Herbal teas are wonderful for goats and my girls love them. This particular blend is one of their favorites and is a good all-purpose tea to help tone and strengthen their systems. I like to make up a batch for them periodically, especially during more stressful times- like heat, baths, hoof trimming, or transport- or during the changing of seasons to help give their bodies a boost during wet or cold periods.
The ingredients in this tea are naturally soothing and nourishing. Chamomile is a gentle sedative and anti-spasmodic. It also tones the digestive system and helps to relieve constipation and expel gas and worms. It is a natural pain reliever, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory and helps to heal wounds (making it great for external use too!). While it is a very mild, safe herb its use should be limited with pregnant goats.
Lemon balm is an uplifting, tonic herb that helps to soothe anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, and insomnia. It is also beneficial to the digestion system and relieves gas and cramping. It makes a lovely tea and can be fed fresh by the handful.
Nettle is a very nutritive, toning herb that helps to cleanse the blood. It is rich in iron and other important minerals. Herbalist, Juliette de Baïracli Levy, used this herb for her animals to help prevent contagious diseases and worms. She says that nettle makes animals more spirited and gives them shinier, fuller coats. It can also be used to treat poor appetite and arthritis, making it a good herb for older animals.
Oats are very nutritious and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are important for strong bones, teeth, hooves, horns, and hair. They are soothing and toning to the nervous system. Oat tea is a good tonic for sick animals.
Honey boosts energy, soothes coughs, and reduces stomach and throat inflammation. Goats also love the taste so it makes a great addition to herbal teas to help make them more enticing.
As an added bonus, this tea is great for humans too! It’ll often enjoy a cup myself when I make up a batch for the girls.
- 1 Tablespoon chamomile blossoms
- 1 Tablespoon lemon balm leaf
- 1 Tablespoon nettle leaf
- 1 Tablespoon milky oats
- 1/2 Tablespoon honey
- 1 quart boiling water
- 1/2 to 1 quart water, room temperature
This makes enough tea for two adult Nigerian dwarf goats (a small breed). If you have big goats or more goats you will want to double (triple, quadruple, …!) this recipe. You can also make a bigger batch and keep some in the fridge for a day or so. It won’t keep for very long though, so don’t make too much at once.
To save time, combine equal parts of each of the dried herbs in a clean glass jar with a lid and just add 4 tablespoons of the tea blend per quart of boiling water when making tea.
Add herbs and to a glass quart jar. Pour boiling water over them, cover, and let steep till tea is warm, but the jar is not to hot to hold. Strain out the herbs using cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, pouring the tea into another jar. Press out all the liquid from the herbs and compost them. Add honey to the tea, cap the jar and shake well. Let cool to room temperature.
Once the tea has cooled, dilute tea with 1/2 to 1 quart water. See what your goats like and adjust it to their tastes. You may have dilute it with a bit more water if your goats aren’t keen on trying new things, but once they get a taste for teas, they will likely drink them down happily. Mine sure do!
Teas are just one great way your goats can benefit from herbs. Our girls also love fresh herbs and homemade herbal treats. To learn how to make your own natural goat treats, click here.
Have fun crafting your own herbal teas and treats to keep the goats in your life happy and healthy!
The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Baïracli Levy
Molly’s Herbals: Natural Care for Animals. www.fiascofarm.com