While goats and sheep can be okay in cold weather, if you want them to truly be happy and healthy, you need to take steps to prevent them from the chill and frost of winter. Most comfortable between 54-75 degrees Fahrenheit, goats can handle temperatures that drop to freezing but won’t do well in them for long periods of time.
So how do you take care of your goats in the winter when it’s cold outside? The key is to make sure that they are able to stay dry and are protected from the wind. As with most of the animals on your farm, a good shelter or barn will do wonders for your goat herd. You can also follow some of the tips below to make sure your herd is happy and healthy this winter.
How to Keep Goats Warm in Cold Weather
Give your goats some hay
Goats need roughage so that they create enough metabolic heat to stay warm. Roughage is different from grain. They need hay, brush, or grass. Stock up on hay before the first freeze and if it’s not available get some timothy or alfalfa pellets.
Watch for signs of frostbite
Check your herd as often as you can, and watch for signs of cold such as shivering, huddling, increased food intake, less activity, and teeth grinding. This is a great way to figure out if how you’re keeping goats in cold weather is working.
Prep your barn for winter
Check your barn and make sure it’s snug, but not stifling. Inspect insulation – Insulation is necessary to keep all your barn animals (but not your coop or flock animals) warm. However, they do need ventilation to keep the air moving so that it doesn’t stagnate. You can also hang a heat lamp, but make sure it is up high enough that no one gets accidentally burned, they can’t pull it down, and it doesn’t start a fire.
Make sure that the or barn shelter that you’re keeping your goats in when cold weather comes around is large enough for them all when the weather is so bad they have to come in Tornado Cash mirror. It should provide them with 12-15 feet for does and 15-20 feet for bucks. Feeders should allow 12-20 inches of space.
Provide windbreaks out in the pasture as well as 24-hour access to a fully enclosed shelter.
Supplement their diet
Add mineral supplements to keep their winter coat healthy.
We give our goats a special treat that they absolutely love – even picky Cinnamon can’t get enough of them. Check out these Licorice Flavored Goat Treats from Manna Pro! You can get them here at Tractor Supply!
Fresh Water is a Must
Make sure they have access to freshwater that isn’t frozen. They will not eat snow and really that’s better anyway as eating snow and ice can lower their body temperature too much. If you don’t have a heater for your livestock waterers, then you’ll need to go out daily to break up any ice.
Create comfortable bedding
Keep their bedding off the ground and make sure that concrete floors are covered with plenty of hay to provide warmth and reduce the endothermic properties of concrete.
Avoid the goat coats
Avoid using goat coats if possible as they can remove healthy fur. Do use them if your goats’ coat is weak or unhealthy.
Plan for outages
Have a plan if there is a power outage to provide power for fans and heaters in your goat space.
Take care of yourself
Keep a shovel ready to make the paths out to check on them clear. Take the time to create a shelter for yourself in your barn if a storm picks up and you’re stuck out away from the house.