi Chi

    Chi Chi New Member

    240
    Mar 7, 2010
  18. newmama30+

    newmama30+ New Member

    610
    Oct 4, 2010
    Wabasso MN
    I hear everyone loud and clear down here in SW Minnesota we are getting another 4-7 inches of snow tonight. I put 4 heat lamps in the loafing barn back in Nov. on 24/7 our goats huddle under them or curl up in the straw in groups. We already have kids coming. May end up with some does in our heated barn....I so can't wait to get our new barn built next spring...next winter will be so much nicer...no frozen water lines...heat and comfort for all.
     
  19. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Ditto.... :wink: :thumb: