If you’re raising baby goats, of course you want to know the best ways to keep them safe and healthy.
Those early months of life are often the most crucial to their long-term stability.
Managing temperature is a big deal when it comes to caring for small animals. It doesn’t matter if you’re raising baby chicks or small puppies, you need to make sure that they don’t get too hot or too cold.
Baby goats are just the same.
A lot of people ask whether they need to use a heat lamp to keep baby goats warm. The answer is, in most cases, no, you do not need a heat lamp.
Goats are curious animals that might try to knock the heat lamp down, which can be dangerous if it falls on them or into their enclosure when you’re not around.
Additionally, goats typically do well in all but extreme temps.
You may need to come up with a solution if you live somewhere terribly cold, but they’ll often do just fine huddling in a corner with other goats to keep warm.
If you’re wondering how you can keep your baby goats nice and cozy during the winter, here are some tips you can use to get the job done without a heat lamp.
What If Things Get Super Cold?
At what temperature should baby goats have a heat lamp?
Really, you shouldn’t need a heat lamp for all but extremely cold temperatures. Even when temps drop below freezing, goats generally do OK with hot water, plenty of hay that they can burrow in, and blankets or coats to snuggle under.
Do bottle babies have different heat lamp requirements from babies with their mom?
Baby goats who are on the bottle without their moms are more susceptible to colder temperatures than if they are sleeping in the pen with their mother.
However, there is a lot of risk leaving a heat lamp on all night in the barn while you’re sleeping.
Instead, you can:
- Make sure that they are dry – Completely dry off your goats before they go in the barn. You can use towels to dry them off or a hairdryer to get rid of any water or snow that’s still on them from playing around outside.
Likewise, you should ensure that their hay is nice and dry before they go to bed at night. Any excess moisture will add to the chill factor as temperatures drop during the night.
- Prevent any breezes – Wind makes things feel even colder than they are. Wherever you are keeping your baby goats, make sure that it’s out of the wind.
Feel for any gaps in wooden boards or under doors and fill them up to keep the air static inside where they sleep. It will help prevent their body heat from escaping as well.
- Give them warm bedding – In addition to keeping their bedding nice and dry, do what you can to give them plenty of insulation when they go down to sleep.
Of course, there should be a good amount of hay and pine chips, but you can also put things like blankets or old jackets inside to keep them warmer.
- Bring them inside when it’s super cold – If temperatures go really low during the winter, you can always bring your baby goats inside to keep them warm.
Set up a children’s playpen in the living room or somewhere else in the house where they can sleep.
You may not get the best quality of sleep in your life, but at least you will have peace of mind knowing your goats are doing fine.
How Do You Know if Your Baby Goat Is Too Cold?
So how can you tell if what you’re doing is working or if your baby goats are still too cold?
The main giveaway is if your goat is visibly shivering when it’s cold outside. Just like humans, the goat’s body will start shaking uncontrollably to generate more heat.
You can also grab ahold of their ears to feel how cold they are. If they are extremely cold to the touch, then there’s a good chance your goat is feeling frigid as well.
Ears are a good indicator because they don’t have a heavy coat around them to protect them from the cold. It’s like an early warning sign that things are getting too chilly.
Watch them to see that they’re acting normal.
Typical baby goat behavior includes a good appetite, pooping, peeing, walking around the pen, and other things you would expect to see if it were summer weather outside.
Two Heat Options for Your Baby Goat
If you’re living somewhere incredibly cold and you’re dealing with very young goats, you might require a heat lamp.
When that is the case, you certainly want to opt for the safest options out there to keep your baby goats and your property safe.
Here are two choices that can do the trick:
- The Yosooa livestock poultry heat warm lamp bulb comes with three bulbs of waterproof, anti-explosion heat lamps.
They’re suitable for anything from chicken coops to keeping piglets warm and could be a great solution for your baby goats.
They come at a bargain price and, when installed correctly, will keep your little goats nice and warm even when temperatures get very low.
- If you only want to deal with a single bulb, consider the Thick Pig Piglet Heat Lamp by Semme.
This is one bulb that is also waterproof and explosion-proof. It delivers a natural sunlight color and radiant heat great for the size of a small goat pen.
It’s also energy-efficient, so you don’t have to worry about a higher utility bill when keeping it on for hours a day.
Keeping baby goats warm when it’s cold outside will keep them happier and healthier all winter long.
Remember, most baby goats will do just fine without a heat lamp as long as you take steps to keep them dry and out of the wind when it’s cold outside.