Cold Buck (updated with one picture)

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Anita Martin, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    When I went out to feed this morning, my buck was shivering. Kind of hunched up, obviously cold. Yes, it WAS very cold last night, around 15 degrees. None of the other goats were shivering and I have seen him do this before. He has lots of hair, although is missing some on the backs of his front legs. He had urine scald and I keep desitin on them now. He is kept seperately from the girls with a 10X10 stall and small paddock. The girls are stalled right next to him. He is not all that skinny. I am wondering if there is a condition which would make him more sensitive to the cold? He gets free choice alfalfa hay and also grass hay. He gets grain once a day, in the evening, about 1 pound. Minerals, and ice-free water. He is not on pasture right now. Yes I do jacket him when he gets too cold. I am wondering if I can feed him more grain without problems to put some more meat on him. He really does get lots and lots of pure alfalfa. His stall is also bedded deeply with straw, not drafty, and is completely dry, even when it rains. I'm going to try and include a couple of pictures.



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    Well, I got one picture to go through somehow. None of the others want to do it though.
    Anita
    This morning I gave him bo-se shot, a vit. b shot, and I wormed him with ivermectin. He has been on regular worming and vaccine, bo-se, etc.
     
  2. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    If your giving him grain are you also giving AC?
    I really don't have a clue as to why he is cold have you taken his temp? That would be first on my list.
     

  3. stacy adams

    stacy adams New Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    How old is he? I would venture to say that unless he's very young, or ill in some way that requires it, that putting a jacket on him is going to hinder him from getting used to the cold. Does he have good weight on him? Does he have any buddies he can snuggle up with? Even with our mild temps :really I'll see a goat hunched up from the cold when others aren't, but I generally don't get concerned unless I see other symptoms, like not eating, standing in the same spot for more than a couple of hours and not going out to pasture with the rest. Usually by the time the sun is up though they've all found a warm spot & a buddy to lay next to. I can't stand the cold either.. :D
     
  4. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    No, his grain does not have AC in it. He was getting a meat goat pellet with AC and alfalfa pellets, plus some barely or oats. He didn't like the alfalfa pellets and I ran out of the meat goat pellet. Normally, that's what he gets. Right now he's getting just barley until I get back to the feed store, which should be tomorrow, unless I have to work until 8pm. ( I never know until time to get off at 4pm...one of the most frustrating things to me) Most times of the year he does not even get grain as he kept very good weight on pasture alone, with some supplemental hay all spring and summer. I just started giving him grain in Sept. to hopefully help him keep weight on during rut. He always eats all of his grain. He just wastes the alfalfa pellets though. He does eat a lot of hay. Never any problem with him running around so much he didn't eat. He's warm and happy as a clam right now. I had washed his stinky coat and put it back on him and now we have sun and he's stretched out flat basking in it. Still only 34 degrees though. I have not taken his temp. I'll get that in a bit.
    He is so much bigger and tougher looking than my does and has a nice thick coat, it doesn't seem right for him to be the one bothered by the cold. No coughing, runny nose, weepy eyes, external parasites that I can see, etc.
    I guess I'm figuring he probably needs more weight, so I'm wondering how much grain I can give him (presuming I am using the meat goat pellets, or added AC) without it causing him problems? I've been trying to get more beet pulp too. I have to special order it to get it without molasses. I have not used it yet this winter since it's gotten cold. Last winter I used it rinsed and soaked in hot water and the goats devoured it. It is supposed to be in on Friday. Does anyone know if the beet pulp can cause problems with urinary calculi? If not, I'll give more beet pulp and keep the grain the same.
    Thanks,
    Anita
     
  5. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    He will be two this Feb. His is in a pen by himself. He has a wether I usually keep him with but during this time of the year he beats the heck out of him so I have to separate them. Nope, I don't like using the jacket, but I figure that shivering will cause him to lose weight, and I really don't want that to happen. Just trying to figure out some way to help him keep himself warmer. We don't get temps like up North, where it would be even more of a problem. I really dislike the cold too.
    Anita
     
  6. stacy adams

    stacy adams New Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    Shivering is a way for the body to keep warm, and yea, it will cause them to loose weight as they burn fat.. kinda like burning propane to heat your home, especially one that's not well insulated, eventually you have to replenish the tank. Keeping a blanket on him will help keep him warm without burning to much "fuel", but it will also keep him from acclimating. I'm not a big fan of heat lamps in the barn - I've seen what a fire can do. I have an older buck and a young, not quite a year old, buck living with a young steer, they all eat together and get about 2 1/2 scoops of a 2lb Foldgers coffee can (those plastic things are coming in quite handy!), about 5lbs? twice a day. Goat feed w/AC in it. and all the hay they can consume. I do run my hands over their backs daily to make sure they're getting enough.. but then, we don't have the cold that you guys do..
     
  7. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    I would guess that the reason your buck is shivering and the does are not is that he doesn't have other goats to cuddle with, on top of him being thin from being in rut. My goats occasionally shiver when they first get up in cold mornings. It's usually just one or two of them. Kathie
     
  8. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    I think it really is from being thin. He doesn't look very thin, but when I compared his ribs with the girls ribs, he has less meat between his skin and the bones. I think it really has been just in the morning when I've seen him shivering. The rest of the day he was fine, felt toasty under his coat. I ordered a couple of bags of AC from Hoegger so that I can add that to his feed when I run out of the meat goat pellet. I usually only buy one or two bags of buck food at a time, as I am trying to squeeze all the feed into one small shed. If he'll eat the AC in his food I'll just feed him what I feed the girls. I think the beet pulp will help. I fed a lot of that last winter and he did not have a problem keeping himself warm at all.
    Thanks for all your suggestions.
    Anita
     
  9. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Re: Cold Buck

    well, I got one picture to upload. He was shivering in this photo. Later in the morning when the sun came out he was much more comfortable. Still working on the photo thing...photo bucket does not want to cooperate with me.
     
  10. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    He has just about the same coat as does my buck. Thick looking but not really thick right? I see one problem which is the back wall. I would put up a trap over the wall or door to keep the wind out. :)
     
  11. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    You just can't manage bucks like that, or does either. There is no such thing as running out of his meat goat pellet and just substituting with barley. Even adding AC to it. What is the grain in the meat goat pellet, I can guarantee you barley, especially whole or crimped barley wasn't even in the same room as when the meat goat pellet was made. You are causing alot of this with these changes in feed. Every change takes millions of colonies of new bacteria to be grown in the rumen to eat the new food. This is not something you want to be doing to a buck with 15 degree weather. He needs to be using the colonies he has to eat his hay he is used to and the meatgoat pellet he is used to.

    Go back to the meat goat pellet, get him off the added grain, put out warm water for him when you can and add fresh hay to his feeder as often as you can so it entices him to eat.

    Change is a very bad thing in goats. Vicki
     
  12. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    The picture makes it look like there are one-inch gaps in the boards, but there really not that big. I guess it's the sun coming through. From the other side, you can't see gaps at all, and it isn't windy in the stall. The other side comes out in the center isle of the barn. Most of the wind does not come through the center isle that far.

    As far as his feed. I've been feeding the barley since I started graining him, and increased it when I started running out of the other feed. He only gets about a pound a day, so I figured it wouldn't be too bad. Not as bad as adding a pound of something new, since I have not been able to get the other feed. I give him a couple of big flakes of fresh hay every day, and dump the old out of the feeder before I add new. It's usually just alfafa, but have added some grass hay too.
     
  13. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Anita what you have accomplished with your feedin program is just as Vicki says you have really messed with your calcium to phos ratio for one thing. Your buck would be much better on just alfalfa hay or alfalfa pellets and grass hay. I would be giving him probios daily and get the feed program straightened out.
     
  14. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    I have been reading alot about the calcuim to phosphorus balance from Sue Reith, etc. Calcium being from alfalfa, phosphorus being from grains and grass hay, which is why most of his hay is alfalfa and just one pound of grain, and why I was asking about increasing his grain to more than I was giving him to help him put on weight. I read something here from Tim Pruitt I think about emptying out the feeder between feeding of hay, so I started doing that to hopefully intice him to eat more hay. Thank you all for all your help. I really was at a loss because he eats well, doesn't pace very much, and seems healthy except for the shivering when it gets to about 20 degrees. I'll take the advice and hopefully he'll be able to be more comfortable.
    Thanks again,
    Anita
     
  15. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    My rule with drafts is if sun light can get through so can wind... I cover any gaps even if they are only 1/4 of an inch. ;) Another rule with my herd is if it is good enough for your goats would you do it? Water buckets in the summer here get green fast and it is hard to teach people about CLEANING them. Once a week in my barn would be total green water due to our extreme heat we get in the summer. Our backyard gets up to 35-40C (95-104F) almost every afternoon from 4-6 pm. I have to scrub them every other day to keep them slime free, some of the water I see people making animals drink out of is just plain gross.

    I don't see a problem with the temps you are having. My bucks are still outside playing around in -9C (15F) on sunny days with snow on the ground. In fact two years ago we got a small Boer doe who lived in the front part of out barn for the winter, she would go play in 3 feet of snow by herself and it never hurt her. She hated warm days, but was out playing in the snow in -20 weather! (-4F) So much for the Boer loving HEAT, they do the worse in our temps in the summer always looking like they are about to over heat... They love our winters, the Boer buckling can get out front in our barn tent and get outside when ever he wants to. He loves scaring me when I come in the pitch dark with hay and bolts back in the tent. :)
     
  16. KingsCoGoatGuy

    KingsCoGoatGuy New Member

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    I wanted to add, it is better for the temps to stay cold or warm instead of up & down. He will suffer if it keeps messing up his system. We had a long hot fall last year which threw everyones herds heats off. It was late November until we really started to get cold! Only threw a couple of my Swiss gals off, my Nubians all got bred in October. :)
     
  17. Anita Martin

    Anita Martin Senior Member

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    Most of the time, we have mild temps here, and I would think it was an acclimation thing if he were not the only goat affected in the cold temps. The girls puff out their hair and look silly, but do not shiver and they have two of the same type of stalls in the same barn. The gaps are facing inside the center isle with a closed door on the prevailing wind side. On the outside wall, hmmm, I forget what it is called, but the wood slabs overlap each other. I think Vickie's idea about the rumen being stressed is probably right on. The grain change is one thing, but in late August I also took this buck off pasture as he kept jumping the fence to get to the does. He is in a stall with attached paddock, completely dependent on a dumb owner for his feed. He had been on pasture with lots of browse for over a year. I did not grain this buck as his weight was very good. In the fall I began graining as I wanted him to keep weight over the winter rut period. I was looking more at the calcium to phosphorus ratio for his health rather than change from a meat goat pellet. I like the blue seal pellet I use, but it is increasinly hard for me to buy due to the store hours and my work schedule, so I plan to switch to a bartlett pellet that I can get much easier. I will need a pellet for the kids I can get regularly. I have just a very small shed for storage, and it is full of feed for the girls.
    yes, we've had up and down temps, I am sure that doesn't help, but a healthy goat, with a dry shelter should be able to adjust. Since my Atticus is having a harder time than the girls, I felt like something was not as it should be. I did start the probiotic today. He gets a supplement in his feed with a yeast that is supposed to help digestion. I only started it about 1.5 months ago.
    Thanks for everyone's help. I really appreciate it.
    Anita