Goats get a reputation for eating just about anything because they like to sample anything they think might be edible. The food of the day may be grass, hay, weeds, flowers, and even tree bark. This adventurousness leads a lot of people to wonder what kind of treats they can feed their goats. Goats will usually try anything once, and many inedible things for humans are perfect treats for goats.
The good news is that not only can goats eat watermelon, but also, they’ll probably love it! Watermelon is a tasty treat for humans that is relatively healthy, and the same is true for goats. Goats can eat all the parts of a watermelon, including the rinds, seeds, and vines. Watermelon can be a fantastic treat to give your goats, especially in the summer. Still, the fruit shouldn’t make up most of their diet. It should remain as a treat, just like it is for humans.
The reddish-pink part of the watermelon is called the flesh, and this is the part that humans eat most often. This soft fruit is made up of 90% water and can be a great way to get your goats some extra water in the summer!
Goats can sometimes forget to drink enough water and feeding them foods that are high in moisture content can help them keep from getting dehydrated in the summer. Watermelon is named for its high moisture content, and humans and goats alike will benefit from chowing down on this fruit during the hot, dog days of summer.
Watermelon is also very low in sodium while high in Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. A goat’s diet needs to be composed of many rough fibers, and watermelon can be a delicious and healthy treat!
Humans don’t usually eat watermelon rinds, but they’re not inedible, just not very tasty. Watermelon rinds contain high amounts of nutrients and vitamins, and more humans should consider eating them if they can stomach them.
Goats will usually skip the rinds and eat the flesh if they can help it, just like humans. But the skins are higher in potassium and fiber and are more species-appropriate for goats than the flesh.
If you’re going to feed your goats watermelon rinds, you should cut the rinds up into bite-sized pieces for them. They’ll likely ignore the rinds if they’re too unwieldy to eat. However, don’t make the pieces too small, or your goat may try to eat them too quickly and choke on them.
One of the main reasons watermelon rinds don’t get eaten is that people are wary of the pesticides and chemicals used in the growing process. This unease may carry over at the idea of feeding these bits to your goats. Wash the rinds thoroughly to ensure that any traces of synthetic chemicals have been removed before feeding them to your goats.
When in doubt, only feed your goats watermelon rinds from plants you’ve grown yourself. You will know what, if any, synthetic products were used to keep your plants safe from pests. So you’ll be able to ascertain quickly if they’re safe for your goats.
Watermelon vines are not something that humans would ever consider eating. But, these vines are right in the wheelhouse for goats. The worry with feeding watermelon vines to your goats isn’t the vine itself but the potential for pesticides and other chemicals to have been sprayed during the farming process.
If you want to feed your goats watermelon vines, you should stick to providing them vines only from plants you’ve grown yourself. If you’re going to feed them vines from another source, wash them thoroughly to ensure any traces of pesticides have been removed. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your animals!
Be on the Lookout
When introducing new food to your animals, you should always be on the lookout to see if there’s an allergic reaction to them. Part of owning any animal is doing your due diligence when introducing new foods. Keep an eye on your herd for a while to ensure that the watermelon is going down all right.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon Flavored Snacks?
Processed snack foods are generally not suitable for animal consumption. Some would say that they’re barely ideal for human consumption, but we digress. Snack foods provide little in the way of nutrition and a lot of empty calories and sugars. All things that are terrible for an animal diet.
While your goat won’t die if they snap up a Sour Patch Kid that you dropped on the ground, you shouldn’t make a habit of feeding them human snack foods. These foods can lead to obesity and malnutrition, and they rarely provide essential nutrients for goats.
It’s best to keep these snacks in the cupboard and out of the goat pen.
Tips for Feeding Your Goats Watermelon
1. Everything in Moderation
Moderation is vital when it comes to feeding our pets treats. Even though our pets may love human foods as a treat, they’re not usually suitable for them as a complete diet. Animals have different nutritional needs than humans, and while the occasional snack can provide variety, a steady diet of incomplete nutrition could be fatal to an animal.
2. Fresh Watermelon Only
Don’t feed your goats anything you wouldn’t eat. If the watermelon has gone wrong or is otherwise unpalatable to you, that isn’t a go-ahead to chop it up and throw it to your goats. Goats can be pretty picky about their food, and you may find that they leave it to rot if it’s gone bad.
3. Wash the Fruit Thoroughly
Washing the fruits and vegetables we feed to our livestock is a critical part of ensuring their safety. This step is essential if you plan to provide the watermelon rind or vine to your goats. These parts of the fruit can be treated with pesticides and other synthetic chemicals that could irritate or harm your goats if ingested.
Related read: Can Goats Eat Potatoes? What You Need to Know!
While goats may not eat everything, they love a wide variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables! In moderation, watermelon can be a very healthy treat to feed your goats! Watermelon has a lot of health benefits and can help combat dehydration in the summer months. As always, moderation is critical and making sure that your goat is getting a balanced diet outside of their treat foods should be the first order of business!
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