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How to keep goats in winter?

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Thinking through the maintenance of goats in the winter, much has to be taken into account. First of all, stock up on feed for a complete balanced diet. In order for pets not to suffer from hunger, you need to prepare (based on 1 animal):

  • roughage - 400 - 500 kg,
  • root crops - 400 - 500 kg,
  • about 40 kg of concentrate.

One adult pet in the winter will need about 3 kg of salt and a kilogram of chalk. Preferably the presence in the diet of animals and bone meal.

Now about how much hay a goat needs for the winter. As a rule, one individual requires between 400 and 600 kg of hay for the entire stall period. Milk and sucrose queen need about 2 kg per one feeding. The stock is thus calculated based on the number of livestock.

Grazing of goats is desirable to continue until the thickness of the snow reaches 10-15 cm. Staying on a pasture in the winter time helps to improve immunity. In addition, the grass in winter pastures is rich in beneficial carotene, which increases lactation. They are suitable for winter grazing in low forests and flooded meadows (it is impossible to graze animals on them in summer, as this is fraught with intestinal infections).

When the snow has fallen sufficiently deep, they are transferred to stall-walking stock.

Microclimate in the goat

Goats can hardly be called fastidious in keeping animals, but there are certain requirements for the microclimate. It is necessary to make sure that the room is not blown by drafts and it is insulated so that the temperature does not fall below 7 degrees for adults and below 10 degrees for young animals. For ventilation, an exhaust pipe with a flap is used. Thanks to the cleanliness and dryness in the goat's dwelling, well-organized nutrition, the animals do not get sick, the milk yields increase, the young growth grows healthy and resilient.

It is necessary that the room where there are goats, there was natural light. It is advisable to have windows on the south side at a height of about one and a half meters from the floor. If you make them lower, jumping pets can break the glasses with their hooves.

The walls of the goat dam must be whitened with lime mortar. Animals will feel comfortable, if along the walls to place the plank beds of 700 - 800 mm long, 500 - 600 mm wide. Goats love to rest on them, plus the risk of colds is reduced, the wool gets less dirty. Sun beds also need lime. Whitewash update frequency - twice a year.

The floor in the goatling should rise 200 to 250 mm above the ground. Suitable for its inhabitants floor of wood, clay or ordinary earthen. The best option is a boardwalk; it is easier to clean it of dirt. It is necessary to make a slope at the rate of 2 cm per meter of length of the room to ensure the flow of the slurry. The standard space for one individual is as follows:

  • male producer - 2 m 2,
  • young goat - 2 m 2,
  • female with calves - 3.5 m 2,
  • goat from 0.5 years to a year - 1.2 m 2.

Goat litter can be made from straw, sawdust, peat or dry moss. Moss is hygroscopic, destroys unpleasant odors. Sawdust does not absorb moisture so well, therefore winter wheat straw is additionally used. Before entering the premises, well-lit "Sents" are needed so that the goat house does not cool when opening and closing the doors.

An important point of keeping animals in the cold season is the possibility of walking. This requires a fairly spacious yard, at the rate of 5 "squares" per individual. When they go out in the open air, goats "feed up" their appetite and feel better. If the weather permits, feeding is also carried out on the territory of the courtyard.

In the winter frost and in bad weather animals are fed in the goatling. For roughage, a nursery is equipped, for concentrated and vegetable fodder, special feeders. The height of the feeders above the floor is from 400 to 500 mm.

Many people ask the question: is it possible to keep animals in the winter without heating? Breeders respond to it positively. If we are talking about long-haired or downy goats, the lack of heating in the goat house is not a problem at all. The main thing for these unpretentious pets is a covered dry room without drafts.

It is necessary to take care only that the livestock is protected from precipitation and sleep on damp earth. Heated room will need only newborn kids (they are kept separately).

Ways to increase milk yield

In order for the goat to give more milk, it is necessary to correctly formulate its diet - so that the animal receives the whole set of necessary substances all year round. In the diet of the milk goat should be present:

  • branch feed. In the summertime - these are branches of trees and bushes, and for the winter you need to prepare brooms (best of all - birch),
  • vegetables. Goats adore them. Beets, carrots or cabbage are not just eaten with pleasure, but also provide an opportunity to increase milk yield. Feeding goats and washed vegetable peels,
  • turnip Many experienced breeders claim that this vegetable improves lactation,
  • grain feed, pre-soaked in water (wheat, barley, oats). It contributes to higher yields,
  • enough water. Free access to clean water is the basis for a good goat milk yield.

Adding probiotics to the goat ration increases the quantity and quality of milk (by 20%), improves the digestibility of feed.

Barn for wintering goats

The main condition is a dry stable without walking drafts. Heating in the barn will be needed only when growing newborn goatlings. Adult goats independently regulate body temperature, so they tolerate frosts in unheated rooms.

In winter, they are kept in stalls, while the owner is important to take care of the conditions of detention and stock up on full fodder.

Even when building a goatling you need to consider a few points:

  • place it away from landfills, manure pits,
  • the presence of windows is necessary, natural light should fall into the shed in large quantities,
  • the room should be dry, animals can not tolerate moisture. And if there are still drafts, they easily get pneumonia - pneumonia.

That is why wood is used for construction, it retains heat better, while concrete or brick retains more moisture and moisture.

Winter conditions

The optimum temperature in the barn is + 7 ° C with an adult content and + 10 ° C with a goat with goats in the stall. At lower temperatures, goats must be warmed with clothing. To do this, they put on old jackets and coats through the front legs and fasten them on the back. Emphasis is placed on the protection of the chest of the animal, to prevent the development of colds.

Each animal needs a separate compartment. Goats are freedom-loving animals, so they should be given a spacious place. Depending on the individual, one animal requires a different stall area:

  • goat from 6 months to 1 year - 1.2 square meters. m,
  • yal goat and male sire - 2 square meters. m,
  • female with calves - 3.5 square meters. m

Feeders have two types. Rough forage (hay and straw) is laid out in creches, concentrates and vegetables - in special individual feeders. Install them at a height of 40-50 cm from the floor.

Preparing barn for winter

To make the wintering of goats without problems, they prepare a goat house, guided by the following recommendations:

  1. It is better if there are several small windows on the south side of the goat house than one big one. They are made at a height of more than 1.5 m, otherwise jumping pets can inadvertently knock them out with their hooves. In the winter they are warmed, all the gaps are sealed.
  2. Ventilation is also an important part of the shed, it is through it that air is circulated and excess moisture leaves. Especially it is relevant in the cold period, because the manure in the stalls is removed less often to save heat.
    The best option is to equip the room with two vents. One is located in the form of a tetrahedral pipe under the roof of the goat house, through which stale air is drawn. A second pipe or several holes are made below the floor at the beginning of the walls, thanks to which fresh and clean air constantly flows into the room, it is circulated.
  3. To save heat - in the winter put flaps. Some farmers install special filters that heat the incoming air.
  4. The walls are whitened with lime mortar, they update the whitewash 2 times a year. They are warmed by the old-fashioned method - sawdust or wood, or used a more modern method - impose an additional artificial wall.
  5. Sun beds for animals (berths) are 70–80 cm long and 50–60 cm wide along the warmed walls. They solve several problems: goats have a chic place to rest, wool gets less dirty in manure and bedding, the risk of catching a cold is reduced . Sun beds should also be whitened.
  6. The floor is recommended to use the boardwalk, it is easier to clean it from the manure. However, this does not mean that concrete, clay or earthen floors have no place to be. The floor is raised by 20–25 cm and is made under an incline (2 cm per 1 m of room) so that the slush immediately drains. To get it out of the shed, it is recommended to dig up the grooves, along which the emptying will immediately go into the cesspools.
  7. The floor is covered with a thick layer of natural material - peat, sawdust, hay, dry leaves, straw, moss. If there are no sun beds in the barn, then the animals have to sleep on the floor, therefore it is necessary to approach the floor covering responsibly.
  8. In front of the entrance to the goat, a well-lit hall is being made. They do not allow vystuzhat room.

Winter walks

Goats are active animals and even in the winter they need to walk. So that animals, in good weather, could take a walk in the fresh air, build a small courtyard next to the shed. At a temperature of no more than -10 ° C and the absence of wind here they are fed. The yard is built at the rate of 5 square meters. m for one individual.

On how the yard should go look for goats in the winter, the breeder shares in the video below:

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