Goats are wonderful farm animals and also make great pets. Goats are perfectly suited for natural treatments for the health afflictions they deal with; they are instinctive herbalists!
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a great natural remedy for goats. It is helpful for digestive disturbances. People sometimes need a little coaxing to try baking soda. Goats however will readily lick up a goodly amount of baking soda if they have an upset stomach. If you have several goats and one of them has loose stools you can put a dish of baking soda in the goat barn and the goat with loose stools will go straight for it. The other goats will leave it alone. It is best to have baking soda out free choice for goats; it allows them to regulate their digestion as needed.
Herbal Remedies for Goats
Goats in the wild are much less likely to have difficulty with parasites, a common problem in farm goats. Goats who have access to bushes and trees to browse upon instinctively eat anti-parasitic plants, like honeysuckle and mugwort. Goats really weren't meant to graze like cows. If they end up eating a lot of grass they have much more exposure to the ground and therefore to parasites in the soil.
Farm goats do well if their pasture is rotated often, and especially if they have opportunities to browse on bushes and trees. A combination of herbs can be given to goats regularly to help them fight off parasites.
Herbal Goat Wormer Recipe
- ½ c. cloves
- 1 c. garlic powder
- 2 c. thyme leaves
- 2 c. wormwood, cut
- 1 c. fennel seed powder
- 1 c. psyllium powder
- 1 c. quassia powder
- 1 c. mustard powder
- 2 c. diatomaceous earth
Mix together the above ingredients. For each full grown goat give 1 T. morning and evening for 1 week. Then for 7 weeks give 1 T. per week. Repeat cycle. Leave out the wormwood if you are treating pregnant does.
Herbs for Infections
Goats can get infections. Turmeric, olive leaf and garlic can all be given to goats to fight infections. 1 teaspoon of one or a combination of the above mentioned herbs can be sprinkled over a goat's feed twice daily.
Activated Charcoal Powder
Activated charcoal powder is important to keep on hand if you have animals!
Internal Use of Charcoal
If a goat has diarrhea, bloating, or has eaten something poisonous, charcoal is an easy remedy to give a goat.
For an average sized goat, give 2 teaspoons of charcoal powder mixed with a Tablespoon of blackstrap molasses as a dose. If a goat has eaten poison, repeat after an hour. For diarrhea, use this dose three times a day.
The charcoal can also be mixed into water and given by syringe. Goats should always have fresh water available, and this is especially so when a goat is taking charcoal to help flush out poisons and avoid constipation, of which there is some risk when taking charcoal.
External use of Charcoal
Charcoal can be used as a poultice externally for an infection. Use cohesive tape to attach the poultice to the affected area and change at least twice a day.
For an infected hoof, pack a mixture of charcoal and ground flax seed (equal parts) mixed with water to make a jelly like paste into the hoof. It will wear out through the day. At the end of the day, rinse out the hoof and repeat the treatment. Continue until the infection clears.
Goats love the taste of blackstrap molasses. Molasses is a common ingredient in commercial goat feed. Giving your goat blackstrap molasses is like giving him a natural vitamin. Adult goats can have a 1-3 teaspoons a day of blackstrap molasses. If you are trying to help an anemic goat, up to 2 Tablespoons a day would be appropriate. The copper content in the blackstrap molasses is helpful for their coat as well.
Do you have goats? Do you use natural remedies? Please share your goat cures with us!