Goats are some of the heartier creatures, often venturing outdoors during the winter, said Jay Young, one of the owners of Young’s Jersey Dairy.
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“Obviously they have a nice big winter coat all the time and as the temperatures start to go down in the fall they start to grow more and more hair and that insulates them,” Young said.
That extra hair keeps the goats from having problems from the cold like frostbite. Also, increasing their caloric intake helps, too.
“As long as they are eating a good diet and they’ve got plenty to eat, their body will produce plenty of heat and it’ll keep them warm.”
Cattle are similar to goats, he said, and are cared for in the same manner. Their body tells them to eat more so they can burn more energy to stay warm, Young said, so they’re fed and watered multiple times a day.
Keeping livestock dry also is key, Young said, because if their hair gets wet, it’s not as good of an insulator. That’s when the cold weather becomes dangerous.
“Your animal, such as the goat, they have long hair and they will have an inner layer of hair that insulates them and helps shed that water,” Young said.
Most animals are no different from humans, Young said, and the older the animal, the harder it is for them to handle extreme temperatures.
“If a cow shivers, you know it’s cold when that happens because you don’t see that often,” he said.