Sunday, January 8, 2012

Now We're (Trying) To Make Goat Treats!

Who knew?  Apparently, goats have a bit of a sweet tooth.  Training, of any kind, can be greatly enhanced by a little tidbit of something sweet as a reward.  We've seen a few blogs that call cracked corn the 'crack' drug of goats - highly addictive.  Our little herd gets cracked corn in their mixed grain ration everyday, that is how the bagged product is formulated.  So, for training purposes, we needed something extra special: how about corn in corn syrup?  We used the treat recipe on one of our favorite goat blogs, The Henry Milker.  Here's the recipe for their goat treats.

The recipe seems quite simple: boil sugar, corn syrup and water, add cracked corn, cook for a while, remove from heat and add baking soda (good for the goats stomachs).  Sounds easy, right?  The recipe says to bring the temperature of the cooking liquids to 300 F.  Well, I had my candy thermometer in the mixture and it didn't seem to want to budge past 250 F.  Boiled for ten minutes at medium, no movement.  So I nudged the heat up to medium high and still no movement.  I let more than five minutes pass, still stirring and no movement.  I nudge the heat up to high and kept stirring.   My candy thermometer seems to want to just stay at 250 F.  Now, I don't have a lot of experience with making candy and I had doubled the recipe, but this just didn't seem right.  The mixture smelled strongly of sugar and corn at this point and had been boiling for over twenty minutes; the recipe says nothing about how long the cooking will take.  I decide the thermometer is broken, it's been boiling for quite a while and it's probably done!  There is nothing else in the house that measures that high so I'm winging it.  I remove the pot from the heat, let it cool a bit and then add the baking soda.  Immediate bubbling and frothing - the recipe never said anything about that either!  Now, I'm seriously wondering if this is not going well....

The recipe instructs to pour the mixture out onto cookie sheets, let it cool and then break into pieces.  Hmmmm, twenty four hours later, mine is more like salt water taffy: very flexible, soft and stretchy, nothing is snapping off here!  The good news is that the goats were quite enthusiastic about the little sample I took them yesterday!  It's probably the most aggressive I've seen our new little buck around the does as he tried for a second piece!  I'm going to do a little research, or just email Henry Milker and find out how long it actually takes to cook this stuff!  Is there a long, slow period of heat increase in candy making?  Well, always something new to learn: that's a good thing, right?

1 comment:

  1. Candy for goats! what will they think of next? ;)) I hope those goats know just how good they have it in your care.