Goat treats

Goat treats can come in many different forms and can be given for a wide range of uses. From a way to give your goats enjoyment, to am expression of love, to a fun way to dispose of choice kitchen scraps, to training tools to even a way to help sneak in medication or a supplement to your goats in a pain free way, goat treats can make good additions to your farm.

What Makes Something a Treat?

Now it is important that when we are discussing goat treats we should discuss what a treat would be in regards to feed and care of your goats.

Goats need varied food and nutritional supplements to stay healthy. The most basic of these are vegetation matter and roughage, be that a combination of brows and grass, or alfalfa hay or pellets daily. They also need free access to water, and in some cases a grain or sunflower oil product to add calories to the diet of a pregnant, milking, or growing goats as well as any others who need extra calories to maintain health.

Now, looking up the definition of treats online came up with the definition, “An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.” This would rule out things such as water, alfalfa, or grain given for regular maintenance as being treats, although goats do enjoy grain and it can be used as treats in non regular uses. The use of an item given as a treat is for something other than daily maintenance, but can still be used for a myriad of things (Several of them stated in the intro of this article.

Goat Treats and Nutrition

Regular dietary needs to boost:

One of the best things to consider when you choose goat treats is the nutrition involved. Even though they are not a staple of your goat’s diet you still want to make sure the treats are not bad for your goat, and although not necessarily important it is also a good plus for it to be nutritional for them as well. (Think of it as like deciding whether to give Cheetos or fruit to your kids for a snack.) This could be a good opportunity to boost high demand nutrients in the feed and add some key ones needed in smaller quantities.

One of the key high content ingredients to look for in your treats is protein. The minimum crude protein level is 7% of the daily intake of the goat, but greater amounts of protein are needed for lactating, pregnant or growing animals, so looking for a treat that contains at least that amount of protein can help you keep your animals at that level.

Another of the key high quantity ingredients to look for is calcium. Now this is something you should be aware of for different reasons with different goats. Pregnant or lactating goats need lots of calcium, so feeding high calcium treats may be a good boost for their meal. On the other hand, high calcium foods should be fed to adult males as sparingly as possible to avoid urinary calculi, so search for calcium content depending on your goats’ needs.

To be Supplemented in Small Amounts or as Needed:

Treats are also very beneficial for adding special ingredients to your goats that they need to get in limited amounts or on an infrequent basis. This can mean a sigh of relief for people who don’t want to have to deal with extra injections or pills to administer these nutrients to the goats but instead have the goats take them willingly.

Ammonium chloride is an ingredient often looked for in goat treats. This nutrient is an important one to add to help further prevent the formation of urinary calculi. There are various feed sources that might have it, but if they are not already fed this it is good to add it to the diet. Some people get powder to add to the water, but that is harder to measure their intake of it. With treats it is far easier to count the number of pieces they need to eat for an ideal supplement.

Copper is another one to keep in mind. This is something to not get too high in a treat you want to feed frequently so you don’t overdose, but unlike sheep, they need a far higher amount of copper than is safe for the ovines. Supplemental copper is specifically needed when penning your goats with sheep, because as stated your goats will need more copper than would kill the sheep.

Even if you cannot find food or treats with copper in them, people often get copper boluses and break them apart, mixing the pieces with treats for their goats to eat. I find with my goats mixing it with small amounts of grain or mashing them in a banana does the trick.

Probiotics are often given as either a preventative or a cure for various ills. Although you have to be wary of the process the treats were made to ensure you still have active cultures to be fed, treats with probiotics can be a simple way to boost your goats’ cultures.

Goat treats online

Now that we understand a bit about nutrients one can look for in commercial goat treats, here are some popular products you can buy at the store. These tend to be formulated with nutrients in mind as well as taste to make them appealing for your pet.

Mana Pro Goat Treats

Mana Pro is a very diverse brand of goat diet enhancers, producing many different products for sheep as well as pet, meat and dairy goats in a wide variety of flavors and nutrient contents for what you are looking for. Here are their kinds of treats.

Manna Pro Goat treats: Apple flavor

These are, as you might have guessed it, apple flavored. Or that is at least whet we are guessing they taste like too since we have never eaten any ourselves. Most goats love this, and you very well might be mugged for the bag when you go out, so be careful!

Pros:

Goats love to eat it/ apple flavored

Easy to feed pelleted form

Formulated with probiotics

Contains

calcium, phosphorous, salt, copper, zinc, selenium and vitamin A

Contains safe feeding directions

Cons:

Unsafe for sheep

Unsafe as a free choice feed and can be overdosed

Check calcium content to see if it is safe for your goats

Price

Manna Pro Goat Treats: Licorice and oatmeal

This goat treat has more mixed reviews than its apple counterpart, both as far as goat’s tastes and on account of ammonium chloride bring taken out of the formula. It still has many very adamant fans, however.

Pros:

Licorice flavored

Easy to feed pelleted form

16% crude protein

Contains calcium, phosphorous, salt, copper, zinc, selenium, vitamin A and E

Contains safe feeding directions

Cons:

Feed is perishable

Unsafe for sheep

Unsafe as a free choice feed and can be overdosed

Check calcium content to see if it is safe for your goats

Price

PetAg:

Another leading brand of goat treats designed for taste and nutrition in mind! The different formulas between these treats and Manna Pro goat treats gives you a better variety for the best fit for your goats.

Petag Gat Snax Banana & Ginger

Pros:

Banana flavored

Safe for sheep

13% crude protein

contains calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin A, and bacillus coagulants

Contains safe feeding directions

Pelleted form

Cons:

Does not captain copper

Unsafe as free choice feed and can be overdosed

Check calcium to see if it is safe for your specific goat

Feed is perishable

Price

Petag 99180 goat snax rice & berry

Pros:

Berry flavored

Safe for sheep

13% crude protein

contains calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin A, and bacillus coagulants

Contains safe feeding directions

Pelleted form

Cons:

Does not contain copper

Unsafe as free choice feed and can be overdosed

Check calcium to see if it is safe for your specific goat

Feed is perishable

Price

DuMor Goat Treat

As a brand new hat in the goat treat’s ring, DuMor has stiff competition, but has bold claims for its product. So far in my research you can only buy it at Tractor Supply so far as a brand new face, but if it actually holds up to its talk then this could be the next big name to rival the previously mentioned ones.

Pros:

Molasses flavored

12.5% crude protein

Contains calcium, phosphorous, salt, copper, selenium and vitamin A

Contains Omega fatty acids to promote skin and coat health

Contains biotin for healthy hooves

Formulated with probiotics

Cons:

Cannot feed to sheep

Can be overdosed

Check calcium to see if safe for your individual goat

Lesser known

Other Things that make Good Goat Treats

Now, even though the commercially made goat treat would surely be great for your goats, there is also something to be said about feeding things you already have available on hand. Not only is this simple, and a good way to recycle appropriate kitchen or garden scraps, but it can add spontaneity and adaptation to a greater variety of your goat’s tastes.

Here are some things you may have already have at home that are ok to feed to your goats that they may love:

  1. Bananas / banana peels
  2. Apples / cores
  3. Peaches without the pits
  4. Baked / dried skins from sweet potatoes or squash
  5. oatmeal cookies
  6. Cheezits
  7. Wheat thins
  8. Triscuits
  9. Kochia weed
  10. Corn / corn husks
  11. Sunflower seeds
  12. Spent Christmas trees
  13. Rose trimmings
  14. Extra grain

Things to avoid feeding goats

Now, in addition to knowing things that would make good treats to goats, here are things that should be highly avoided and not fed to goats while rummaging around the house:

  1. Avocado
  2. Azaleas
  3. Chocolate
  4. Plants with oxalates such as kale
  5. Any nightshade vegetable such as eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers
  6. Holly trees or bushes
  7. Lilacs
  8. Lily of the valley
  9. Milkweed
  10. Rhubarb leaves
  11. Wild cherries

Good luck and wish you the best of times enjoying providing treats for your goats!

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