After several mild winters, this winter has started off with two storms and bitterly cold temperatures in December. I've never had my goats kid in December before, and I was hoping it would be another mild winter, but it wasn't to be.
Let me begin this post by saying that the kids are now two weeks old, and only wearing coats if it is really cold, like last night's nine degrees. You might think it's silly for them to wear coats, or that I'm pampering them much more than needed, but I don't use heat lamps, and this has already been an unusually cold winter. Goat kids are born without much body fat and it can be hard to regulate their body temperature as newborns.
In the past I've made kid coats in several different ways. When Phoenix was a kid, I improvised a coat from a pair of thrift store sweatpants, and that is the design I use exclusively now. One pair of sweatpants makes two coats, one from each leg.
It's getting harder to find sweatpants with elastic around the ankles. I recently found a pair of black sweatpants at the local thrift store, and made a pair of coats that are smaller than the ones I'd made for Phoenix when she was about a month old. It's amazing how fast kids grow. And since first fresheners usually have a single kid, I thought two coats might be enough, but Felicity had twins.
The twins were three days old when I next went to town, the first day that the roads were driveable after an ice storm. I stopped at the thrift store to check out the current selection. I found two pair of sweatpants with elastic ankles. For a moment I debated about which one to buy, but decided to get both, since it would give me spares for kids to wear when I washed the others.
At home I cut them into coats, and that same day both Phoenix and Firefly had twins. I'm thankful I was able to put coats on all of them to warm them up, especially Phoenix's chilled doeling. Each set of twins wears matching coats. It's nice how that worked out.
Choose a pair of sweatpants with elastic around the bottom of the legs. This will be the neck of the kid coat. I use a large girls' size or a small women's or men's size. My local thrift store sells sweatpants for $2 a pair; one pair makes two coats, so the coats cost me $1 each to make.
Color doesn't matter to me, although I did get some comments about the violently hot pink/fuschia color of the first coats I made for Phoenix when she was young.
The easiest way to make the second leg hole is to fold the coat in half and cut a hole that roughly matches the first hole.
These have really been a blessing this year during the very cold winter we are having.
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