Ration adjustments for cold weather

For rations that you are formulating in winter, you will also want to increase the amounts you feed to compensate for the animals needing extra energy for keeping themselves warm.

A general rule of thumb is to increase the amount fed by 1% for each degree of coldness below 32 degrees F. Remember to include the wind chill when determining how much to increase the feed.

Example: The temperature is 20 degrees F and the wind chill is 15 mph. The effective temperature would then be 5 degrees F (20 - 15 = 5). You would need to increase the amount fed by 27%. (32 - 5 = 27).

For a complete listing of requirements for goats, refer to the National Research Council's book titled "Nutrient Requirements of Small Ruminants." This book is available through the National Academy Press. Other books dealing with Goat Production may also contain nutrient requirement tables.