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How Does a Goat Drink Water? What it’s Supposed to Look Like

Everyone requires water to survive. Water keeps your goats hydrated and healthy and benefits them in various ways.

If you have never seen a goat drink water, they suck it up or slurp it rather than lapping it like a dog or cat. You may need to help your goats drink water. You can attempt putting apple cider vinegar in their water, or you can use a salt block.

Water has so many tremendous health benefits for your goats. If you want to find out how a goat drinks water, peruse this article.

How Much Water Do Goats Need In a Day?

All mammals and even plants require water to survive. Health experts commonly recommend that humans should drink four to six cups of water on a daily basis.

Goats should have two to three gallons of water on a daily basis. A lactating female goat may need to drink more water, depending on how much grass she is eating and how much milk she is producing.

As a general rule, goats need more water than humans, but the amount may vary. When goats eat dry food, such as grass, they will likely be thirsty for water. However, if they are consuming fresh-cut green grass with some moisture, they do not need as much water. If your goat is pregnant or lactating, they may require up to four gallons of water daily.

Use this Salt Block Animal Salt Lick from Amazon to give the goats nutrients while making them want to drink more water

What Are the Health Benefits of Water?

We all know that water is excellent for us and keeps us healthy. The same is true for goats.

The following include some of the many health benefits of water:

  • Assisting with digestion
  • Cushioning joints
  • Delivering nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • Eliminating germs from the bladder
  • Normalizing blood pressure
  • Preventing or helping with constipation

Water also helps to protect the organs and tissues, control body temperature, and preserve electrolyte balance. A goat’s not drinking sufficient water can make them very sick.  

Here’s a good video showing how goats drink water:

Tips for Providing Water for Your Goats

There are different ways you can get water to your goats. You may need to get creative about how you approach giving your goats water. The following are various ways you can encourage your goat to drink water:

Pond or Creek

If you have a stream or pond around your house, you can get water to your goats easily. Before allowing your goats to drink from a pond or a stream, you need to find out if the water in it is safe for them. Goats require fresh, clean water to be healthy. Your goats will be the judge. If there is urine or unsavory properties in the water, they will likely not drink it.

Make Sure it is Fresh and Clean

You need to get rid of the water and refill it every single day. Please ensure the water is clean, dump it out, and fill it with fresh water three times daily. The goats will appreciate having new water all the time. Making sure that the water is fresh and clean will ensure that they will have improved productivity and health. It is even more important in warmer weather to make sure they drink.

Water quality (source) affects how much water your goats will drink. Ponds and creeks will typically have the lowest quality water in the summer. The amount of water a goat needs daily depends on:

  • The size of the goat
  • Average daily temperature
  • Type or amount of food consumed

If you make sure that fresh water is kept at ideal locations during the day, it may entice the goat to drink more. You must also monitor them throughout the day to ensure that the water is consumed.

Water Cold in the Summer and Warm in the Winter

No one wants to drink warm or tepid water when the heat turns up in the summer. As a matter of fact, the notion is relatively disgusting. It is much more quenching to your thirst to drink ice-cold water when it is hot outside. It is easier to drink warm water in the winter because it can be more appealing when it is freezing outside.  

Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Water

You can improve the water by adding apple cider vinegar to enhance the alkaline level in the gut. It makes their stomach a place where parasites do not want to be present.

The addition of one tablespoon of cider vinegar to the goat’s water daily will improve the hair coat and produce better milk for goats. Improved hydration is another benefit.  

Add Molasses to Water

Molasses is used for a few reasons:

  • Good source of energy
  • Adds trace minerals, including sulfur
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Decreases dust in feeds

Molasses is also used as a carrier for vitamins and other nutrients. However, only give your goats a small amount, and make sure that you do not create a health problem, as too much sulfur is related to a neurological disease commonly referred to as PEM (source). 

Give Your Goats Many Options

Try to have one water source per every two goats, which means you should have two buckets of water if you have four goats. It would be best if you also put them in different places. Keep them inside and outside the barn; if you have a more miniature goat, you may even keep one in your home. Always keep the water well within their reach and easy to get to. 

Provide a Salt Block

You can encourage your goats to drink more water with the placement of a salt block. If they lick the salt block, it will increase the amount of water they drink. Salt blocks provide nutrients for the goat, making them thirsty and want to drink more water.

Use this Salt Block Animal Salt Lick from Amazon to give the goats nutrients while making them want to drink more water

You can offer a brick salt block in a feeding dish or pan that is shallow. You may also want to try hanging a smaller salt block on a rope for them to lick. Having one salt block for each goat may be a good idea, or your goats can all take turns and share. You can even purchase salt blocks in all different weights.  


Goats can be stubborn about drinking water, and you may need to encourage them. A goat can go with no water for about three days, but it is highly unrecommended, as it can cause extreme damage to their organs. It is essential to make sure they are drinking enough water.

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