Living up in the high altitude Rockies leaves us with kids and lambs being born during cold weather most of the time. We usually breed for April babies, but even in April we still get below freezing most nights. This year we have had many chilled babies, so I thought I would share how we warm them back up.
There is a quick and easy way to remedy a chilled kid or lamb, and it uses items most every household has.
- Cardboard box big enough to accommodate goat kid or lamb
- Hair Dryer
- Knife or scissors
How to Build the Hot Box:
- Using scissors or knife, cut holes in two adjacent sides of the cardboard box. They need to be big enough to accommodate your hand or the end of the hair dryer that blows the hot air, whichever is largest.
- Put the towel in the bottom of the box.
How to hot box a chilled lamb or goat kid:
- Put the box near an outlet and plug in your hair dryer.
- Put the lamb or kid into the box and hold or fold the top closed.
- Stick the hair dryer in one of the holes, and your hand in the other. Turn on the hair dryer and blow the hot air into the box. The purpose of your hand being inside is to be sure you don’t burn the lamb. You don’t want the hot air blowing directly on their body – just into the box. So use your hand to make sure it doesn’t move over into the blowing air and that it doesn’t get too hot. We usually have the hair dryer on for a minute or so, then off for 15 seconds, then back on, and off, etc. to keep the box very warm, but not too hot. It doesn’t usually take very long to warm up the lamb/kid. When they start getting exuberant and trying to get up and get out they are likely warmed up enough. If they were hypothermic we use a thermometer to check their temperature when we think they are done so we don’t put them back with their mother until their body temp is for sure up where it needs to be.