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Can Goats Eat Apples? What You Need to Know!

apples

It is said that goats can eat anything, but this statement is misleading. They can, and will, eat everything that’s put in front of them, but they can’t always digest it. There are certain foods you should avoid feeding your goat. Apples are a favorite treat for farm animals, so are they safe for goats? Yes, goats can eat apples, but they need to be sliced into small pieces. They are a fantastic source of fiber and vitamin C, two essential components of a goat’s healthy diet.

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Do Goats Like Apples?

Goats love apples! In fact, they love most fruits. Fruits provide goats with a lot of fiber and can provide a nutritious snack for goats. They also enjoy eating watermelon, grapes, bananas, peaches, carrots, and spinach.

Are Apples Safe For Goats?

Apples are safe for goats to eat in limited quantities. They shouldn’t be fed as a meal but as an occasional treat. Apples should be sliced up into smaller pieces for easy chewing, and goats shouldn’t be fed more than one apple per day. While they’ll happily eat more, eating too many apples can lead to a dangerous buildup of gas in your goat’s stomach, causing a condition called bloat.

apple slices
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

Can Goats Eat Apple Seeds?

Apple seeds contain cyanide. It’s the reason that seeds aren’t safe to feed to dogs. It is true that apple seeds contain cyanide, but a goat would have to consume 5 pounds of hydrogen cyanide in a day for it to be harmful. Therefore, there’s no risk of cyanide poisoning by feeding your goat an apple with seeds.

Can Baby Goats Eat Apples?

Young goats, or kids, shouldn’t be fed apples until they are two to three months old. Babies’ digestive systems aren’t fully developed like those of an adult. They should be exclusively fed on their mother’s milk for the first 30 days. After that, they can start being fed small quantities of hay and grain until at least 60 days of age. Subsequently, you can start feeding occasional treats, like apples.

Adding foods into a kid’s diet slowly allows their digestive system time to adapt and develop the appropriate bacteria for fermentation.

Do Goats Like Apple Leaves?

Many farmers will tell you that goats love to snack on leaves, bark, and branches from apple trees. So, it’s perfectly safe to feed them apples with the leaves on.

Goat eating apple
Image Credit: haywoodm14, Pixabay

A Goat’s Diet

Goats are herbivores and should be fed a strictly vegetarian diet, not including any meat or dairy products. To understand what a goat should eat, it’s important to understand how they digest their food.

Unlike a lot of other animals, goats don’t digest their food. They have 4-specialized chambers in their stomach where they ferment their food and absorb nutrition. While goats graze, they won’t eat just any grass. They seek out and eat only the most nutritious plants on the ground.

What Other Fruits Can Goats Eat?

Goats can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables as healthy treats.

These include:
  • Pears
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash

Cherries and avocadoes are poisonous to goats.

Foods To Avoid Feeding Your Goat

Because they’re herbivores, goats should never be fed meat or dairy products (other than baby goats drinking their mother’s milk). Dog and cat food are especially harmful to goats because they are filled with animal protein. This can damage the lining of their stomach wall, affecting nutrient absorption. In extreme cases, it can be fatal.

beef meat
Image Credit: Zichrini, Pixabay

Potential Risks Of Feeding Apples To Goats

There are a few potential risks that you should be aware of when feeding apples to goats:
  • Choking is the greatest hazard when feeding whole apples. Always feed apples or any other large fruit cut up into small pieces to avoid choking.
  • Large fruits are hard for goats to get their mouth around as they are unable to open their mouth wide.
  • Goats have a dental pad on their upper jaw bone that makes it difficult to chew large pieces. Their teeth are designed for eating delicate foods like grain, grass, or leaves. This further emphasizes the need to feed apples in small pieces.
  • Apples fill goats up quickly due to their high fiber content. If they’re fed too many, they won’t eat their other food, which could lead to nutritional deficiencies long term.

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Summary

Apples are a safe, healthy treat to feed goats. They should always be cut into small pieces to avoid choking, and you shouldn’t feed more than one apple per day. Along with other fruits and vegetables, they can be a nutrient and fiber-rich addition to your goat’s diet.


Featured Image Credit: Ulrike Leone, Pixabay

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