Goats: It's Cold Out There

| 1/14/2013 12:35:20 PM

Tags: goats, cold weather, frozen water, buckets, frozen water tanks, runny noses, fever, Janice Spaulding,



Baby, it's cold out there! At least that’s what we were saying last week when the thermometer struggled to stay above 4° during the day! This week we are hovering around 40°.  This is Maine, what the heck is going on? This lazygoatsmorning on the news, photos from predominantly warm climates like California showed that it was colder there than here! So, how does this affect goats? 

First of all, let me share one of my husband’s favorite sayings: "we live in a cold climate that gets warm once in a while; others live in a warm climate that gets cold once in a while." 

If you live in one of these warm climates that has suddenly gotten cold, I am sure that you are very worried about your goats! Let me assure you that goats are very adaptable! Here in Maine, in autumn, we experience some very changeable weather. One day it will be up in the 70s and the next day we are down in the 30s. We have noticed that when the weather changes like that the goats change right along with the temperatures! They will start to grow their undercoat of cashmere almost immediately, and shed it just as fast. Often, they will grow and shed two or more times a year.  

A few years ago, when my husband Ken was visiting Texas, he had the chance to talk with the first importer of Boer Goats into the USA, Don Smith from Talpa, Texas. Mr. Smith explained to Ken that in the early 1990s when he first explored importing the goats from South Africa to Texas he ran into problems with Apartheid. He had to first get the goats to New Zealand, then to Canada, from Canada on to Texas. Just think about all the temperature changes these goats went through! They survived very nicely but grew and shed countless layers of Cashmere. 

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