Baby Goats in Coats
Should you put baby goats in coats? How do we keep the baby goats warm when the weather isn’t? Good questions! This is our third kidding season and we have got it figured out – and it’s so easy you won’t believe it. DIY, homemade from recycled thermal sweatshirt baby goat coats!
The first and most important thing to do is to get the kids dried off immediately after birth. Mama Perdy is very good at getting them cleaned off but, their fur holds alot of moisture so we help out and it takes quite a few towels and vigorous rubbing. This is one reason I do not leave the house when a goat is due in cold temperatures – it takes only minutes for them to get chilled and become lethargic. (other reason – I just really enjoy seeing new life come into the world)
After that I watch them for awhile to see how they handle the cold. This time they seemed OK at first but the temperature started falling and the wind picked up so we made the decision to get out the warming hut and heat lamp. We created our own out of necessity a couple years ago when we needed something fast. It worked out so well that we use it every year now. (this works well for baby chicks too!) It is very important that you have a safe heat lamp to use because you don’t want to melt your hut or set the barn on fire. We only use this lamp from Premier 1 Supplies – it was recommended to us by our hay guy who is also a firefighter – they have tested them and he said it is the only lamp he will use in his barns. A few extra bucks on this lamp is worth it. If you do not have a safe lamp, then do NOT place it over this container.
The next step is…go to a store that sells large storage containers such as Rubbermade and buy the biggest one you can find.
Then cut holes in it like this with a utility knife:
and set it up in your goat stall like this:
(we have the lamp securely tied to a hook screwed into the rafter)
I also make little goat coats for the kids if they seem to need a little extra warmth for a couple days. Simply cut the sleeves off of a heavy sweatshirt, figure out where the front legs should go and make a cut there, and slip the goat into it. FYI – putting coats on goats causes them to make adorable squeaky crying sounds which is pretty darn hilarious in my opinion.
So there you have it – a goat stuffed into it’s little coat and now you can ooh and ahh over the adorableness of it while they stumble around trying to figure out how to walk.
and they bask under the lamp until the weather warms up. I usually take their coats off after a couple days because they grow so fast.