Generally, it is well known that Nigerian Dwarf goats are hardy animals, actually they are known to tolerate cold temperatures without having any problems,
however there is to limit to everything, so also there is a limit of cold that a Nigerian dwarf goat can endure and if they exceed this minimum temperature they suffer.
How cold is too cold for nigerian dwarf goats depends on several factors, it depends on the age of the Nigerian dwarf goats in question, haircoat thickness and also the general health of the Nigerian dwarf goats.
However, The ideal temperature range for an average Nigerian Dwarf goats is between 40°F to 80°F (4°C to 27°C).
Generally an adult Nigerian Dwarf goats can be able to tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F to 30°F (-6°C to -1°C), moreover they should be able to withstand this temperature as long as they have access to shelter and also a dry bedding.
A baby Nigerian Dwarf goats, and also a Nigerian dwarf goat with thin or short haircoat won’t be able to withstand cold temperatures and they might need additional protection from extreme cold. It will be nice if you can provide extra insulation for them and also it is necessary you get them adding bedding.
It is important you note that When temperatures drop below freezing, an average Nigerian dwarf goat won’t be comfortable rather they are likely to experience some level of discomfort and if they are left in such unfriendly temperature they might develop health problems that might threatened their lives.
Do Nigerian dwarf goats shiver when they are cold?
Thanks to their thick coats of fur, goats have that natural ability to withstand cold weather to some extent. The thick coats of fur are known as a good conservation of body heat.
When cold, Nigerian dwarf goats are capable of shivering when exposed to cold temperature. Shivering in goats is an act that helps goat maintain or generate additional heat which helps them maintain temperature.
What is Shivering? Well shivering is actually a reflex action, this action actually helps the body to quickly generate some heat via the contraction of the muscles hence heat is produced through this means as a byproduct.
When the weather is cold, it is necessary you ensure that your goats have a better shelter that helps minimise the impact and also adequate bedding as this will help your goat stay warm despite the cold temperature.
How do I know if my goat is cold?
There are several signs that can indicate that your goat is cold. Some of these signs include:
Shivering: check if your goat is shivering,if yes then it might be trying to generate needed heat to keep the body warm.
Huddling: Goats are known to huddle together, this helps them easily share body warmth . So if you experience such then certainly your goat is cold.
Cold ears: check the ears of your goat. Are they cold? If yes then it means that they might be cold.
Slow movement: most times when goats are cold, they won’t move quickly but rather they may move more slowly.
Reduced feed intake: goat don’t eat much during cold weather rather they feed less most of this times because at this point their body needs heat and all energy is channelled towards generating the needed heat.
Hunched posture: If your goat is hunched up, it may be trying to conserve body heat.
Rapid breathing: although rapid breathing in goat might indicate an underlying health problem but most time it might be attributed to just cold. So when your goat is cold they breathe faster just for the body to generate heat.
What is the best bedding for goats in winter?
The best bedding for goats in winter depends on various factors and you have to consider this factor before deciding the type of bedding to put in place for your goats.
The factors to consider are the types of goats you have, current climate , and more also your management practices.
But let’s just concentrate on the general guidelines we recommend you follow for the best bedding for goats in winter.
- You must have heard about Straw right? Yes straw is a popular choice for bedding in winter and you should consider this also, because straw are known to provides good insulation that will help keep your goats warms throughout cold night. Again straw is not that expensive, it is relatively cheaper and also readily available.
- Another option you can consider is wood shavings. This also readily available and one good thing about wood shavings is that, it is an excellent absorbent and also not that expensive, this means that your goat living space is going to be clean and dry.
But while sourcing for wood shaving don’t go for cedar shavings, this is not recommended at all as they can cause respiratory problems in goats.
One of the best shavings are Pine shavings
What goats are best for cold weather?
There are several breeds of goats that are well-suited for cold weather conditions. Here are a few examples:
Nubian goats: Nubians goats are known to have a higher butterfat content in their milk, with this feature, the Nubians goats are able to maintain heat when the weather gets cold or in colder climates.
Alpine goats: when looking for a hardy breed goat that can withstand cold then you talk about the Alpine goats. They are able to remain warm even in cold weather due to their thick fur coat and they also have the ability to produce and also retain much needed body heat.
LaMancha goats: LaManchas are known to have thick undercoat, this makes them stay warm even when the weather is cold. Again the LaManchas goats are really friendly and they are also known for their docile personalities.
Oberhasli goats: Oberhaslis are known to have a dense coat and this helps Oberhaslis stay warm all through in cold weather, apart from being suitable for cold weather, Oberhaslis have high milk production.
Cashmere goats: Cashmere goats have a very thick, soft undercoat that insulates them against cold weather.