Goat Treats for Herbal Supplement Powders
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 an uneaten powder at the bottom of the dishes. My goats love when I made herbal balls for them, but I don’t want to have to make them for the daily supplements, like the mineral supplements. I’ve been making the 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 cooked 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 is the seeds and the spices.
Because of the natural binding materials, flax seed goat treat 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. For some ingredients, like apples, they 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 black strap molasses)
- Herbal Supplement*
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 are adding other seeds or grains, this would be the time to do it. 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™ sheets. Because I only have one ParaFlexx™ sheet, I let the first sheet dry for about an hour and then transfer them to a regular tray so I can start another sheet. I do this until all five trays are filled.
Dehydrate at 105ºF for 12 hours or until dry. I like to flip mine 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, just push them back into an area that is still soft.
*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 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 does would have 2-4 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. Keep in mind that I don’t add multiple herbal supplements to the same treat. 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) 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. For the first few hours you may not realize there is a problem, but before you know it the whole kitchen smells like warm rotten fish. Ask me how I know…
If you aren’t so sure you want to take the time to make your own treats, let me help you out. We recently launched a line of herbal goat treats called BiteMe! They are the healthier way to “treat” your goat. We also have a line of seasonal non-supplement treats.