Archive for February 7th, 2013

February 7, 2013

Goat coats

Winter kidding can be a bit of a challenge! I made an adult goat coat many many years ago for a doe who always seemed to be cold. Here recently with Iris’ buck and doe kids shivering in the cold and her not being able to really care for them being as how she was ill, then she broke the only 250 watt bulb we had for the heat lamp and it was late Sunday and there wasn’t a store open to buy a new one, goat coats were the only answer! Well, that or bringing them in and I am not opposed to bringing kids in the house and occasionally I do but, well, I won’t get into the whole stress on Iris taking her kids away so coats were the only answer!

Paying special attention on the very coldest of nights we had there in January (single digits), these coats did a fabulous job keeping those newborns warm! I’ve used sweat pant legs pilfered from the kids’ sweats to make coats in the past, but to be honest, I found they got gross far too easy and I ended up tossing them. Not to mention, they did fine in Northern California low temps (freezing or above at night) but in the single digits, I personally did not feel they did a lick of good…my kids were still left shivering…and they were cotton. Any moisture on the ground they were laying on, those coats just soaked it all up and you know as well as I do that a wet coat does more harm than good!

Our barn has electricity, however, I am always kind of afraid of a doe knocking a heat lamp down and it starting a fire. They must be hung up high enough so they cannot be hit but with that height, they do no good for tiny kids on the ground. Yes, I could build a brooder box, but I haven’t the space to give up for all sorts of uni-task things which leads me back to the coats…again!

I have used wool, I have used cotton, but I always come back to fleece. Outdoorsy clothing manufacturers have the right idea using fleece! It’s light weight (perfect for newborn kids), warm, washes up nicely, stays MUCH cleaner, dries quickly and is super warm! It’s perfect for goat coats.

My adult goat coat uses velcro for adjustment and while the velcro works fine, I find myself picking stuff out of the hooky part of the velcro and it’s just a real pain so I applied snaps to these kid coats and it’s so much nicer and holds more secure too! I allowed 3 size adjustment in the chest and with 5 snaps for the belly strap, this leaves oodles and bunch of options for growing kids!

The belly strap is placed far enough forward so those little boys don’t end up peeing all over their coats but the strap is placed far enough back it does not impede movement. The fleece does not shift on the body nearly as much as other fabrics either so even on kids who are jumping around it tends to stay put. Iris’ babies were on the small size (5.1 and 5.4 lbs. at birth). This coat fit snug and secure even on their small frames. Roxie was 6.0 (or there abouts at birth) and here she is, 9 days old, sporting the coat on a “medium” setting…still lots of room to grow but technically, our temps have been so nice, even over night, she does not really need it =).

goat coats 011

Mini and Nigerian Dwarf sizes also available. The coats above would probably be too large on a newborn mini or Nigerian. The coat above fits standard size goat kids and lambs from about 5-15 lbs. I find that by the time they outgrow the coat, in most climates, they are better able to maintain a good temperature and stay warm with just their orn fur =).  However, for ill kids or compromised kids, these are a great option especially if you have an unheated barn!

These coats are available in many different prints and solid colors. Print outers are $13 and solid (inner and outer) are $10. Local prick up is free, shipping is also available. Shipping cost is approximately $3.50 for the first coat, $1.50 for each additional but depends on location. Flat rate boxes are also an option if ordering enough to make flat rate shipping boxes more cost effective. Email me to order! =)

February 7, 2013

Plump, precious puppies during a pouring winter night!

Jokingly I told her, six or less. My girl came through. Five perfect little healthy screaming pups last night around mid-night!

Despite the rain, it wasn’t a bit cold and I am ever so thankful for that. Snow’s den was a wonderful maternity ward. Jeremiah and I went out into the dark at 6 this morning to evacuate the pups from the den. With the rain, I came up a bit muddy, to say the least. Drew would have been a good one for that job! Snow was not a bit pleased but she’ll settle in to her new digs in the barn. She curls up around those puppies like a rolie poly to keep them snug and despite being a bit on edge every time one of our mostly white kitties comes into the barn (she thinks it’s a pup & I am sure the kitty would not be too pleased being picked up in her mouth and plopped next to the rest of the screaming fur balls), she’ll get it all figured out.

I have no idea on gender count. Haven’t had much time to look, too busy praising mama for a job well done!