We homesteaders sure do love our baking soda, don’t we? I think it’s really only second to vinegar when it comes to being one of my favorite all-purpose ingredients.
And I’ve found another use for it: feeding it to my goats!
I’ve actually found that many goat breeders offer free-choice baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to their goat herd.
Why is it Effective?
The most popular consensus seems to be that the baking soda keeps the goat’s digestive system functioning properly by balancing the acid in the rumen.
The micro-organisms that live in the rumen need a steady level of acidity. Levels that are too high or too low can result in various issues.
It is thought that a stable digestive tract also encourages better digestion overall– and a decreased chance of bloat.
I also found several websites stating that baking soda can help with stabilizing a goat’s urine acidity. However, most goat owners seem to feed it with its digestive benefits in mind.
For those of you who are research gurus– No, I haven’t run across any hardcore clinical studies that have been performed on the efficacy of feeding baking soda to goats… sorry.
However, I think this is something that falls into the “can’t hurt, might help” category. So therefore, it’s a preventative measure that I feel is worthwhile for my homestead.
How to Feed Baking Soda to Your Goats
I would suggest buying your baking soda in bulk anyway, but especially if you are going to be feeding it to your animals. Amazon has a 13.5 pound bag right now for $19.07 (plus free shipping.) Sometimes places like Costco also have it priced in bulk.
Simply offer it to you goats- free-choice- in a small container, just as you would your salt and minerals. There is no need to mix it into their feed. Just allow them to “self-dose” when they feel the need.
Refresh and refill the container as the soda becomes old or dirty.
When I’ve offered it to my girls, they always seem to be very interested in it at first, and then become less interested as time progresses. My biggest problem with the baking soda has been keeping them from knocking the little feeder off of the fence, or pooping in it… But that’s a goat for ya.
Do you provide baking soda for your goats? Have you noticed that any health problems have improved with it’s addition to your feeding regime?
Ready for more goat info? Head over to the Goat 101/Home Dairy page—->
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