Winters in the Ozarks have been mild for several years. This year left my goats in snowy weather and below zero cold.
This was normal when we lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Preparations for bone-chilling cold were done all year. Old blankets were piled. Baling twine was ready.
When the snow fell, the barn doors were closed. The barn walls were thick as was the bedding. Shivering goats had blankets draped over them and tied on.
Such cold is rare in the Ozarks. Snow is never waist deep and never stays for six months. The pile of blankets got packed away.
Instead a pile of sweatshirts was kept in the barn. These were from local thrift stores. The arms are cut short. The front has an elongated half moon cut out. The arms have holes for tiny legs and the cuff cut short for kids.
The pile sat on the shelf unused. There were a few days when my goats ended up with snowy weather. The temperatures were in the upper twenties. The weather warmed up in a few days.
This year the forecast warned about a polar vortex headed down bringing snow and cold. Augustus was moved into a hastily set up pen inside the barn. The doors were draped with sheets and blankets to cut the wind.
A total of seven inches of snow fell. The goats were locked in the barn for almost a week.
Bored goats find ways to amuse themselves. They are starving to death. The hay trough is full. They argue with each other. They huddle up overnight.
Water is carried to the barn several times a day. It sits ignored, if the temperatures are warm enough to leave it. Water is demanded after evening grain.
Finally the sun comes out and the barn door is opened up. Heads stick out. One by one the goats come out to bask by the barn.
Goats in snowy weather are a lot of work. Then comes the clean up.
Find out more about goats in “Goat Games“.