Free shipping on orders over $50 for US customers!

Take the guesswork out of backyard chicken keeping with MY Printable Bundle

Take the guesswork out of backyard chicken keeping with MY Printable Bundle

Benefits Baking Soda Provides Your Goats

goats and bakingsoda

Keeping goats as livestock animals comes with its share of responsibilities, and one crucial aspect of their care is maintaining their health. One unconventional but highly beneficial item to have on hand for goat care is baking soda.

Yes, that same kitchen staple that you use for baking and cleaning can also be a valuable resource for keeping your goats healthy and happy. I posted in one of my Instagram stories showing the inside of my goat house and how I keep loose minerals out for my goats along with baking soda. I received so many messages asking about why I keep baking soda out for my goats, so I figured I would discuss it in depth! In this comprehensive blog, we'll explore the various benefits of keeping baking soda for goats and how to use it effectively to promote their well-being.

Benefits of Baking Soda for Goats

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, can offer several advantages when incorporated into your goat's dietary and healthcare regimen.

One of the primary benefits of baking soda for goats is its role in maintaining healthy digestion. Goats are notorious for their curious eating habits, often munching on various plants and vegetation. Not only various plants, but if goats have the opportunity, they can munch on feed that isn’t meant for them! This can sometimes lead to digestive upsets, including bloat and acidosis. Baking soda can help alleviate these issues.

Baking soda acts as an antacid, neutralizing excess acid in the goat's stomach and providing relief from indigestion. It aids in regulating the pH levels in the rumen, the first compartment of a goat's stomach, where fermentation of food takes place. By maintaining the proper pH balance, baking soda helps prevent digestive discomfort and bloating.

One goat owner I chatted with about goats said her goats had gotten into some chicken feed, which can be lethal to goats due to the calcium in it, but she believed because they didn’t have a lot and were able to regulate their systems with the loose baking soda, they didn’t have severe problems and survived.

Baking Soda as a Natural Dewormer

Another remarkable benefit of baking soda for goats is its potential as a natural dewormer. Goats are susceptible to various internal parasites, including stomach worms. These parasites can negatively impact their overall health and well-being. One of the biggest draw backs to having goats is having to deal with parasite maintenance. It isn’t a big deal once you get into a routine, but if there are mineral deficiencies at work and parasites creep in, you will find yourself in a world of trouble, quickly.

Baking soda creates an environment in the goat's stomach that is less hospitable to harmful parasites. The alkaline nature of baking soda can deter the growth and survival of certain worm species. While it is not a replacement for specific deworming medications prescribed by a veterinarian or your own homemade goat parasite remedies, regular consumption of small amounts of baking soda can act as a supplementary deworming strategy.

I think the more natural elements on the homestead to help the goats thrive, the better.

goat

Baking Soda for Acidosis Prevention

Acidosis is a condition in which the pH level in a goat's stomach becomes too acidic, often due to a sudden change in diet. This can lead to digestive distress, diarrhea, and other health problems. Baking soda helps buffer the acidity in the stomach, preventing acidosis and promoting overall gut health.

When goats graze on lush, rapidly growing pastures, the high carbohydrate content can lead to a rapid fermentation process in the rumen, causing acidosis. Providing access to baking soda allows goats to regulate their stomach pH by consuming it as needed. I have noticed they consume more baking soda when they have diet changes like this or even when they started to consume more hay for the winter.

This proactive approach can help prevent acidosis, a common issue in goats that can be detrimental to their well-being.

How to Administer Baking Soda

Administering baking soda to your goats is relatively simple. You can provide it free-choice by placing mineral feeder of baking soda in their living area. Goats have a natural instinct for self-medication, and they will consume baking soda as needed to address digestive discomfort.

Alternatively, you can mix a small amount of baking soda into their feed. This ensures that they receive a consistent and measured dose of baking soda regularly. The amount of baking soda to provide depends on the size and needs of your goats, so it's advisable to consult with a veterinarian for specific dosing recommendations.

I personally just have one side of the mineral feeder filled with their loose minerals and the other side filled with baking soda.

Safety Precautions

While baking soda is generally safe for goats, it's essential to follow some safety precautions to ensure their well-being. Provide baking soda in moderation, as excessive consumption can disrupt the goat's mineral balance. It's important to monitor their intake and adjust accordingly. If you notice your goats consuming a load of baking soda, most likely there is something more going on than just stomach upset.

Always ensure access to fresh water when offering baking soda, as it can increase thirst. Goats may drink more water after consuming baking soda, which is a natural response to the alkaline substance. Keeping their water source clean and replenished is crucial for their health. More times than I can count I have gone out and found droppings from the goats in the water container because they just love to do that.

For specific dosing recommendations and any concerns related to your goats' health, consult with a veterinarian or experienced goat keeper. They can provide tailored guidance based on the unique needs of your goats and your specific circumstances.

Baking soda does not take the place of minerals that your goat will need. Your goat will need free-choice loose minerals that contain bits like copper for their health.

Other Uses and Considerations

Beyond its internal benefits, baking soda has other uses in goat care. It can be used externally to clean and disinfect wounds or as an ingredient in homemade goat shampoos. Baking soda's antiseptic properties make it a valuable addition to your goat first aid kit.

When using baking soda externally, create a paste by mixing it with a small amount of water and apply it to the affected area. This can help cleanse wounds and soothe minor skin irritations. Again, this would be for minor cuts and skin conditions. If the wound is severe, address accordingly.

Always have baking soda available

Keeping baking soda on hand for your goats can be a wise choice for maintaining their digestive health and overall well-being. I am happy to keep it on hand for my goats. I buy it in bulk and fill as necessary or refresh if the baking soda becomes dirty. When used correctly and in moderation, baking soda can help prevent digestive issues, act as a mild dewormer, and buffer stomach acidity.

With proper care and attention, your goats can thrive with the added support of this simple kitchen remedy. By incorporating baking soda into their care routine, you're taking a proactive step towards ensuring the health and happiness of your goat herd.

FAQs

Can I use any type of baking soda for my goats?

Yes, you can use plain, food-grade baking soda without any additives or flavorings for your goats. Avoid using baking soda with added ingredients like flavorings or scents. I buy my baking soda in bulk from Azure Standard.

How much baking soda should I provide to my goats?

The amount of baking soda depends on the size and needs of your goats. A common guideline is to offer it free-choice in a container and let goats regulate their consumption. For specific dosing recommendations, consult with a veterinarian. Goats are good at regulating themselves but keep an eye on how much they are consuming.

Are there any side effects of feeding baking soda to goats?

When used in moderation, baking soda is generally safe for goats and has minimal side effects. However, excessive consumption can disrupt the goat's mineral balance, leading to potential health issues. Monitor their intake and adjust accordingly.

Can baking soda replace other dewormers for goats?

Baking soda can act as a mild dewormer by creating an inhospitable environment for certain parasites. However, it is not a replacement for specific deworming regimens.

Can I use baking soda for newborn goat kids?

Baking soda is typically used for older goats, but if they feel they need baking soda they know better about their bodies than I do.

Benefits Baking Soda Provides Your Goats

Pin
Tweet
Share