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If the information in this site has been of help to you and your goats, Donations are always welcome (and much appreciated) to help the cost of my rescue goats.. Thank you and God Bless!  goatlady
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If the information in this site has been of help to you and your goats, Donations are always welcome to help with the cost of running of my rescue goats. Thank you and God Bless!

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Important! Please Read This Notice!
All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to obtain veterinary services and advice before using any of the information provided in these articles. We are not veterinarians. Neither nor any of the contributors to this website will be held responsible for the use of any information contained herein.
PLEASE keep in mind, just because there is a DVM after the name does not mean they have the proper answers for goat owners 'Caveat emptor'- You need to find a responsible GOAT Vet

Wind Chill Chart Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Tuesday, 04 March 2008

Winter Weather Wind Chill Chart

This chart should help you determine just how cold it is this winter- listen to the local news for the current temperature and wind speed and take a look at the chart to see what the air temp actually is - Helps keep our goaties more protected in winter.
Wind Chill Chart

Degrees of Frostbite

Frostbite happens when the body's survival mechanisms kick in during extremely cold weather. To protect the vital inner organs, the body cuts circulation to your extremities: feet, hands, nose, etc., which eventually freeze. To avoid frostbite, stay inside during severe cold, especially when the wind chill is -50°F or below. If you must go out, try to cover every part of your body: ears, nose, toes and fingers, etc. Mittens are better than gloves. Keep your skin dry. Stay out of the wind when possible. Drink plenty of fluids since hydration increases the blood's volume, which helps prevent frostbite. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, preventing warming of your extremities. Alcohol also causes you to lose heat at a faster rate (Gives you a false sense of "feeling" of warmth) which does not mean your body temperature will increase. You will still be just as likely to get frostbite or hypothermia.. Smoking also makes you more vulnerable to the effects of the cold as nicotine can narrow your blood vessels.
  • First degree: ice crystals forming on your skin
  • Second degree: Skin begins to feel warm, even though it is not yet defrosted.
  • Third degree: Skin turns red, pale or white.
  • Fourth degree: Pain lasts for more than a few hours and skin may develop dark blue or black. See a doctor immediately if these symptoms arise. Gangrene is a real threat.

Care for Goats in Cold Weather


Here’s some advice for treating hypothermia:
Warm hypothermic goats slowly. The heat source should be 105-108°F. Warmer temps may cause skin burns or shock. Sources of heat include a warm-water bath, electric blanket, blow dryer or space heater for the goat to BREATH warm air (VERY IMPORTANT) heat lamps (ONLY while in the house and monitored closely) or hot-water bottles, plus a warming box.
Supplying an energy source is essential. In newborns, you may have to tube feed - this article tells you how
slowly and when there is no chance of being back in the frigid conditions. Frostbite is the actual destruction of tissue; to prevent permanent damage, circulation must be restored as soon as possible. The heat source should be about 105-108°F. Don’t rub affected areas; they’re already damaged and fragile. As the area warms, it will be painful. Don’t let the animal rub these areas, as that will worsen the situation. In severe cases, analgesics (painkillers) may be indicated. Consult your veterinarian.
Frostbitten teats can be difficult to detect. The first sign may be a thin and crying baby. The teat end is affected and can slough. If this happens, the sphincter muscle of the teat may be lost. This increases the risk of mastitis.
Frostbite also can cause an affected teat to dry up since the cow won’t let the calf nurse. A frostbitten teat may go unnoticed until next year. At that time, the calf is thin, and when the cow is examined, the teat is healed over with scar tissue. This teat will need to be opened by a vet.

Treating Hypothermia in Newborn Goats-(Birth Chill)

You find a cold wet baby born minutes ago comatose or near to death.
  • 1. Get baby in the house, NOW! Open up your coat or shirt and bring baby in holding it against your bare skin if possible-you can wash clothes and shower later.
  • 2. Keep baby against body while you prepare sinkful of warm water and get a supply of clean dry towels.
  • 3. Fill sink with fairly warm water..warmer than tepid but not hot.
  • 4. Immerse baby up to neck in water and making sure you hold baby's face out of water.. stimulate baby's chest area to help circulation. Be brisk during all of this but not rough. This may take a half hour or better.
  • 5. When baby starts to come around or cries good healthy cries OR a finger placed in it's mouth determines mouth is starting to warm up, take baby out of sink and directly into towel, rub briskly to dry placing baby in front of heater or blow dryer.
  • 6. In the meantime.. either leave baby in front of blow dryer or heater on dry towel (not the wet one used to dry it) - go get a clean syringe, make a mixture of coffee, molasses, karo syrup and if you have it either dextrose 50%solution or CMPK. Make sure this solution is warmer than tepid.
  • 7. Make a "tent" with towels or sheet over you and baby with blow dryer or heater in with you to warm the air baby is breathing. Do Not blow hot air directly on baby... the idea is to warm up the air it is breathing.
  • 8. Dribble solution, using syringe with no needle, into baby's mouth a drop at a time- too much will choke baby, do NOT tilt head back. Allow baby to swallow in between dribbles. You can help by stroking throat after each dribble. NOTE: A chilled baby CANNOT suckle, so trying to give baby a bottle right now is useless.
  • 9. Alternate feeding baby with holding it and stimulating the baby to "wake up and go". Bounce baby, rub baby's chest and legs, talk to baby, hold baby up to try to stand .. what ever it takes to get baby to come around.
  • 10. As soon as baby's temperature comes up to 100 degrees you can try a bottle with colostrum and coffee and molasses in it OR go get mama goat bringing her in the house and see if baby will get up to nurse. Do Not try to take baby out in weather just yet.

Don't forget old and thin adult goats
- protect them with some sort of coat to help keep body heat in, the air between the fabric and animal should be dry - this small area between body and coat will fill with warm body heat and keep the goat warmer than without. - check feet, ears, teats and testicles often for frostbite - treat accordingly.
Make sure adults have a good quality hay - a full rumen helps keep the body warmer, grains and concentrated fed pellets have a tendency to sit in the gut not helping the situation - so if you feed grain or pellets feed early in the day.. not in the evening feeding, you want the hay to fill the gut at night.
Offer Warm water at least once a day - goats need as much if not more water in cold weather (without sufficient water the goat cannot process the feed in the rumen) - the warm water will allow them to drink what they need without losing precious body heat it takes to warm cold water up in the gut
Make sure to have a deep thick bedding of straw or hay to snuggle in - don't be so concerned with cleaning out stalls or barns in winter.. the urine in the bedding will heat up under the laying goats adding additional heat - clean it in spring.
ALSO make sure the goats have a place out of the wind - the wind chill can be disastrous
If all else fails and you have a weak older or thinner goat who will not survive, do not be afraid to make a place in the house for them - houses will clean - you cannot bring back a dead goat.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2017 )
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