I know the leaves are turning and itís just hitting fall, but itís time to make a winter
list. This is a list of all the things you need to have on hand to make wintertime a little
easier this year. Itís very important to remember the things you forgot last year to put
on this yearís list. Remember that small item called rubber barn boots you forgot to
purchase for the first cold driving rain that occurred suddenly? Youíd been happy
running around all summer in tennis shoes and then that rain happened. Tennis shoes
are not much good in cold driving rain and deep mud.
Iíll start my list and see if this jars your memory any to add things to your list.
- Rubber boots -- two pair, one insulated and one not, for those hot 35 degree
days. Also duct tape (preferably the same color of the boots, but not necessary)
to hold the boots together until you finally make it to a farm store to get another
pair. Or, possibly to last all winter.
- Rain poncho -- Can get at Walmart for $8. The rain poncho will cover all
manners of coats and coveralls, no matter how heavy you layer them. Use the
above mentioned duct tape to hold it together to last all winter. I have one
poncho thatís 4 years old. Sure, itís mainly duct tape now, but it still sheds most
rain and wet snow.
- Yellow fleece winter gloves -- buy them by the dozen at a local farm supply
store. They are warm down to 3 degrees and if you get them wet, just hang
them up near the wood stove and grab another pair out of the dozen you
bought. The fleece gloves are also good for wiping off newly born kidsí heads
when you find you have run out of clean kidding towels.
- Firewood -- The above mentioned wood stove reminded me of this. Have plenty
of firewood on hand for winter. We use only wood heat and have an airtight
wood stove upstairs and down. Last year we cut up 22 truckloads of firewood
and it wasnít enough (I like a warm house). Donít find yourself like we did one
winter in a raging white out, could barely see a hand in front of your face from
all the blowing snow, out cutting firewood.
- Spare winter barn coats -- Somehow or another I always seem to demolish one
or two winter coats a year. Itís just a gift I have. So, I make sure I have at least
three winter barn coats on hand every winter. This also helps if you get soaked
by that cold driving rain or sleeting snow when you forgot your rain poncho.
You can hang the wet coat by the wood stove and grab up a spare to go back
outside, and with the rain poncho.
- Peanut Butter -- Always have on hand during winter and also the kidding months
plenty of peanut butter. When you are in a hurry and donít have time to fix a
meal, peanut butter always hits the spot. Itís nice to have some bread or
crackers with it, but not necessary.
- Flashlights & batteries -- An absolute must for the goat farmer who finds
themselves running around in the dark checking on goats, particularly kidding
goats. I like the small hand held ones that I can put in my pocket and whip out
when I need them. Find the flashlights that are a little hard to turn on when you
carry them in your pocket. I ran through a lot of batteries one month when I
carried one nice little flashlight that clicked on with the slightest touch. My coat
pocket was lit up all the time and I didnít know it until it was too late.
- Lanterns, kerosene lamps, & lamp oil -- For those of us whoís electric goes off
over the whole area from a windy day, hereís a must. We even have a couple of
the old railroad type lanterns for taking outside in case both Lee and I have
flashlights that turn on easily in our coat pockets and weíve used up all our
- Gallon of gentle iodine -- This is for kidding time. We usually kid from Oct. on,
but mainly in January. Weíve found it cheaper to buy our gentle iodine in the
gallon size for all the times I knock over the little jars we use for dipping the
kidís cord in. Why gentle iodine instead of the 7%? Lee and I both developed an
allergy to the 7% after the first six years of kidding and we had to switch. Just
open up a bottle of the 7% stuff and tears start streaming down our faces, our
eyes canít open, and we canít find the doe, the kids, and the stall weíre in. You
would hear us snorting and blubbering in the kidding stalls, "Can you find the
doe?" "No, I canít open my eyes." "Iíve lost the doe and the kids!"
- Kidding towels -- Very important item. I go through the towels in the bathroom
and pick through the most worn ones and set them aside for kidding. That
usually leaves us with two towels, but at the next towel sale I promise myself I
will buy us some more towels. Iíve noticed that our town has yet to have a
towel sale. Oh well.
- Heat lamps & heat lamp bulbs -- We buy the heat lamp bulbs by the case and
several new heat lamps to replace the lamps the goat kids thought it would be
fun to swing on.
- Toboggans -- No, I donít mean sleds. These are warm knit caps to pull down
over your head. I find in the winter I need a couple of different types. I need the
heavy toboggan for those temperatures below thirty degrees Fahrenheit and a
light one for temps above thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit. And a couple of spares
when I drop them in mud or manure or have a cold day when I need to wear
two of them at one time.
- Kid Kare -- I really like this stuff from Hoeggers. It gives a jump-start to a newly
born kid to get him up and nursing. This is particularly important if you are
kidding in cold weather. Only problem is this stuff gets solid on you in the colder
temps. I usually put a bottle in a zip top baggie and keep it in my inner coat
pocket to keep it warm. Goat Nutri-Drench will also give a kid a quick
jump-start and it doesnít get solid in cold weather, but itís nasty tasting to them
and they sputter to spit it out.
- Colostrum -- I keep Hoeggerís Goat Colostrum Replacer on hand all the time
and store the powdered colostrum in the freezer to keep it fresh. Itís a real pill
to stir up and get all the lumps out, but itís saved many a kid.
Now letís see, thereís also sitting buckets to set aside for kidding. I have many fond
memories of favorite sitting buckets Iíve sat on and fallen asleep and fell off of over
the years during kidding. Heavy woolen socks to shop for and stock up. And ÖÖ. I
tell you what; letís all go to Florida for the winter and have our winter there. What do