Cold Boys

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by KingsCoGoatGuy, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    Anyone have any helpful winter tips for keeping your thin just out of rut boys happy? and WARM??? This morning was the coldest night this winter, (can't say of the year as it was -33C this Jan when we had a set of Boer twins born. For those of you who like F that would be -27.4) So it was -26 (-14F) this morning and the bucks were very cold. I had put in half a bale of straw in their pen as I knew it was going to be cold, but not that cold. The Boer did fine, he is a big over weight and has an almost cashmere coat to him. The Nubian (Spirit) isn't so lucky. He has hard ruts, goes off hay & grain for 4-6 weeks when he is in the middle of his rut. So he is looking pretty thin now, still has some extra fat, but is always looking thin. They are in a "tent" pretty much just a heavier duty carport. So it only gets a little warmer, but I did not see there was a small hole in the corner where they were lying. So yes he had frost on his poor tail this morning. :sniffle I felt so bad for him, it was all my fault not seeing and plugging the hole. He was shaking and pretty bad looking this morning, so I mixed some electrolytes up and gave them both it. I gave them each a scoop of extra corn to get them warmer, (does it really work? I was told it gets them "hot") And lots of extra silage.
    My plan since it looks like a good week of this weather is to make a small house for them. Just a tarp wrapped around that cover part with a roof & side wall to try to keep it warmer for them. Plus lots more straw. I am finding he doesn't winter well... So any tips or ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Chaty

    Chaty New Member

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    I dont think the corn keeps them warm as much as hay does. Grain of any type makes their body work harder to digest it and hay is what keeps the rumen moving and helps them stay warmer. I make sure mine have plenty of hay to eat when its cold outside and they need the heat.
    Kathy
     

  3. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Agree would not feed more corn as this could upset them keep them draft free lots of bedding and pleanty of good hay also taking them warm water making sure they have loose minerals also. Which helps them wanting to drink. Anytime you give extra grain do no more than a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup and up it gradually. Don't just go out and add extra grain when extra cold. Hopefully your buck will handle it ok and not get sick.
     
  4. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

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    yeah, don't go giving extra corn. With them already stressing it's the perfect set up to make them sick...

    No one mentioned dry. The shelter needs to be dry as well as draft free. Alot of times the top layer look dry but if you get down on your knees you get the same effect the goats do when they lie down- dampness coming through the bedding. Not good.

    The other thing is to rebuild rumen strength when the bucks do start eating again. Of course it is cold so they shouldn't be picking up new parasites, but make sure they don't have any coming out of rut and going into winter. I'm seeing that it works very well to get the boys back on good hay coming out of rut. Once they have a nice hay belly on them then I start giving them a little more grain until they pick up a little fat.

    I'd give at least the Nubian some a B shot today and maybe a small dose for several days running. That should boost his appetite and get him eating hay which is what will warm him up and get the rumen going. Vit C and maybe some probiotics. If you haven't done BoSe recently one shot of that shouldn't hurt and will boost his immunity right now while he is stressing.
     
  5. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    I agree. Lots of hay, to eat and for a thick bedding. Do you have an old sweat shirt you could put on them if you don't have a regular goat coat? Not one too big that they will get tangled up in, but that will help hold in what little body heat they build up. Give them really warm, almost hot water several times a day if you can.
     
  6. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    By this time of the year I try to make sure that the bedding is deep enough in the buck barn that it's starting to compost at the bottom-most layer and generating some heat.
     
  7. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    It is now draft free. Wasn't big opening, but enought I could feel the wind blowing in. I made them a little area with tons of nice straw. I can tell they will like it alot better. :D
    The extra corn I added was only 1/2 cup each buck. I do know enough not to do that ;) (Vicki has been a great help)
    I do have a coat, but it is on my doe who was clipped late in the fall for a show which isn't as full as I would like her to be. They are looking great now, not cold at all, but it is much warmer now. :)
     
  8. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Alex go kneel out in their pen, when you get up are you knees wet? Add more bedding. Having a deep layer of straw for them to bed down in is important. And like tha gals said, hay hay and more hay. It is important that the goats get some energy form after rut and during this cold weather, yes a healthy rumen can convet even poor hay into calories and sugars. I would slowly start increasing the amount of grain you give the boys, and if you are going to use corn/oats etc...like you give your does than give them ammonium chloride in the grain each day...1 teaspoon each. It's eaiser for me to use a meat goat pellet, which already has AC in it. Vicki
     
  9. MRFBarbara

    MRFBarbara Guest

    bales of straw on the ground, outside around your buck Pen will keep those cold holes closed and insulate it some for them also..
    Agree, no grain, just lots of fresh hay and deep bedding to bed down in. Hot water to drink a couple of times a day
    Barbara
     
  10. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    No coat is o.k. You'd be surprised how much they like your old sweatshirts. Just cuff those sleeves up and they are happy for the extra warmth. Back in the late 80's or early 90's they made those extra long sweatshirts for women that hung way down below your butt. I loved those things. I had a red one and a green one and my goats (long goats) loved them too.
     
  11. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    Yep, I have used sweat shirts also. And they really work well. You can get them cheap at the thrift stores, much cheaper then what you will pay for goat coats.
    Theresa
     
  12. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    I just got in from checking one all the animals. We are having a big storm and wanted to make sure everyone was full of silage & straw. They are both eatting and looking pretty good.

    Vicki, It was bone dry when I got on my knees. I heard you saying that last year so I do it every few days with my kid pens. It seems like every drop of milk a kid takes in an extra 2 or 3 comes out. :) I checked 4 different areas all dry, it is a dirt floor with a 2 year old hay pack.. No real smell either, a little from the old pack, but nothing to hurt the eyes of nose.
    We got lucky and had given to us about 20 sweat shirts that are all XL. So I can coat every doe if need be, (it will be a cold day before I do that. If it ever gets so bad they can't go without coats I am moving south!) There might even be a few 2XL which might fit Beth. I am thinking another 8 & 12 pound buckling year for her. Maybe I was to nice with the grain. :wink:
    The grain they are getting is some feeder finisher. Don't know the real name off hand. It is a 14% with AC added to it. I had them look for any grain it it added, plus I got a small bag and mix it in with their minerals.
     
  13. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    Update

    The guys are doing great. It has warmed up quite a bit, but posed another problem. SNOW! We got hit hard with tons of heavy wind packed snow. I felt like I just got out of a fight with 4 bucks after digging out everyone! I think the total we got was about 2 1/2 feet, but it is hard to tell with the winds blowing 90km we could have had more. The highest point we had was to the barn paddock, in between the doe barn & garage. The snow has never sucked into the area like this. It was nearly 4 feet high, (I know this because the plug which hooks up the barn is up just over 4 feet from the ground.)
    But the boys enjoyed their tent inside the tent. :D It looked some nice & warm at 6am, when we never got to bed till 2am. :sniffle I can't be to sad, this only happens twice a year. Kidding & Christmas... Which in some ways are the same things, lots of work & fun! :rofl <---- Me after bottle feeding 12 kids by hand for 3 & 5 months!
     
  14. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Alex, lambar, if you used it just once you would never go back to bottles! Vicki
     
  15. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    :rofl Don't remember me asking you all those questions about them? :biggrin I have them all ready for kids in 45 days! :lol I know I won't be going back to bottle feeding, 4 times aday is alot of work... Since we will be working on our fourth year, I think 3 years & 35 kids worth of bottle feeding is enough for me. I just don't know if my new herdsire will catch on... Has anyone ever got a 10 week old dam raised NUBIAN BUCK to drink from a lambbar??? (I know two huge problems... One he is a buck and two he is a braindead nubian :rofl As one breeder keeps telling me!)
     
  16. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    Alex where are you located? Sounds like the Buffalo area :)
     
  17. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    Nope... Go north a little more... Ok way more. :) We are in New Brunswick Canada. I thought talking in "F" instead of "C" might throw some of you off. ;)
     
  18. prairiegirl01

    prairiegirl01 New Member

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    I am having trouble with cold animals too and am figuring out that my hay is getting wasted. Can anyone point me to some good plans for hay feeders for goats? Mine are designed for horses and once the hay is on the graound they won't eat and then I find them shivering!

    By the way, be careful with the sweatshirts for fit--I put one on my 8 month old buckling and his penis got covered up! Yuck.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  19. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    I noticed that you live in Minnesota. I do as well and haven't had a problem with cold goats, cetainly not enough to blanket them or put a coat on them. We've had temps as low as -30 degrees (not even factoring in the windchill) and my goats are doing fine. Mine live in a draft free barn with lots of warm straw for bedding and hay available 24/7.

    I don't know what type of feeders you have but our goats waste very little hay with ours. My husband modeled ours after these Sydell feeders: http://sydell.com/products.asp?id=31&title=Feeders (fenceline feeders). He made some adjustments when welding ours, including a solid steel back and a step for the goats to use while eating. This design works very well and keeps the hay waste to under 5%. My husband is an excellent welder so I am very fortunate. :)

    Sara
     
  20. Daniel Babcock

    Daniel Babcock Member

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    Sara with only 5% waste, how do you feed? Once a day in the morning, then the goats clean it all up? With your top 10 milking success, I have been dying to pick your mind.

    I am in the process of building feeders like the one you mentioned above, so now that I have copied your design, tell us how you use the feeder to obtain such remarkable results!

    I know you have said you like to keep it simple, so what is your daily feed program?

    Thanks