The demand for goat keeping and goat products is on the rise, making goat farming a more feasible enterprise. Goats can be raised for their milk or for their meat. One major concern for individuals interested in or currently practicing goat farming is keeping goats warm when the weather turns cold. Goats will grow a nice warm coat for the winter but there are a few things you can do to ensure that the goats are warm during the winter.
Things You'll Need
- Barn or goat house
- Warm water
- Heated or insulated water trough
- Good quality hay
- Goat coat
Erect a barn or goat house in order to shield the goats from bad weather during the winter. The goat house can consist of three walls, a roof and a fence as the fourth wall. The house must be tall enough so that the goats can stand up. The floor area of the house is also very important as each goat requires a minimum of four square meters. This house will protect the goats from wind, freezing rain, rain and other inclement weather.
Warm up water before giving it to the goats. This way the goats do not have to expel energy warming up cold water in the body after drinking. An insulated water trough or tank can work very well at keeping water at warmer temperatures. This is particularly important in areas where the temperature drops below freezing.
Feed the goats grass hay instead of sweet feed or grain. Hay will ruminate in the stomach overnight keeping the goats warm. Grain and sweet feed do not ruminate for nearly as long as hay. Ruminate refers to the microbes that live in the goats stomach. These microbes make it possible for the goat to break down plant material that other animals cannot. Any type of hay can be used to feed goats as long as it is good quality hay that is free of mold.
Provide your goat with a goat coat if you are still worried about the cold. The goat coat is like a blanket that is draped over the goat. The blanket secures underneath the goat’s chin but above the front legs. It drapes over the goat completely covering the body.