My goats are shivering and won't drink

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by MyKidLuvsGreenEgz, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Wondering ... with this cold weather (negative 18 last night and at 8:27 a.m. is - 14), why aren't my goats drinking? I keep giving them warm water (which freezes within an hour) ... plain ... with lemonade ... with blackstrap molasses ... but I haven't seen any of them drink in 2 days. Are they eating snow when I'm not looking? They are also shivering, which I didn't think goats do. I bring them into the garage 2-3 times a day to eat (sweet feed and alfalfa pellets and peanuts) and give water, and they have as much hay as they want any time.

    We have 3 miniature (Nigerian Dwarf) goats. They have 2 doghouses in their goat run which are filled with hay, but the three of them prefer to sleep together in one of the doghouses (the smaller!). I have their goat run open (during this cold snap) to the entire fenced backyard, which is covered in snow. The area under our deck is open and has lots of hay in it. I also have water there, but even tho it's close to the house, it freezes within an hour.

    So ... any advice you have would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2007
    Sarnia, Ontario
    i can sympathize with you.
    i have an 8 year old Boar billygoat who really would like to have a condo in Florida for the winter.
    i feel soo bad for him in the extreme cold temps.
    like you i have everything available ( food, unfrozen water, shelter, nice comfy bed) and he still shivers and makes himself as pathetic as possible.
    he has survived 7 winters so far
    your babies will drink if they need it...
    you can't bring them in the house [​IMG]
     
  3. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    My doeling keeps trying to come in the house. When we're in the garage, and I need to go into the house for something, she inevitably tries to follow me, even to the point where I ALMOST closed the door on her head!

    So I shouldn't worry? They are probably eating snow?
     
  4. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2007
    Sarnia, Ontario
    you can't possibly watch them 24/7
    and if you have water available for them there is no reason for them to dehydrate.
    i would not worry
    but i'm right with you on HURRY UP SPRING!!!!!
     
  5. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Did they maybe get wet? Goats can do cold, and they can do wet, but if their wet AND cold, there may be trouble.
    As for not drinking... [​IMG]
    I suggest you bring them in the house and blow dry them, rub 'em with a towel, etc. Get their blood movin. Some sweet feed to boost their energy.
     
  6. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2007
    Sarnia, Ontario
    do you think bringing them in and spoiling them with a blowdry and lots of warmth is the thing to do???
    i think that would make it worse for them when they get back out...
    but i do agree if they are wet you should do it to get them dry
     
  7. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Only their feet, er, hooves, get wet. They have plenty of dry space inside the area under the deck, and in their "dog house" (which I re-roofed in the summer with roofing stuff and a tarp over that). The other dog house is bigger, covered with heavy-duty plastic sheeting, and these 3 ignore that house.

    Every time I leave the house to take care of the chickens and check for eggs, I have to go through the garage (back door is covered with towels to keep out the cold .. can't get out thru there right now). So I leave the garage door open, and goat food/water is on the floor. This morning, I couldn't find the goats anywhere but when I was thru with the chickens, found the goats in the garage eating. Water untouched.

    I do think I'll put a blanket on that section of the floor of the garage, and a tarp on top of that to catch goat berries. Maybe that will help. That concrete is pretty cold.

    I'll just keep offering water/sweet feed/alfalfa pellets every time I leave the garage to check on the chickens. Who, by the way, are VERY mad at me for making it so cold! BUT I collected 5 eggs today: 3 brown, 1 blue, 1 green. Surprised me! AND they were still warm!

    Thanks for your input.
     
  8. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    A friend up in the colorado mountains just e-mailed me ... she has about the same set up as I do but with more goats. Has had goats for about 3 years and never worried really before. Although goats are supposed to be fine to negative 30, her goats are shivering for the first time, and she's worried now. They also aren't drinking as much (but at least hers are drinking).

    Anything else I can try to tempt my goaties to drink?
     
  9. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Try dipping your fingers in molassas water and putting them in their mouths?
     
  10. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Colorado Plains
    Finally! They drank!

    I guess they got thirsty enough.

    Was working at my kitchen sink, and I see this goat head pop up at my window. There's a big dog crate underneath the window, that I use to transport goats and such. Hawkey, the weather, hopped up on it and bleated at me through the window! I heated up some water, bundled up and took it to the garage. Poured it on the frozen container of molasses water where it melted into a slush. Opened the door and all 3 goats came in. They ate mostly, but then my smallest, the one that concerns me most, started to drink. Then the other 2. When they got enough (I guess), I shooed them back outside.

    Yahoo! Success! [​IMG]

    Then I noticed the 2 chickens in the garage had frozen water too (argh!) so cleaned their bowl in the kitchen and took them fresh warm water.

    Just stoked the fire. Gonna warm up then go check on the outside chickens. Aw geez, outside and inside chickens?!?! Yeah, I'm nuts.[​IMG]
     

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