What are your thoughts on shaving a goat?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by mhuckeba, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. mhuckeba

    mhuckeba New Member

    43
    Mar 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Hey guys! So I live in Alpine, Ca. Out here is can get really really hot. Last year during the summer I lost a few chickens to heat strokes. My questions is if it would be beneficial to my goats to shave them for the summer? I do not have any white ones so I am not concerned about sunburn but what about at night? It can be in the 100s during the day and fall to 70s at night. I have a proper shed and bedding for them at night so I dont think they would get cold. I am just not sure if they would benefit from a shave.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. TheMixedBag

    TheMixedBag The Hoofcare and Repro specialist

    Oct 16, 2010
    Glencoe, OK
    All my goats got shaved late February, soon as it hit 70+ degrees during the day. It is very possible for them to suffer heat stroke, and I think it would be beneficial to shave them, and if it does get too cold at night (70's is fine), you can always blanket them.
     

  3. mhuckeba

    mhuckeba New Member

    43
    Mar 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    At what night temp would you blanket them?
     
  4. peggy

    peggy Senior Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    B.C. Canada
    I don't know about goats but with long haired dogs they say don't shave them as the hair acts like insulation from the heat or the cold. I live in the frozen north so even our summers are never that hot, so I never have to shave my goats......
     
  5. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    I only shave their belly/udder areas because it makes it easier to clean for milking. I don't show so their body hair stays--they need it for protection from insects and the sun.
     
  6. mhuckeba

    mhuckeba New Member

    43
    Mar 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    FunnyRiverFarm,
    I understand what you mean about needing the hair as a protector, so what do you think about a trace clip like they do for horses, where they shave the belly and necks? my biggest concern is them getting too hot. but if flys do bother them, would flyspray for horses work on goats?
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Mine get shaved for show so they have no choice. I use horse fly spray on the goats mainly because of mosquitoes
     
  8. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    I usually shave in June and July...most of my goats...and/or the ones that need it. It helps get rid of any external parasites, keeps them cool, etc. Just make sure they have a warm place to stay at night because it can cool down quite a bit compared to those hot days. I have a couple goats that get so hot during summer so shaving them has always really helped.
     
  9. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    mhuckeba--I see you live in CA so you probably don't have the insect problems that we do here in the swamp. Fly sprays are not very effective when we have major hatches of creepy crawlies. You'd probably be fine using spray as needed in your location.
     
  10. firelight27

    firelight27 Hopelessly Addicted

    Apr 24, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    Mine get shaved as soon as the day time temperatures are reliably in the upper 60s to 70s. They can get stressed with the heat, and in your temperatures I would definitely shave them (but that is just me.) It won't hurt them, so you might as well. It is also easier to keep mites and lice away and see any skin conditions that may start developing.
     
  11. TinyHoovesRanch

    TinyHoovesRanch New Member

    I shave mine in the begining of may, never had any problems with it, they get plenty of shade and no insect problems. Its better to wait until you have hotttt days and warmer nights. I would probably shave them in april, since san diego gets pretty hot, so maybe do it towards the end of april! Hope that helps :)
     
  12. mhuckeba

    mhuckeba New Member

    43
    Mar 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for all your advise! I do believe i am going to shave my goats. I really want them to be as comfortable as possible. It will be interesting shaving them though, I am an animal groomer and have never done goats before. I groom dogs, cats, and occationally horses. This will be a first!
     
  13. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I groom dogs too (well I dont do much of it) so I knwo that you usually go with the grain of hair but on goats we typically go against the grain. I use a #10 blade but thats for show = you dont have to do it that close if you rather them have some hair left
     
  14. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    So I have two saanens and every year I invariably have a hard time deciding whether or not to shave....

    On the pro side I feel sorry for them when they pant and seem really hot also I've read various places that trimming might help with lice

    on the con side I think that the hair protects them from insects and sunburn (and their fore cancer) and since I do harness work is probably good padding

    what do you all think? to trim or not to trim? I don't show or anything obviously so it is purely about the goat's comfort......

    Thanks
    Miranda
     
  15. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    If you are concerned about insects and whatnot you can spray horse or livestock fly spray on in the mornings and they should be just fine. Also, you can get a blade that leaves longer fur instead of cutting real short. Just make sure they have plenty of shade to keep from burning. I have yet to have an issue with sunburn and we are in a 95+ degree heat during summer months in the desert part of WA.
     
  16. myfainters

    myfainters New Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Lancaster, CA
    Alot of the fly sprays these days also have sunblock added...just another thought. :)
     
  17. KFOWLER

    KFOWLER New Member

    184
    Oct 5, 2010
    OKLAHOMA
    Could the coat be shaved down just not all the way to the skin?? I have a boer that has a thick coat with a touch of wave /curl to it and when she starts her spring shed she has fur flying everywhere and sneezes alot and just looks terrible for a couple of weeks. I just thought if i could take the fur down a little it might help her...just not to the skin. I live in OKLA so it gets pretty hot here in the summer...sometimes!! The rest of my herd doesn't have the thickness and wave pattern that this particular goat has...I think they will be fine.
     
  18. mhuckeba

    mhuckeba New Member

    43
    Mar 3, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Instead of using a #10 blade reverse (against the coat) you can use maybe a #5 or #4 reverse. I would leave the hair longer but not to the skin. Oh and make sure you go in reverse because a dense coat like that would be a pain to shave otherwise. I am a dog groomer so believe me, I know! ha ha. Oh, you would also have to get the animal clippers from petedge.com or ryanspetsupplies.com. Get some where you can change out the blades. These will last you longer and do a great job. I prefer Andis. I have had mine for 7 years! Personally, I hate Oster clippers, they are hot, loud, and heavy! Let me know if you have anymore questions on equipment, that I do know A LOT about!! I have been grooming 7 years now and I just did a show for Animal Planet this past weekend! As far as goats, well I am still learning but I love love love my babies and wouldn't have survived with out you guys! Thanks for all your information!!
     
  19. Steve

    Steve New Member

    261
    Mar 12, 2011
    Central Ky
    I always heard any animal that has a coat should not be shaved.That fur acts as an insulator from cold and heat.Any animal can get heat stress if you work them out in the heat of the day,or something chases them.

    Most goats like to eat of a morning or late evening and lay around in the shade during the hot parts of the day.
    The horns also act like little radiators to draw heat away from the body when they get too hot.When its hot here and very humid my goats are always under the shade tree close to the water.
     
  20. naturalgoats

    naturalgoats New Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    unfortunately my boys don't have horns :(