Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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How much water should 4 does (2 pregnant, 2 that are 9-months old) be drinking daily if it is about 40º during the day?  They don't seem to be drinking very much, but I've never had Nigies before.

 

They have been here 5 days.  Is there anything I should be looking for?

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all I know is I give mine hot water morning and night - only 2, so I think it is ok to spoil them.  ^^  there will be plenty of water in the bucket, but when I bring the hot stuff - if they're thirsty, they come over and drink quite a bit.

 

I do put a little apple cider vinegar in it, not really enough to do anything more than likely, and they get tired of the taste and if I notice they are reluctant to drink, I switch for a couple of days to just plain hot water.

 

I think we pretty much spoil our goats. lol. ^^

I have three pregnant does together, and we fill up a two-gallon bucket twice a day. There is usually an inch or two of water left in it. If you are keeping the water clean, you probably have nothing to worry about. You need to change the bucket twice a day, whether it is full or empty or looks clean or dirty. Goats are picky. I've tested this, because I didn't believe it myself, but they will stop drinking from a bucket by 12 hours regardless of how it looks or what's in it. For example --- If a bucket is half full at evening chores, and I don't empty it and refill it, the level changes almost not at all. If I dump it and refill it with clean water, it will be down about halfway again. That's why I only have a two gallon bucket with those three does. Even if I had a five gallon bucket in there, I'd have to dump it twice a day. In my main milker stall, I keep three buckets, because if one gets pooped in, forget it -- no one will touch it! And if they don't get water overnight, there is a noticeable difference in production at the morning milking.

Ok, so since I have about the equivalent of 3 pregnant does, if they are only drinking about 2 inches from the top of a 5 gallon container in an entire day, is that ok?

 

We give them fresh warmish water every morning and check it in the evening.

 

I would like to put vinegar in it, but I will wait until they drink more first.

No, that's not enough. I was about to ask if they could be eating snow, but not if it's 40 degrees, right? You need to change the water in the evening. They will also probably drink more if it's warm in the winter. My individual does in the kidding pens drink 1/2 to 1 gallon a day. The three together are finishing off four gallons.

Kare at Chaverah Farm said:

Ok, so since I have about the equivalent of 3 pregnant does, if they are only drinking about 2 inches from the top of a 5 gallon container in an entire day, is that ok?

 

We give them fresh warmish water every morning and check it in the evening.

 

I would like to put vinegar in it, but I will wait until they drink more first.

Wow, I will see how I can remedy this.  We have had snow on the ground until yesterday, but it's nearly gone now, so they may have been eating that.  This morning when we let them out, I stood and watched them and only one goat went over to the water when my son put the warm water in it.

I think I will get a smaller container for starters.  This is one of those big black rubber ones.

 

Thank you!

 

Karilee

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

No, that's not enough. I was about to ask if they could be eating snow, but not if it's 40 degrees, right? You need to change the water in the evening. They will also probably drink more if it's warm in the winter. My individual does in the kidding pens drink 1/2 to 1 gallon a day. The three together are finishing off four gallons.

Kare at Chaverah Farm said:

Ok, so since I have about the equivalent of 3 pregnant does, if they are only drinking about 2 inches from the top of a 5 gallon container in an entire day, is that ok?

 

We give them fresh warmish water every morning and check it in the evening.

 

I would like to put vinegar in it, but I will wait until they drink more first.

I was just signing back on to suggest that you get a smaller bucket. Great minds think alike, eh? I have almost completely quit using five gallon buckets for the goats, except in the middle of summer in the milking stall when we have 12-14 goats in there. We only built our kidding pens two years ago, and just a couple weeks ago my son suggested that we only fill the two gallon buckets half full, because there is only one doe in each one. I can't believe it took us two years to think of that. We dump a lot less water now.

Kare at Chaverah Farm said:

Wow, I will see how I can remedy this.  We have had snow on the ground until yesterday, but it's nearly gone now, so they may have been eating that.  This morning when we let them out, I stood and watched them and only one goat went over to the water when my son put the warm water in it.

I think I will get a smaller container for starters.  This is one of those big black rubber ones.

 

Thank you!

 

Karilee

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

No, that's not enough. I was about to ask if they could be eating snow, but not if it's 40 degrees, right? You need to change the water in the evening. They will also probably drink more if it's warm in the winter. My individual does in the kidding pens drink 1/2 to 1 gallon a day. The three together are finishing off four gallons.

Kare at Chaverah Farm said:

Ok, so since I have about the equivalent of 3 pregnant does, if they are only drinking about 2 inches from the top of a 5 gallon container in an entire day, is that ok?

 

We give them fresh warmish water every morning and check it in the evening.

 

I would like to put vinegar in it, but I will wait until they drink more first.

I too, dump water every evening.  I have a gallon bucket in the stall for 2 goats, it is usually never more than 1/2 or a little more empty.  ??

I have three goats and they get a fresh 3 gallon bucket in the morning and at night.  I usually find that they drink about 1-2 gallons during the day and about a gallon at night. 

Thank you everyone!

 

I have switched to a smaller bucket and we filled it up with hot water in the morning and they are still not drinking very much.  I don't know what else to do.  We do have snow on the ground here and there, maybe they are eating that?

 

It's really cold here, about 20º today and 6º right now...  don't know if that makes any difference.

 

I've never had this problem before.  My other goats never got hot water and they drank all winter. =)  We just went out to crack the ice when it froze and fill it up when it was low.

 

These are not acting sick.  They are eating fine.  They look great.  Am I being overly concerned?

If you're giving them fresh water twice a day, that's about all you can do. Dry does do drink less in winter than in summer or when they're milking, so you can definitely expect to see an increase after they kid and when it warms up.

Kare at Chaverah Farm said:

Thank you everyone!

 

I have switched to a smaller bucket and we filled it up with hot water in the morning and they are still not drinking very much.  I don't know what else to do.  We do have snow on the ground here and there, maybe they are eating that?

 

It's really cold here, about 20º today and 6º right now...  don't know if that makes any difference.

 

I've never had this problem before.  My other goats never got hot water and they drank all winter. =)  We just went out to crack the ice when it froze and fill it up when it was low.

 

These are not acting sick.  They are eating fine.  They look great.  Am I being overly concerned?

Good news!  Last night I decided to try one more thing.  We took a second small bucket of hot water inside the shed where they sleep at night and let them in (since it was so cold) and they drank more than half of it!  I don't know why.  Maybe because it was in out of the wind?  Whatever reason, we are going to keep one in there while it's cold.   I don't really want them in there during the day normally since they have an outside shelter, but I do want them drinking water. =)

 

Thanks again for all your help!

 

Karilee

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