Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cold Weather Tips

1. Give your little goats straight right out of the tap HOT water. Mine all love it and drink it like tea. If you want them to drink more.... you can put a tiny splash of molasses in it. I fill 2 unused 5 gallon gas cans with water and haul it out there on a child's plastic toboggan. It'll slide even without snow. The sleds can also be very useful to haul hay etc.
2. Use snow as an insulator .... my Mike and I shovel snow all around the buck shed....think igloo.... I think it might actually keep the water buckets from freezing as fast too.
3. Free feed hay...Keep those 4 stomachs moving food through constantly.....generates heat 4. I don't believe in artificial coats.....It smashes down the fluffy insulation of their own coats. The only time I might use them is if one of the goats was feeling under the weather or a newborn. A sweatshirt sleeve cut off with leg holes added is a quick fix for the little ones. An old insulated vest with the zipper along the back works great for a goat that's larger
5. We have a few pieces of old plywood wired to posts to act as wind blocks near the feeders. I want those little pregnant goats to get out and move around even if its nasty. Exercise is important.
6. 15 below expected??? ....like last night....put in new bedding HEAVY :) So cold you're worried about frostbite on those tender ear tips?.....a coating of Vaseline will take care of that...along with possibly saving chicken combs and feet.
7. In my bigger barn we insulated the steel walls last year with tons of Styrofoam egg cartons and meat trays ....always recycling... and Mike added plywood on top ....with the 4 heat lamps on in there(hung like chandeliers)...I always worry about cords ....the water doesn't even freeze in there...My new babies are toasty :)
8. A little advice for the poor caretakers.....there's a saying at the post office and I am a walking carrier. "There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing" Wear what you must, this isn't a fashion show ... lol ..... and there's no need to suffer :)
Next year the newer biggish barn I have... WILL have fencing and electricity and insulation .... and I will have a warm place for my bucks. Then I will not worry anymore :) Maybe........
Happy New Year! Is it spring yet?

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