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How cold is too cold outside for baby goats?

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Young Goats' started by Mini-M Ranch, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Jan 25, 2010
    Mini-M Ranch

    Mini-M Ranch Overrun with beasties

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    Our kidding stall is in our hay storage building. The stall itself is surrounded by tall stacks of straw on one side and hay on the other, the back of the stall is a cinderblock wall that is the outside wall of our basement. The front is open to the air, and it is all roofed by our back porch. The open side is facing East and usually we don't get wind or drafts in that direction. I have a heat lamp set way up high and outside the fencing on the front that I can turn on at night. But over the next few nights, we are looking at temps in the 20s and teens. Our trips were born Saturday. I am trying to decide if we should bring them in the house at night or see how they do with momma (Oreo and her babies are jugging in in the kidding stall)

    I'm think that if we bring them in, we will need to bottle feed them during the night because they Wah, Wah, Wah all the time. I suppose I could bring doe and babies in the kitchen, but I am afraid Oreo will freak out. Then, I am afraid she will freak out if i take the babies away.

    The FarmerMan says we should leave them in the stall and put blankets over the fencing in front and more the hear lamp inside the stall. Any advice?
  2. Jan 25, 2010
    aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie The Shepherd

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    In my opinion, I think you should leave them out with mom. By Saturday I think they'll be strong enough to stay out, provided they're in a draft free area. Maybe just somehow block the open side of their pen? A piece of plywood or something should work nicely.

    How high is the heat lamp? In my experience, it's good to have it above the doe's back so she can't get burned by it, but much higher than that and I doubt they'll feel any warmth.

    As long as they're dry and draft free, I think they'll be fine with a heat lamp (and you may not even need that).
  3. Jan 25, 2010
    Roll farms

    Roll farms Spot Master

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    It's actually harder on the kids to come in, then go back out. They adjust better if you let them do it naturally.
    Cheap baby sweaters or cut off tube socks make good 'kid coats' in a pinch.
    I had kids last week that were in the stall w/ mama when it got down in the 20's their first night, w/ no heat lamp, and they did fine. Yours are a few days old, I think they'd be ok.
  4. Jan 25, 2010
    Mini-M Ranch

    Mini-M Ranch Overrun with beasties

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    Great! I'd rather leave them out if they will be ok.

    The heat lamp is hanging about 6 feet from the stall floor, well above Oreo's back. I'll have to get into dear husband's socks and see what I can find to fit our little ones. lol. Those will make great pictures. haha
  5. Jan 25, 2010
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    If they are cold, why not put coats on them? Little vests or jackets from Goodwill work or dog coats work. I put dog coats on my little one when it was so cold in December and January. She wore a coat for about a month and in the beginning, I even had 2 coats on her. She did just fine out in the barn.
  6. Jan 25, 2010
    aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie The Shepherd

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    Do you think they're feeling anything from the heat lamp? You may just be wasting money (those things use a ton of electric!). When it was really cold out, I had to hang them very low for my chicks to feel it. :/
  7. Jan 25, 2010
    Mini-M Ranch

    Mini-M Ranch Overrun with beasties

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    Yes, they are definitely feeling it. I can feel it when I sit in the stall to play with them. I will see if I can find something for them to "wear"
  8. Jan 25, 2010
    freemotion

    freemotion Self Sufficient Queen

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    You can also set up a little "box" for them to snuggle in...either a real wooden box, or make one with cinder blocks and hay/straw. Just create a little nest for them that will hold their body heat.

    I had a Feb baby from my rescued doe last winter and it was a brutal winter. Baby got pnumonia (that spelling isn't right...) and I put a heat lamp in the stall by screwing a scrap of plywood diagonally across one corner, and hung the heatlamp behind it by winding the cord twice around the rafter above. The board was maybe 16-18" from the floor, with the lamp behind it. The kid could get under it, but momma couldn't mess with the cord or the lamp. I could raise or lower the lamp according to the outside temp.

    I also made a nest by blocking the two open sides with big plastic blocks that were made to make horse jumps and make perfect kid gyms! I left a "doorway" for the weak kid. He learned within seconds how to get himself warm, and how to move away from it if he got too warm. On really cold nights, momma would lie as close to it as possible and share the heat.

    You can also make sweaters from sleeves cut from sweaters and sweatshirts or old winter coats. There is a knitted sweater pattern on www.fiascofarm.com but I could not figure it out. But I am not much of a knitter.
  9. Jan 26, 2010
    Mini-M Ranch

    Mini-M Ranch Overrun with beasties

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    Here's our solution. Dear son was nice enough to donate the necessary items.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  10. Jan 26, 2010
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    Just adorable! :D

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