In the Southern United States, it gets Hot…Really hot! Many times we reach 100+ degrees with ease in July and August. Rain is always a blessing as it cools things off even if only temporarily, otherwise it’s just stinking hot!
I hear a question about how to care for goats when it’s so hot the trees are arguing over who gets the dog. Well this is what we do.
First and foremost, make sure your goats have plenty of fresh water available to them. Goats have a reputation for being able to go without water for a few days and have remarkable ways of conserving water in their bodies. From their blood vessels in their ears to panting and even sweating (hopefully it is never that bad). However as goat tenders there is no reason they shouldn’t have fresh water every day, especially when it’s hot. It only takes a few minutes each day to fill buckets.
Shelter would be the next thing, plenty of shade, whether it’s from trees or manmade shelter, they need a place to get out of the sun. Our tend to find a “sandy” spot under a shade tree and hang out. Another thing to do in shade is provide fans. We provide fans in our barn to keep the air flowing, it aids in providing a shaded place for them to hang out and a gentle breeze as well. If you notice in the heat, they will go out in the morning and come in after a few hours and lounge around while it’s hot and then go out again later as it cools.
And finally we trim our goats. Yep, we give them haircuts. For most people who show their goats, they trim them regularly anyway. We trim ours in the summer between show seasons to help keep them cool. There are two drawbacks that you need to watch out for when trimming. The first it to remember goats can get sunburn and not to trim too short because of this and second as they are trimmed it’s easier for biting flies and other flying pest to get to their skin. So it’s a good idea to keep them coated with fly spray as well.
That’s how we do it. How do you manage your goats in the summer heat? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading!
Well today we disbudded our first kid. In all the things we do around the farm this is probably the most emotionally disturbing thing I can imagine and least favorite thing to do. It didn’t seem to bother the young kid much at all. She yelled a little but it was over pretty quickly, then she went on her way and seemed to be just fine with the occasional scratch to her head with her rear hoof. I, on the other hand was a bit more bothered simply because this was something new to me and was more worried about her than she was bothered by it, but I’m a big buck and will get over it.
Disbudding is a necessary evil Continue reading
In order to advance to Dixie National Rodeo and Livestock Junior Roundup (Mississippi’s State 4H show), you must compete in the County and District shows and receive a Blue Ribbon. If you receive a Red ribbon, then your animal cannot proceed to the next show. The ribbons are less about placement and more about normality. Very few red ribbons are given out as the reasons they are given are because of birth defects or other problems with the animal such as a sick goat, one that is lame, or some other visible defect.
This is the story of the District show. At the district show we were required to check our goats in the day before the show on Friday, so we got there early and settled in for the night, all was well. The weather was good considering it is winter time here in Mississippi. Saturday morning was like any other show, Continue reading
Well the first goat show of the 4H season is in the books!
The day started out great with decent weather, hovering around 50 degrees and a few sprinkles, we bundled up, loaded up the goats, over the hills and through the woods and around a detour, we finally made it to the Livestock Arena.
Last year we were at this same show, showing pigs (read the about us to find out more about this). During that show the number of animals and people were more than double than that of this year. Not sure why that was today but it still happened and that was good.
We had a small amount of competition today as the numbers were lower, however the numbers were in our favor as we had more goats than anyone else. In our state, we can only bring 6 does to competition, so we did bring six!
So onto the show Continue reading
The 4H shows are kicking off in about 2 weeks for us. The ladies of the farm have been working hard on getting the does prepared for their days of glory. We have three weeks back to back to back of shows. Starting with the county show and then onto the regionals and then “The Big Show”, the Dixie National Rodeo 4H Livestock Show in Jackson MS. We’ve never been to Dixie before so we’re really excited.
So along with their regularly monthly grooming, the ladies have given the does their first trimming. We decided as it’s been SO cold lately that we will not give them a complete shaving for the show, just get them trimmed so they look nice. No need to put them through too much stress of freezing just for show. They’ll have their new coats to wear, along with their sweaters if need be to keep them warm, but still I wouldn’t want to be bald in the winter either. The doe pictured is Marlena, she’s wearing a coat designed and made by Jenny on the farm. Marlena isn’t much of a cold weather goat.
Still some final finishing touches, trimming and bathing will need to be done before show, but most of the work is done long before this point, such as their feeding and normal care regime. We carefully select what each doe gets to eat based on their individual needs, not only to get them ready for show but for a happy healthy life as well. Just as we do for ourselves.
So stay warm out there and we’ll see you after show season with updates on how things went. We hope for the best and wish all of you showing your goats good luck!
If you haven’t already, come check out our YouTube channel and see what we’ve got going on.
One Old Cold Goat
Goodbye 2014, a year in review.
Wow, what a year for Camelot Hills. This year we began raising dairy goats and gave our farm a name because of it as the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) requires it, and we couldn’t be any more happy about it. What started out as a simple 4H project with just a couple goats has turned into 6 dairy does (Alpine and Nubian), 2 herd sires (Nubian) with many on the way this spring. Camelot Hills has become more than just a project, it has expanded our lives in ways we could have never imagined.
We acquired our first two dairy goats from Joburg Acres, a local 4H’r, and they happen to be bucks. Then the plan to get a single Senior doe from Heaven’s Jubilee farm in Starkville, MS turned into getting the Senior Doe and her 4 month old kid as well. These were Ain’t I Something Mister and Melody. We were going to just get a doe simply so we could learn about how to care for and milk a senior doe first. However Continue reading
10 Rules goats live by.
- Jump…on and off Everything and even Nothing!
- Eat….everything, that tastes good!
- Nibble!… on anything and everything…especially the farmer’s stuff!
- Drop goat berries anywhere, anytime…farmers love that!
- Whenever possible, sneak into the feed room, you never know what you will find!
- Love on your farmers…especially when they don’t know they need it!
5 Special rules for Bucks!
Here at Camelot Hills in east central Mississippi, our winters are not all that harsh. However, they can get quite cold at times with the occasional freezing rain, sleet and the crippling one inch of snow. I kid simply because the South is just not prepared for snow and it usually shuts everything down for a day or two. Old Man Winter can be a nasty ole goat at times and some goats need a little help fighting him off.
There are many ways to protect your goats for the winter weather, the first being shelter. Shelter can be very small to very large, depending on your needs and means. But whatever its size, it needs to be clean and dry. I have seen shelters take on all sizes and shapes made from many different materials such as hay, pallets and old scrap tin. You can also re-purpose other buildings for shelter, we took a storage shed and turned it into a pig barn, which later remodeled for a goat shelter. Some people even use part of their garage. And to get even crazier, some people bring their goats indoors. I’ve even seen pictures on the internet of shelters made from stacks of hay with a board on top, talk about simple. Do yourself a quick search and see what you might like. The most important thing is that it’s clean and dry. Continue reading
Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner and as I was shopping online I came upon this and thought that you all might like to read it as well. However I did not write this myself, I found it on another site here. The article below is an excerpt, please stop by their website for more. I myself enjoy reading about other traditions and cultures around the world and hope you’ll enjoy this one as it even has some elements of our modern day Christmas.
Julebukk has a long tradition in Norway and even though its form and meaning has changed over time, the symbol of julebukk remains to this day – bringing the community together at Christmas, Juletid. In old Norse tradition the julebukk (yule goat) was originally the goat that was slaughtered during Romjul, the time between Christmas and New Years.
The julebukk became the symbol of the pagan julebukk ritual. It was a spiritual being that dwelled in the house during Christmas, overlooking the preparations and celebrations. It later became personified and during the darkest nights of the year, a man or men (from the community) dressed in a goat mask and fur cape to represent the ghosts of winter night. They travelled from door-to-door receiving gifts from the towns folk to thank them for protection and keeping the winter ghosts at bay. They also gave warnings, especially to children, to be nice.
When Christianity appeared Continue reading
Fall, a time for state fairs all around the country and that’s no exception for Mississippi. At the 2014 Mississippi State Fair in October, Camelot hills started on its first adventure in showing. We went into this fair with no expectations of coming away with any awards or ribbons, hoping to only get a learning experience for future shows.
Arrival at the fair was pretty standard, we setup camp, found out where we needed to take the goats, albeit through a little detective work, and go them all setup in their pens for the weekend ahead. We made sure they had shavings and water and were comfortable just as we would at home. We settled in for the night, all giddy for a long weekend of showing.
The next morning we got our girls all fed and cleaned up ready to show. We had trimmed hooves and trimmed fur before we came to the show making it much less stressful than it could have been. We asked around on where to get our program so we knew when and where to be with what goats etc. Then we perused around the other goat exhibits and saw a lot of great ideas…except for Jenny, all she wanted to do was pet goats.
This first day was the 4H sponsored show. Continue reading