These homemade herbal goat treats make treating your goats herbally an easy and convenient process, much easier than making dosage balls.
One of the things I don’t love about the herbal supplement powders I provide to my goats is that they often sift through the feed and end up with an uneaten powder at the bottom of the dishes. My goats love it when I make traditional herbal balls for them, but I don’t want to make them daily for daily supplements.
I’ve been making the traditional herbal balls weekly when I give them loose herbal wormers, but it seemed like there must be an easier way. Like maybe in some sort of goat treat?
I was making my Everything Bagel flavored flax seed crackers with my new 5 Tray Excalibur with Clear Door & Timer the other day, and it got me thinking. Flax is an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 for goats. They also contain more natural selenium than most other grains and seeds. The crackers are dehydrated instead of cooking in an oven, so the benefits of the herbs added wouldn’t be disrupted. There might be something to all this…
Raw Goat Treats with Flax
When you add water to flax seed, it creates a gelatinous goo. I know it may not sound appealing, but think of it as an egg substitute. That’s what it resembles. Egg whites. It binds all the goodies together, which in this case are the seeds and the spices.
Because of the natural binding materials, flax seed goat treats are super simple to make. Just mix, let it sit, plop out the desired amount, and dehydrate.
Goat Treats from Start to Finish
For these goat treats, we doing a simple flax seed treat. Once you’ve mastered the basics, feel free to add fun things like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and other goodies. Just be sure to check the safety of the grains you are adding. Fiasco Farms is a great resource for what is safe for goats to consume. Also, keep in mind that your ingredients need to be shelf-stable. Some ingredients, like apples, can be chopped and dehydrated before adding them to your batter to make them shelf-stable.
- 1 c. Flax Seed (I prefer golden, but you can use brown)
- 1 c. Water
- 1/4 c. Honey (or blackstrap molasses)
- Herbal Supplement (of your choice)
Mix together the flax seeds and water. Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes until the mix starts to go clumpy but not too thick. Add in the honey and herbal supplements. If you add other seeds or grains, this would be the time to do it. If you feel it’s too gloopy to stir in your supplements adequately, add more water.
Plop the desired portion of your mixture* on parchment paper or a ParaFlexx™ sheet and flatten it into a sheet. Because I only have one ParaFlexx™ sheet, I let the first sheet dry for about an hour and then transferred it to a regular tray so I could start another sheet. I do this until all five trays are filled.
Dehydrate at 105ºF. I like to flip mine again at around 6 hours and squish them down a bit so they are easier for the goats to eat. If you lose any seeds when you squish them, push them back into a still-soft area. If you prefer clean edges, this is a good time to score them into perfectly sized portions. I use a wooden yardstick and a pizza cutter to cut them. These cuts will allow you to break them into little squares when they’re completely dry.
Continue dehydrating at 105ºF for 12 a total of hours or until dry.
Goat Treats for Herbal Supplementation
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- 1 c. Flax Seed
- 1 c. Water
- ¼ c. Honey or Molasses
- Herbal Supplement Powder enough for 70 doses
- Mix together the flax seeds and water. Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes, until the mix starts to go clumpy, but not too thick.1 c. Flax Seed, 1 c. Water
- Add in the honey and herbal supplements. If you are adding other seeds or grains, this would be the time to do it.1/4 c. Honey, Herbal Supplement Powder
- If you feel that it’s too gloopy to stir in your supplements adequately you can add more water.
- Plop the desired portion of your mixture* on parchment paper or a ParaFlexx™ sheet and flatten into a sheet.
- Dehydrate at 105ºF. I like to flip mine again at around 6 hours and squish them down a bit so they are easier for the goats to eat. If you prefer clean edges, this is a good time to score them into perfectly sized portions.
- Continue dehydrating at 105ºF for 12 a total of hours or until dry.
Important Information on Portions!
Overdosing isn’t as dangerous with herbal supplements as it would be with conventional supplements, but you still need to be aware of the amount you are feeding your goat.
This recipe makes approximately seventy (70) 1-teaspoon-sized (1.25″ x 1.25″) treats. I wanted each treat to be the smallest dose for my supplements, so the goat kids would have one goat treat, and the older ones would have 2 to 4, depending on size. That requires a bit of math to figure out how much supplement to add to the mixture.
I make my own herbal blends, so this is the amount I add to the mixture. Remember that I don’t add multiple herbal supplements to the same treats. I do separate batches for each.
The dosage for all of the herbs is the following…
- 1/4 tsp for 20-35 lbs
- 1/2 tsp for 36-75 lbs
- 1 tsp for 76-100 lbs
For the basic flax seed goat treats (1 teaspoon-sized), I add 1/3 cup of supplement per batch. That means my young kids get one treat as needed, and my adult does (Nigerians Dwarfs) get two. Kids that have not reached 20 lbs get a drench instead of treats. If you are adding more than 1/4 cup of additional goodies (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.) you will need to adjust your supplements because they will make more treats. Pack the mixture in a large measuring cup and calculate how many teaspoons are in the mixture. One cup equals approximately 48 teaspoons.
NOTE: As brilliant as the idea may seem, do not add kelp to your goat treats. You may not realize there is a problem for the first few hours, but before you know it, the whole kitchen smells like warm rotten fish. Ask me how I know…