Have you heard that goats can eat anything? If you have, don’t be fooled by such claims because it is a common misconception among people that goats can eat anything. If you were to ask me, I would also say yeah, they can eat anything. But the question is whether they can digest everything they eat? You need to understand that goats cannot eat anything they want and they shouldn’t be fed everything. There are certain foods you should avoid feeding your goats.
Now let’s get going to answering the question, can goats eat apples? Yes, goats can eat apples but make sure to slice the apples down to small pieces for them to eat. Apples are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber in the diet of goats.
In this article we’ll discuss in detail whether goats can be fed apples, how often should you feed them, can baby goats be fed apples and answers to a lot more questions.
Let’s get going!
Diet of a goat
As mentioned earlier, the whole idea of goats being able to eat anything is a big fat lie. Goats are herbivorous animals and they do not eat meat or other dairy products.
Before we proceed further it is important that you understand how goats absorb nutrition from the food they consume.
Unlike most other animals, goats do not digest their food rather they ferment the food inside the 4 specialized chambers they have in their stomach and then they absorb nutrition from it.
If you have observed a goat grazing, you might have seen that they do not walk around eating grass lawns. Goats are in fact picky eaters, earning them the name “browsers”.
By default, goats are drawn to the nutritious plants rather than eating everything they can find.
Do goats love apples?
Yeah, goats love apples. Not just apples, these chubby creatures are always up for a tasty snack at any time of the day. In fact, goats need an adequate amount of fiber in their diet and fruits are their major source of fibers apart from green leaves.
Goats at any time of the day love to eat watermelons, bananas, grapes, peaches, spinach, carrot, and so on. As long as the food is healthy you can always treat them by giving these fruits.
Is it safe to feed apples to goats?
Yes, it is safe to feed your goats apples as long as you limit the quantity you feed them. Do not give apples as one proper meal to the goat at any time. The best way to go about this would be to give them small pieces of apples along with hay or other grains.
Never feed them more than one apple a day. If you feed them one whole basket of apple in a day, they might eat it happily. But you risk them fermenting in the digestive system causing excessive bloating which may be harmful to your goat.
Why shouldn’t I feed too many apples to my goat?
Unlike other animals that absorb nutrition from digested food, goats absorb almost 80% of their energy by breaking down the food by fermentation. Fermentation is one of the vital processes happening inside a goat’s stomach.
Now, you need to understand that sugar can accelerate the whole process of fermentation. As much as 3% sugar in a goat’s diet can cause excessive fermentation causing bloating to your goat. Similar to humans, excessive bloating can be excruciatingly painful to goats also.
When you feed large quantities of apple to your goat, the high sugar content in it can trigger excessive bloating. Not just apples feeding goats anything in excess can cause bloating.
Is it okay for the goats to eat the apple seed?
You might have heard that apple seeds contain cyanide and that it can be harmful to your goat. Yeah, it is true that apple seeds contain cyanide and it can be harmful to your goats. But the question is what quantity of seeds would be harmful?
You need to understand that apple seeds do not contain cyanide as such rather it contains a chemical known as amygdalin. When a seed is damaged or chewed amygdalin decays to form hydrogen cyanide in negligible amounts.
Unless your goat eats 5 pounds of hydrogen cyanide in a day, there is no risk of cyanide poisoning. So yeah, you don’t have to worry, if your goat eats the seeds inside the apple.
Can I give baby goats apples once in a while?
No, you shouldn’t feed them apples to baby goats till they are 2 to 3 months old. The digestive system of a baby goat is different from the one of an adult. Baby goats aren’t acquainted with the different food that’s out there on the world.
The best thing to do would be to let them consume only mother’s milk until they are thirty days old. Once they are thirty days old you can slowly start giving them hay and grains in small quantities for almost a month. You can start feeding them apples and other fruits on a small scale after 60 days.
By slowly introducing a new food, you are giving the bacteria’s living inside a goat’s gut enough time to be adaptable. This can prove to be beneficial in a lot of ways.
Make sure that you cut the fruits into small pieces to avoid the chances of chocking.
Can I feed my goat apple leaves?
Yes, you can feed them leaves of apples. Many farmers claim that goats in general love leaves, branches, and barks of an apple tree. In fact, goats are found to munch on leaves, small branches, and even bark of apple trees. So, it’s perfectly safe to feed those leaves of an apple tree.
But you need to be careful while feeding baby goats leaves, barks, and small branches of the apple tree. Baby goats need to be accustomed to these kinds of diet slowly else they risk the chances of excessive bloating.
Apart from apples, what all fruits can I feed my goats?
Goats have a big stomach with 4 different chambers making them always ready for the next treat.
You can treat your goats with fruits once in a while only if those fruits are healthy for them. In this section, we’ll see which fruits can be safely fed to your goats and which shouldn’t be.
You can feed them these fruits
It is important to note that you shouldn’t feed your goats Avocado or Cherries as they can be poisonous to goats.
What are the other foods that I need to avoid feeding my goats?
Goats are herbivorous which means they feed only on plants and plant products. You should refrain from feeding them milk or other dairy products (except baby goats feeding on mother’s milk).
Apart from that, you should never feed your goat’s dog or cat food that is rich in animal proteins. Feeding pet food that’s rich in animal proteins to goats can cause a lining of fat to form on their stomach walls. This lining will affect their nutrients absorption rate which can eventually be fatal to them.
This is why it is advised to keep these pet food out of reach from goats.
Also, you need to refrain from making sudden changes to a goat’s diet. A sudden change can cause a major digestive upset to the goats that can turn fatal.
Why is it that some goats do not eat apples?
Yeah, though goats in general love to eat apples not every one of them like apples. Many farmers have claimed that their goats do not go anywhere near an apple. In order to understand the reason for this behavior, it is important that you understand some things about goats.
If you have observed a goat eating, you might have noticed that a goat cannot open its mouth wide open like other animals. This is going to make it difficult for them to eat a big round apple and they choose not to eat them.
Another reason is the way their teeth are arranged. In the lower jaw, they have 24 molars and 8 incisors and they have something called the Dental Pad in the upper jaw.
The dental pad helps them rip and tear their food. Their teeth are in no way equipped to break a big apple into small pieces and then chew them. This is why it is advised to feed the goats apples in small pieces to avoid the chances of them choking.
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