Some few years ago, I started goat farming and I had little knowledge about winter goat care. I learn the lessons the hard way and I almost lost some of my favorite breeds of goats.
I never knew that I was the only farmer who had little knowledge about getting goats ready for winter. I had spent several weeks without visiting my social media hangouts since I was much worried.
I had received a lot of questions on my timeline like can goats handle cold? Can goats live outside in the winter? At what temperatures do goats get cold?
All these questions left me flabbergasted. I was just a dumb ass. My goats were shivering by then and I was even unable to milk some of them.
As usual, I warmed some weather for milking but things turn opposite round. My goats started drinking the warm water as if they were thirsty and after some time, they stopped shivering.
In this article, you will discover how to get your goats ready for winter and how to manage them throughout the season with ease.
How to Care for Goats during Winter Season
Almost all goat breeds are hardy to cold temperatures but when the temperatures are below freezing point then you need to take a very serious step.
Goats also get stressed just like human beings and this will distract the growth rate as well as the production level.
You need to keep them warm by developing comfortable shelters for them and such an environment will make them happy as well as foster them to grow healthy even during cold seasons.
After creating comfortable shelters then it is high time to think about the feeds and water. These are some of the basic needs the goats need to stay healthy.
You should note that very low temperatures are very harmful to both adult and baby goats. In adult goats, they will grow bulky and reduce birth rate while for baby goats, death may be their portion.
If you are able to go through the first winter season as a farmer and you still have the joy of keeping them from your heart, then you are farm guru in the sector.
Winter Goat Shelter
Goats need shelter just like the other livestock on the farm. During winter, the weather is too cold and this can make your flocks to shiver a lot when they lack shelter.
Design goat shelters so that you can keep them strong, warm and happy. Ensure the shelter has adequate space for them to move around easily without any struggle. If you want to have high yields from goats then design great goat houses for winter.
Each goat should have a space between 3-5 meters and also ensure they get sunlight on a daily basis for about six hours. This will make their bones strong.
Here is a professional guide on how to design and develop a goat shelter at home:
- Design a shelter of about 7ft to 10 ft so that each goat has adequate space to move around easily.
- Create a warm floor for the animals in order to protect them from shivering and freezing.
- Develop a closable window on the shelter so that the goats can get fresh air and sunlight when the weather is a little bit favorable.
- The floor should be made of a material that can be cleaned easily
Note: The floor should not be made of materials that are slippery and hard since that can injure your flocks easily from sliding. Also, slippery floors are very cold for goats during winter and they are triggered to shiver easily.
What to Feed Goats in winter?
The best goat feeds for winter are hay and grain supplements. During winter there are no green pastures for vitamin and it good to supply them with vitamin supplements but in a small ratio.
You can read my article about goat feed list and read where I have mentioned a list of goat feeds during winter in order to get a proper understanding.
The good thing about goats is that they eat almost all type of green pastures but during winter the supply of these green vegetation is limited.
In case you had prepared in advance for winter then am sure you had stored some green plants for your flock in the goat shelter store.
However, hay and straw happen to be the most suitable goat feeds during winter. I recommend you store a high amount of hay during the worst time of a year.
How will you ensure your flocks are getting an adequate amount of vitamin, proteins, and mineral during winter? I know this question is making your mind to toss on the ocean now. But do not fret.
Grains and salt happen to be the ultimate solutions to the problem. Grains are known to contain about 10%-15% of proteins while salt ensures there is a supply of minerals.
You should note that never buy seep supplements of the salt block since it contains a high amount of copper minerals that can even kill your goats.
Feed your flock with about three to four pounds of hay per day. Ensure the goat feeds have less than 18% amount of fiber.
How to Keep Goats Warm in winter
Goat shivering in cold weather is a common phenomenon that happens during winter season every year. This is the reason why it is not advisable to pasture the goats outside during winter. Therefore, you should never get worried when you notice such behavior from your flocks.
However, in case you happen to have goat breeds that can survive well in cold climate then you are on the safe side. They are able to adjust their body system and fit into the current condition perfectly.
Therefore, when starting goat farming business, consider purchasing goat breeds that can suit the current climate in your region. Follow these goat winter care tips in order to be successful in goat farming business.
Is there a way on how to keep goats warm in cold weather? Of course yes. Design perfect goat houses for winter. It is the only perfect way to provide warmth for your flocks and they will automatically stop shivering.
You should also note that lambs are unable to endure cold weather regardless of the goat breed. They can easily be affected by cough and other fatal cold diseases. Provide thick cloth for them in order to protect them from cold.
Do goats need heat in the winter? Yes. This is typically the best option in order to keep your animals warm and healthy. Learn how to create a comfortable bed in winter for goats hence the chances of getting high yields will increase.
Winter Goat Care Tips
The tips include:
- Supply your flocks with fresh and clean water that is unfrozen
- Provide shelter for goats that are spacious in order to make them comfortable
- Increase the supply of food on demand and keep the rumens rumbling
- Watch out any symptoms of diseases and sign of low temperature like shivering