How to Keep Goats Cool in the Summer

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If you have hot goats, then this list of tips on how to keep goats cool in the summer is just what you and your goats need.

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How to Keep Goats Cool in the Summer

It’s summertime, and that means it’s hot. For people and animals alike. If you have goats, you might be looking for ideas on how to keep them cooler.

Goats can easily overheat when temperatures soar too high, so it’s important for us as goat owners to take extra care of them during the warm weather months. In this article, we’ll discuss some simple ways to help keep our goats cool, including providing shade, pasture shelters, frozen treats, extra water, ice cubes, and minerals.

With these tips in hand, you can ensure that your goats are comfortable and happy even when the temps soar.

What temperature is too hot for goats?

Goats can generally tolerate warmer temperatures; how much heat depends on the goat’s age and health of the goat. As long as you have a place for them to go to get out of the hot sun, they can do fine in temperatures of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have a stretch of 90-100+ degree days you will want to watch your herd for signs of heat stress.

What is heat stress in goats?

Heat stress is when the body cannot get rid of excess heat. This can raise the core temperate causing stress on the heart. Signs can range from panting and labored breathing to going off feed and drooling. To prevent heat stress, it is always a good idea to be proactive with your herd before the hot days arrive.

Do goats handle heat well?

No, goats do not handle heat well and need extra help staying cool in hot environments. Heat stress can cause them to go off feed which will, in turn, reduce or stop their milk production.

Be proactive with your herd, but always call your veterinarian if you have any issues with one or more of your goats.

between -20°C to 30°C. Temperatures above 30°C can be too hot for goats, and they may need extra help staying cool in such environments. This includes providing adequate shade, shelter, frozen treats, extra water, ice cubes, and minerals. It is also best to consult with a veterinarian or qualified goat nutritionist before introducing any new foods or minerals to your goats’ diet.

How to Keep a Goat Cool in the Summer

I like to offer relief before the weather gets hot so my goats are able to acclimate to the weather changes. These tips range from simple to a bit more involved.

Provide Multiple Shaded Areas

The most important step to keeping goats cool in the summer is providing plenty of shaded areas. Goats can easily overheat when exposed to direct sunlight for too long, so make sure your goats have plenty of shady areas throughout their pasture or pen.

If needed, you can invest in a portable canopy or some other type of sun-blocking material that you can hang up in an area of your goat’s enclosure. When buying or building a shelter, you will want it to be open, meaning it only has a top but no sides. This will allow airflow to create a cooler space.

Benefits of shade trees/structures

Shade trees and structures are great for keeping goats cool in the summer. Shade trees provide a natural source of protection against direct sunlight, while structures like portable canopies will help block out any sun rays that might otherwise affect your herd.

There is one thing to remember when relying on trees for shade, your goats may be tempted to eat the bark causing permanent damage to the tree. To protect your trees you can put a fence around the base, being sure it is far enough out to keep the tree safe, yet close enough so your herd can rest underneath.

goats eating pine trees

You can add protection around your trees to deter your goats from eating at the bark. A layer or two of mesh tree trunk wrap can keep your trees thriving even in a pasture full of mischievous goats.

How to create an artificial shade area

If you don’t have any natural shade trees or structures in your goat’s enclosure, an artificial shade area can easily be created. All you need is a tarp, a few poles, and some rope to tie it all together. You can hang the material up in an area of your goat’s enclosure that receives full sun throughout the day. It will instantly create some much-needed relief from the heat.

Barn Fans

Stale and stagnant air can make the inside of a barn feel stuffy and very hot. Fans can be useful as they can move the air around, keeping things clean and fresh for your goats to breathe.

Fans can also be used to help circulate air throughout their pens and create a more comfortable environment for them.

a box fan in a kid pen facing down

Benefits of using fans in the summer heat

Using fans in your goat’s enclosure can be a great way to keep them cool during hot summer days. Fans will help circulate air throughout their pen and create an overall cooler environment.

It is important to ensure the fans are placed in areas with good ventilation so they don’t blow directly on your goats, as this could cause discomfort and distress.

Pasture Shelters

Another great way to keep your goats cool in the summer is by installing a pasture shelter. Pasture shelters provide a shady, well-ventilated area within your goat’s enclosure that gives them a place to rest and escape from the hot weather.

Benefits of having a shelter in the field

Having a shelter in the field can provide many benefits for your goats. It will give them a cool, shaded area to escape from the sun and allow them to stay out of the mud and damp grass during rainy days.

A shelter will allow them to rest more comfortably in all seasons, keeping them cool, dry, and free of dampness and muck.

How to construct a simple shelter

Building a shelter for your goats doesn’t have to be complicated. You can construct a simple shelter using scrap wood you may have lying around, planks from pallets, a tarp, or even sheet metal.

When constructing your pasture shelter, be sure it is large enough for all of your goats and provides plenty of ventilation. A slanted roof will help divert rainwater from the enclosure and keep your goats dry during rainy days.

Frozen Treats

Frozen treats are a great way to help keep your goats cool during hot summer days. You can create frozen fruit or vegetable combinations that they can chew on. Frozen banana slices or apple peels are great treats your goats will love.

Extra Water

Always provide more than one source of clean, fresh drinking water for your goats so they stay hydrated throughout the day. Goats can be quite finicky and will refuse to drink warm dirty water even if they are thirsty. For that reason, we change our water for our herd a few times on very hot days.

a hose filling a bucket of water for goats

Benefits of offering extra water during hot weather

Offering extra water during hot weather is a must for keeping goats cool. Make sure to provide plenty of clean, fresh drinking water at all times, as dehydration can be dangerous for goats.

If you have access to a hose, you can invest in an automatic waterer for your goats and other livestock.

Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are a great way to provide a cool snack for your goats in the hot summer months. You can add a handful of ice to their waterers or make a large block of ice that they can lick and chew on really hot days.

You can freeze fruit in blocks of ice to encourage your herd to lick and eat them.

Shave your goats

Too much fur can keep a goat hotter in the summer. To help, you can shave your goats at the beginning of the summer. This will help them to stay cool and allow their fur to grow back in time for the colder weather, come fall.

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With a few simple steps, you can help keep your goats cool and comfortable during the summer months.

Shade, pasture shelters, frozen treats, extra water, ice cubes, and haircuts are all excellent ways to help keep your goats cool when temperatures rise. Remember that it is always best to consult with a veterinarian if you see any of your goats showing signs of heat stress.

With a few of these simple steps, you can make sure that your goats are well taken care of during the hot summer months!

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