August 2012 Issue

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MISTING SYSTEM FOR GOATS

The summers of 2011 and 2012 have been so hot and dry that the health of goats has been impacted. Heat stress in heavily-pregnant does has caused the death of kids in utero and sometimes their dams didn't survived. Automatic waterers and oak trees to lounge under weren't enough to keep the expectant mothers cool. I decided that something had to be done to cool the environment in which the moms-in-waiting were living.

So we devised a misting sytem to hang in the oak trees and another misting system to put in the pens where new moms and their kids are moved when born. The cost was nominal. Parts were bought off the counter at the local hardware store. The most expensive part is the brass mister heads. ( Do not waste your money on the plastic mister heads.)

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Here is a list of the parts:

  • 100 foot rolls of 1/2 inch black flexible poly hose
  • Brass & stainless steel mister nozzles (usually come in 5 packs)
  • 3/4 inch hose thread pressure regulator pre-set to 25-30 psi
  • 1/2 inch hose-in plug (male or female, depending upon your needs)
  • 3/4 inch to 1/2 inch hose connector (might not need)
  • Various straps and hooks to secure the flexible poly hose to structure or tree
  • Garden hoses of appropriate length
  • In-line mister filter calcium-trapping type
  • Water cut-off faucet and needed PVC piping to hook up to black poly hose
  • Bottle of CLR (calcium-lime-rust remover)
  • And of course a water source to hook up to.
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Place mister heads into the hose at least every two feet. Run the poly hose to the desired location and secure it. Place the in-line mister filter immediately after the water cut-off faucet and before the water enters the poly hose. If you have to run a garden hose across an alley that you drive, build a wooden framework to place over the hose so that you don't break down the hose wall by repeatedly crushing it with tires. I plan to dig a shallow trench across the alley, install a length of PVC pipe, and run a garden hose through it. When misting is no longer needed, I will remove the hose, leaving the PVC in place and capping the ends.

If your water has lots of minerals in it, you will have to check mister heads daily to clean them. I bought an extra set of mister nozzles so an unclogged set could be installed while the clogged-up set is soaking in CLR.

I turn the system on in early morning and turn it off about 10 p.m. during periods of high heat. You will have to decide on what timeframe works best for you. This system reduces the air temperature by about 20*F. My goats kid underneath it.

Suzanne W. Gasparotto, Onion Creek Ranch, Texas 76852 8/18/12

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