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Healing Treats For Happier Goats

Crissie Dittrich

Last year we noticed that our goat Cricket was rubbing her skin raw. The hair under her hind legs was disappearing along with the hairs on her pretty face. I gave her special baths, which soaked us both to the bone. I rubbed her with salves that left me scented for days. I sprayed her daily with organic natural bug deterrents. After a few weeks with limited results, I emailed her pictures to my veterinarian with a plea for help.

He told me that some goats are more susceptible to skin problems than others and nutritional supplements might help her defend herself. The supplements my vet recommended were:

  • Equine kelp product, 1 teaspoon per day
  • Wheat germ oil or flaxseed, 1 tablespoon oil per day or 1/4 cup flaxseeds per day, ground up
  • 200 IU vitamin E daily
  • Vitamin/mineral supplements, give as indicated by instructions

I purchased all the necessities and mixed it in with her food. She took one lick and turned her nose up. None of my goats would touch it. I have heard stories about goats eating anything and everything, but as a goat owner I know those are tall tales. Goats will mouth everything and they will bite at things just to get a reaction, but they can be very picky eaters! After a few days with her refusing any healthy fortified grain I decided to change tactics. I would put the remedies in a large syringe and squirt it between her cheek and jaw. No problem, right? I quickly determined that Cricket could bench press 135 pounds with her neck muscles without any difficulty when she sent me flying across the barn floor.

As I sat on that barn floor laughing a little at the craziness of being a goat farmer, the oily mineral mixture that was supposed to be in her mouth started to drip down my face and onto my jacket pocket. The pocket that normally held the treats for my goats. The pocket the goats would normally be nuzzling with their noses if I hadn’t just assaulted their favorite Aunt Cricket. That was when I got the idea to make a sneaky goat treat.

I went online to look for recipes and drove to the local library to do more research. Nothing. Strangely, people don’t spend their Sunday afternoons baking for their goats. I decided I would have to look at human recipes and alter them to a goat’s needs and tastes. I found several cracker recipes that were not too complicated and began to experiment. This is the recipe that I came up with and my goats love them!

  • 1 cup white all purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • ¼ cup kelp supplement
  • ¼ cup corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Dash of vitamin/mineral supplement*
  • ⅓ cup wheat germ oil**
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ½ cup water

*According to the supplements I purchased, the recipe would only require a dash; add more if necessary depending on available supply.
**Add more if necessary to get dough consistency right.

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until a dough is formed. Add more wheat germ oil if dough is not sticking together adequately for rolling. Roll out dough cracker thin on a floured surface. Cut squares or use cookie cutters for fun shapes. Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes.

Keep a good eye on the crackers after 15 minutes to be sure they don’t burn. They are done when edges brown. Let them cool and transfer them to airtight container, they will keep for up to two weeks.

Crissie Dittrich and her husband John have been running a small hobby farm and the Connecticut Country Store in Coventry, Connecticut for the past five years. Their mission is to support local farmers and nurseries while educating the public about sustainable living practices.

Crissie Dittrich and her husband John have been running a small hobby farm and the Connecticut Country Store in Coventry, Connecticut for the past five years. Their mission is to support local farmers and nurseries while educating the public about sustainable living practices.





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