Summer Management

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by homeacremom, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

    This question is mainly for those of you who live in the south where it really gets hot. ;) What do you do to keep your animals healthy during July and August. I'm mostly asking about goats but also would like to know about chickens and cows.

    We've always made shade with the highest rated shade cloth if there was no natural shade. Our bucks are under this and the does have an open sided chicken tractor as a loafing area under a very large and dense oak tree. There is also the small barn (8x8 -free access) with cross ventilation for the milk does.
    Clean, fresh water changed at least twice a day and also at noon whenever possible.

    My milk does get measured amounts of feed- the minimum required to keep them at peak production. Would it work to back off on the grain to reduce the work load(milk production) on these girls and then try to pick back up in the fall as it cools off? I'm talking 10-14 lbs. producers...
  2. New Member

    No matter what I have tried over the years, smaller amounts of grain fed throughout the day, milking later in the evening, sprinkler on the metal roof...nothing keeps my girls from loosing poundage of milk during August.

    I shave them, I also have a large open barn, I rake the stalls frequently so they can lay in them. I keep the flies at bay with Quick Bayt, key because a twitching goat also will not milk as well. Do not use sprinklers on goats or try to soak them down unless you are treating heat exhaustion, you do not want to drop their core body temp it destroys rumen bacteria. I wish I wanted to afford to run big fans :) I also keep the older does in the shady north/east side of the barn.

    Ventilation is key, any kind of airmovement helps even if it is just a ceiling fan. I have a continuous ridge vent, and my barn is also open at the eaves and from 5 feet up to 10 there is this natural flow of air that circulates. My grandson will lay on my cement floor because it is soo cool. vicki

  3. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

    It doesn't get anywhere near as hot here as by you, but I totally agree on the fans. I usually have a box fan hung from the ceiling and a big utility-type fan on the floor going for sure all day, sometimes at night. It's amazing how much they help. The goats love to stand/lay right in front of them.
  4. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    I am a big fan of fans. :biggrin

    I am often teased at how many I have in the barns - ceiling fans, stand fans, drum fans... you name it. It's like a wind tunnel in my barns. :lol

    The downside? The noise and the cost of running them.

    I also have an air conditioner in the milkroom - a must in our heat and humidity. The girls don't want to leave. :D

  5. rg1950

    rg1950 New Member

    We have lots of sheds, shade trees, and fans! We also keep fans on our chickens, hogs, and rabbits. Our chickens free range during the day and we have a fan blowing on their nest boxes and coop. We also have an airconitioned milk room (I agree with Sara-A must have for around here). Our girls love to come in, but hate to go back out. Just make sure if you use fans, you put them high enough under the roof that they won't get wet if it rains hard at an angle. We wash and refill water tubs at least every other day and add fresh water daily (as they do drink a lot in the summer).

  6. homeacremom

    homeacremom New Member

    Sounds then like we are doing what can be done.
    At this point I don't mind losing some milk production. I might even encourage it by reducing grain slighty as july starts. We've always had a little heat stress. What I can't have is them going down like my one girl did this week.,4942.0.html