Do goats eat less when it is cold???

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by kidsngarden, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    My does are all newly bred (due in April - May) Three of them in a goat shed with walls on all sides and an open "doorway" (As big as half the length of one wall) We use the deep bedding method. So it's cold out there, but they are dry and can be out of the wind, etc.

    It's getting in the high teens low 20's overnight here. and stays around 25-30 degrees during the day. This is very cold for us with the ground frozen solid (we do love it when the mud freezes!). I feed really nice local hay and free choice alfalfa pellets, grain as a "treat" for the two who aren't milking and in the stanchion for the milker. My goats are barely touching thier hay and pellets (though eating more pellets than hay) but still loving thier grain. Drinking water, poop is normal, everything looks good except when I come out it looks as though their hay is barely disturbed!!! My milkers production (she's my nubian/french alpine) is down by a third. They aren't moving about a ton as the mud frozen in big ruts bothers them, but they come out to enjoy the sun a bit.

    Wormed 3 and 5 months ago, cydectin.

    Tell me it's just this cold snap? please? I don't remember this happening last year...but the only doe I have from last year is my nubian...

    Bethany
     
  2. Halo-M Nubians

    Halo-M Nubians New Member

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    Did you just open a new bale? perhaps it is different and goats are so picky.
    We are very cold in the negs and my goats always eat much MORE! Sometimes as much as double when it is this cold!
     

  3. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Well it was 23 here last night on only got to abt 38 today and all my goats were eating hay like crazy and abt choked each other to get at the alfalfa pellets at feeding times today
    So I also am wondering if it was a new bale of hay. dusty /moldy or something
     
  4. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    Well, if I leave it, they eventually do eat it.

    Got the bales (3) a week ago. They were eating fine. Just broke into the second bale yesterday, but they had slowed down about 2-3 days ago.

    Ok , you know what maybe it is? Our little buck visitor has left and he was hogging a lot of hay! he was here for 6 weeks and maybe I just forgot how much they eat? Ok, I feel stupid now... :blush2

    Bethany
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    :biggrin
    OH not eve half as stupid as I feel. Think it was Sat I had let the bucks out into the large pasture to browse a bit Sun morn early I realilize one of the bucks was missing, and didn't remember seeing him Sat either when I let them out. So I went looking all over their big pen / looked all over in the lg pasture/ went out back and looked everywhere. Came back in the house got baby bottles and out to the barn to feed the two there. and decided there was only one place that I hadn't looked and since he didn't come when called and no sign of him I just knew he was either down or dead and I didn't want to go look. So I fed the babies and did my milking and came back to the house to have some coffee and work up my nerve to go out to the old car in their pen to get that big old buck out one way or another. As I was sitting here having my coffee and really dreading this , ALL OF A SUDDEN it DAWNED on me. That buck has been gone for a month, leased out doing his buckly job. NOW THAT IS what I call STUPID!!
     
  6. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    :rofl SHHHHHH SONDRA!!! I won't tell anybody if you won't.

    Hay - Mine usually eat a little more hay when it is colder, but my buck.....he's a big hay eater all the time.
    Now for whatever reason that I can't explain, I opened a bale of hay about a month ago, and they all kinda threw their noses up at it. It was the same stuff, came from the same field, etc.......I almost wondered if some mice or something had been peeing on that bale while it was being stored. I cracked open another bale and kinda fed the 2 together, and they eat it just fine.
    Yep, I suspect you are feeding less hay with that buck gone.......I think my buck will eat very close to what 2 of my doe's will eat.
     
  7. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

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    We had an abrupt weather change here and it got REALLY cold. All the goats wanted to do was stay in their houses. I put their alfalfa hay in their feeders outside and a little grass hay as well as straw in their houses. They would come out to eat their grain and alfalfa pellets from their dishes, but didn't eat much of their hay or drink much water. It concerned me because I know they need to eat hay to stay warm. I also realize that when I freshly straw their houses, they eat some of the straw. What I figure with these goats is they would rather stay huddled in their houses and eat straw than go out in subzero weather to eat their hay. Of course, after a day of that, they came back out to their hay feeders. When they are using their resources to stay warm, I do see a drop in milk production. With this group, that doesn't worry me as they are pregnant and in late lactation, soon to be dried up.
     
  8. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    So after I typed my last post and went to bed thinking, "why is Gloria's milk down then?" See my fingers go faster than my head can think it through, LOL! But I do think it is the cold. last night she did give just a bit more so she is doing better.

    Bethany
     
  9. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels New Member

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    I think my goats double their eating when its cold. :help2 They always have free-choice hay....but now they are eating A LOT!!
     
  10. KUrby

    KUrby New Member

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    Sondra got the stupid award!! :rofl :rofl
    But guess what Sondra? I won't be far behind you when my kids, bucks etc.. hit the ground. I am a first timer, so look out! I will be giving you a run for your money!! LOL
    Kare
     
  11. Kaye White

    Kaye White New Member

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    :rofl at Sondra!!! You're catching up to the rest of us Sr.s and you can bet those "spells" will come more frequently now! But we still luv ya' and will just pat you on the head and understand. ;)

    Hay eating,here= FULL TIME JOB keeping hay out! It's really cold for us and will be until the weekend...ah,60 degrees again!! 8 dry/bred does are eating a bale of alfalfa (75#) a day and making many trips to the round grass bale. 6 doelings are eating 3/4th a bale of alfalfa and 1/2 a bale of grass a day!
    Kaye
     
  12. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Member

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    OH hush, Kaye.....we're supposed to get to a whopping high of 25 sometime later this week :)

    Yep, ours eat like starving feral goats when the temps drop. We just went through a one ton bale of hay in a bit less than 3 weeks. That's feeding 27 goats and 2 horses.

    Tracy
     
  13. BethW

    BethW New Member

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    As a newbie, I was actually startled at how much our goats eat when it's cold. We got them in the late spring and they had browse and didn't eat all that much hay during the warm weather. Then it got cold and they turned into eating machines :eek
     
  14. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    I am so glad I clicked on this thread and did not miss this :rofl :rofl :rofl
     
  15. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    Ok, so you all were right, IT IS the hay. (that and I really did forget that they eat much less without the buck hogging it!!!) I went out there, pulled it all out of thier feeder, put in new stuff from a fresh bale and they went to town. Poor things. Betcha a chicken pooped in it or something...It's not easy having and idiot for your owner...

    Bethany
     
  16. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Member

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    They're weird critters. There's no telling what was wrong with it. Glad they are eating for you now :)

    Tracy