Skip to Content

Animals That Can Drink Goat’s Milk

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclaimer for additional details.

Research suggests goat’s milk is a suitable alternative for most animals’ diets because it is easier to digest than cow’s milk and packed with extra vitamins and minerals.

Since pets, in particular, often develop lactose intolerance from consuming cow-based dairy products, goat’s milk is a favorable alternative. It can also be used to raise young orphaned farm animals due to its high nutritional composition.

This article will explore in more specific detail the type of animals you can feed goat’s milk to, in addition to outlining the extensive nutritional benefits of using it as a cow’s milk substitute.

Is It Safe To Give Cats and Dogs Goat’s Milk?

It is safe to give dogs and cats goat’s milk.

In fact, goat’s milk has been described as the new ‘superfood’ for cats and dogs as it’s jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients and more easily digestible than cow’s milk.

Your pet will particularly profit from consuming goat’s milk if they have built up an intolerance to lactose or are experiencing frequent digestive issues or diarrhea as they grow older.

farm girl milking a goat

Is It More Beneficial To Feed My Pets Goat’s Milk?

There are many advantages to using goat’s milk over cow’s milk as it is packed with unique nutritional benefits and is often referred to as one of the most completely natural and sustainable food sources.

Listed below are 6 reasons why it can make a healthier choice for your pet:

  1. Digestion – goat’s milk is very good for animals with digestive issues or IBD as it contains compounds which reduce intestinal inflammation.

    It is much easier to consume than cow’s milk, because the smaller fat globules in goat’s milk, coupled with a higher concentration of small and medium chain fatty acids, mean it can be digested in less than 20 minutes.
  2. Prebiotics – raw goat’s milk naturally contains prebiotic carbohydrates which nourish beneficial gut bacteria. This helps to improve intestinal conditions in animals.
  3. Easier to tolerate – goat’s milk is anti-mucous and anti-inflammatory, making it less allergenic than cow’s milk. Since most dogs and cats haven’t had goat’s milk before, food sensitivities and intolerances are far less likely to occur. 
  4. Nutritional value – goat’s milk is packed with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, and proteins. It boosts the absorption of minerals, and is a good source of vitamins A and D, triglycerides and fatty acids. It also contains high amounts of selenium and zinc, which are very beneficial to the nervous system.
  5. Good for diabetes – goat’s milk is high in fat and low in sugar and is therefore very effective at regulating and managing diabetes. It also contains alkaline-rich potassium, which helps supports the body’s pH balance.
  6. Natural immune booster – goat’s milk is full of natural immune-boosting properties which makes it a great support for helping malnourished pets, or animals suffering from anemia, kidney, GI, or liver disease.
young calf on the field

Can I Feed My Young Calf Goat’s Milk?

Young calves can comfortably be raised on goat’s milk since the nutritional composition of cow’s milk and goat’s milk is not that different. This means the milk they produce is actually quite similar.

Some farmers and vets suggest diluting the goat’s milk before feeding it to calves due to its slightly higher fat content. The suggested dilution is 20%, or four parts milk to one part water, but this is only a general guideline and some believe it’s not necessary. 

To read more about this, you may check this article.

Can My Calf Feed Directly From the Goat?

Your calf can feed direct from the nanny, but some farmers suggest bottle-feeding at first to get them started.

One thing to bear in mind if your calf is taking milk directly from the lactating doe is to make sure the doe is positioned on higher ground in order to enable the young calf to comfortably suckle.

Does Goat’s Milk Contain Colostrum?

Colostrum is the early milk produced by goats and is suitable for raising young orphaned farm animals since it contains the required amount of nutrients to boost their immune system.

If an orphaned calf is feeding directly from the doe, the doe will often end up adopting it as its own. 

Is It Okay To Bottle Feed A Young Calf?

Many farmers consider bottle-feeding to be a more favorable and efficient option, as it is easier to monitor the calf’s milk consumption and manage their feeding schedule. 

Others believe it is better for the calf to feed naturally from the doe.

Can A Lamb Drink Goat’s Milk?

Goat’s milk can be safely fed to orphaned lambs. Many farmers with milking goats will freeze extra quantities of raw goat’s milk and keep a special stock in for lambing season.

Lots of lambs are actually saved this way and thrive on the nutritional benefits of goat’s milk. 

piglet in a pig pen

Can A Piglet Drink Goat’s Milk?

Like all young animals, a newborn piglet will require colostrum to boost its immunity and protect against disease. If this cannot be accessed directly from the sow, you can use a goat’s colostrum as an effective substitute milk replacer.

The piglet can then be raised on goat’s milk.

How Do I Feed Goat’s Milk to My Piglet?

Piglets need to be bottle-fed, which they may resist at first, but will soon adopt. Initially, you must heat the milk to slightly above human body temperature, then transition the piglet onto cold milk.

You can also teach them to feed from a dish, but this method requires a lot of patience!

How Long Does A Piglet Need to Consume Goat’s Milk?

Piglets will nurse until the sow resists feeding them, but if you are bottle-feeding them goat’s milk, continue to do so until they stop wanting it. 

lady milking a goat

Are There Any Drawbacks To Feeding Animals Goat’s Milk?

There is no research to suggest it’s dangerous to feed goat’s milk to other animals; the most severe health risk of goat’s milk is for human infants.

Goat’s milk provides a safe, nutritional alternative to cow’s milk, but if you’re unsure, do check with a vet or farmer before you proceed.  

References