Nikki Bird from Malurus Miniature and Pygmy Goats
Giving your goats snacks is a great way to build and maintain a friendly relationship with your goats. A treat can be helpful for rewarding training, befriending a shy, new addition or just showing your goats a bit of love. As with snacks for people, moderation and variety is the key to the health of your much loved pets. We prefer to use snacks that compliment their diet, adding vitamins, minerals and nutrients rather that heavily processed snacks that contain sugar, salt and artificial additives. A small serve daily or a few times per week is enough. When preparing snacks for your goats, ensure they are fresh and not contaminated with mould or bacteria. Different goats like different snacks. Take some time to work out what your goats like best. Here are some suggestions.
Fruit and Vegetables
Chopped fresh fruits and vegetables make a great addition to your goats’ diet. Some love watermelon, strawberries, grapes or banana skins. Chopped apple, pumpkin or carrot are popular. Just ensure they are chopped to prevent choking. Most fruits are vegetables are suitable, except for potatoes and onions.
Dried fruits are also suitable - sultanas, dried apple, dried cranberries and banana chips are examples.
Carob pods can be broken into pieces. Many goats enjoy peanuts in the shell. A small handful of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or grain mixes can also be offered as a treat.
Bring your goats a bouquet of their favourite branches or edible flowers. Roses are a delicacy as are rose hips. Our goats gobble them up like lollies. Just make sure your plants or flowers are not toxic. Check out toxicity of Australian plants:
Processed snacks (limited)
Corn chips, Weetbix, Nutrigrain and plain savoury biscuits can be used occasionally for a special treat.
Bread and eggs or other restricted animal materials should not be feed to goats.
Easy goat treat recipes
Whilst these are highly nutritious, please remember that they are treats and your goats shouldn’t get more than 2-3 per day. The pumpkin seeds and cloves are reputed to be natural dewormers whilst the other seeds are good sources of Omega 3 & 6, zinc and selenium, amongst other things.
1 cup flax seeds (linseed)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
¼ tsp powdered cloves
Soak the flax and chia seeds until they soak up the water. They will go quite slimy and sticky. Mix through the other ingredients. Place teaspoons of mixture on lined baking trays or the trays of a dehydrator. Dry them out by slowly baking at 60 degrees Celsius for about 12 hours or use a dehydrator. They could also be sun dried. Store in an airtight container.
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole meal flour or chick pea flour
½ sultanas and/ or dried apple or cranberries
¼ cup flax seed
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup molasses
½ cup olive oil or coconut oil
¼ tsp cloves
Enough water to make a dough.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Place teaspoons of the mixture on cookie sheets and bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Store in an airtight container.
We hope your goats enjoy these treats as much as ours do. 😊
Nikki has been breeding miniature goats for 10 years with her family at her stud - Malurus Miniature and Pygmy Goats.