Keeping Goats Warm in the Winter

As some of you may know from my Facebook updates, we are currently experiencing a bit of SNOW here in southern Italy.

Snow on the prickly pear cactus

Snow on the prickly pear cactus

Although snow is par-for-the-winter-course in the deep mountains of Calabria (we have several ski resorts), it’s not nearly as common here in my village, which is about 250 meters above sea level and a 10-minute winding drive away from the Ionian Sea.

Badolato in the snow

Badolato in the snow

Calabrian hills "in bianco"

Calabrian hills "in bianco"

I’m in my eighth winter here, and this is maybe the third time I remember even a dusting in the village itself, so this is quite an exciting time for this girl who comes from the mountains of Pennsylvania.

Our mandarin tree under the snow

Our mandarin tree under the snow

But what about the goats? This is the first time they’ve ever seen snow.

Who the heck put this stuff out there?

Who the heck put this stuff out there?

In fact, it normally doesn’t drop below freezing very often here, so I was a little worried about keeping them warm. Paolo assured me that they’ll be fine in their winter coats and *excellent* shelter he built, which is completely covered and protected from wind and moisture, but what can I say? As you know, I’m a worrywart goat maaaa….

Goat snow day!

Goat snow day!

So I read up a bit and found out that it’s good to give them some warm water (or hot if you’re mixing with cold) so they’ll have a little treat — kind of like us coming inside for hot cocoa — and also plenty of great hay to keep their rumens working and their body heat flowing.

La neve!

La neve!

Indeed when I checked on them this morning, they looked just fine, but I gave them some good rubdown kind of petties just to increase that blood flow all the more. You can never be too careful with the goaties.

View from the goat pen

View from the goat pen

Which is why I’m about to head back over there with more warm water, fresh hay, and, of course, petties.

OK, and maybe an old blanket or two….

P.S. See more of my snowy pics over at Flickr.

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5 Responses to “Keeping Goats Warm in the Winter”
  1. 12.17.2010

    It seems, from my relatives’ photos in Abruzzo, they got more snow than you.
    Great photos.

    Probably yes, Elisa; we didn’t get very much at all, and it was all melted in a few hours — most of it anyway. Further up in the mountains, it’s sticking around a bit :)

    [Reply]

  2. Gil
    12.17.2010

    Brrr! Pictures are beautiful! Love the goat. We are due for snow Sunday or Monday…

    Hope you only got/get just enough for it to be pretty 😉

    [Reply]

  3. 12.17.2010

    Your photo’s are outstanding Michelle! Keep those girls warm and yourself too! xo

    Thanks Pam! Lots of petties and cuddling were in order!

    [Reply]

  4. LOVE the way the village looks in the snow! And it’s so weird to see cactus covered in it. That happens sometimes in Tucson, AZ where I live…we will get a dusting on the cactus. It’s just odd since it doesn’t really fit with one’s idea of desert! Thanks for the pics!

    That’s exactly why I had to take that photo, Salena — *so* strange to see snow on a cactus of all things! Thanks for coming by :)

    [Reply]

  5. 12.18.2010

    Beautiful! I love the snowy look of your mountains.

    Thanks Teresa; it isn’t a common sight for us so it’s extra special :)

    [Reply]


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