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Goats/goats and freezing weather

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Question
We live in Northern Maryland and are expecting temps in single digits with wind chill below zero (-3) along with snow and freezing rain.  We have 2 8 month old Nigerian Dwarf weathers who are in good health very fuzzy and fat and way about 30 lbs and are very short -16 to 18 inches.  They live together in the middle of the back yard with no vegetation or buildings for wind protection, but they do have a rectangle plastic dog house they live in-it is not an igloo kind.  I say it is insulate my husband says it is not.  The house has a lot of hay/straw for bedding.  Will they be OK or would they do much better if we put them in a very large dog crate and put them in a shed until the worst of the temps/wind past?  We have 2 other goats who are 4 and 5 and bigger all around who live in an igloo and have a building for wind blockage-I think they will be fine.  But what is your opinion?  Thank you!

Answer
Would say the two young Nigerian Dwarf wethers absolutely need a better place to stay out of the weather and try to stay warm.  Any chance they can be in building?  I would also suggest the older goats be kept in a building too.  Igloos and dog houses just do not cut it to keep goats warm in very cold weather.  The chances of them getting frostbite from the cold and/or coming down with pneumonia are very high in this situation without proper shelter.  Do hope this helps.  Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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