Goats are curious and intelligent creatures that love food as much as we do. They are also known to be herbivores who enjoy eating grass and leaves. But can goats eat cantaloupe?
Yes, cantaloupes are a juicy and refreshing treat for goats. In addition to cantaloupe’s flesh, its rind and seeds are also edible to them. Goats can also eat the leaves and stems of cantaloupe plants, so if you have these plants in your garden, you must build fences around them.
Today, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about feeding cantaloupes to your goats, including their nutritional value, health benefits, and more.
Is cantaloupe healthy for goats?
Also referred to as “Persian melon”, “Musk melon”, and “Mush melon”, the cantaloupe is a summer fruit that is closely related to watermelons and cucumbers. Along with a high water and fiber content, cantaloupes are also loaded with a number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Given below is a nutritional table of cantaloupes that will give you a good idea about their nutritional value. Check it out:
|Vitamin A||3,382 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.019 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.734 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||7.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.105 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.072 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||21 mcg|
|Vitamin C||36.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.5 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||9 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.21 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg|
|Potassium, K||267 mg|
|Sodium, Na||16 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||15 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.18 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.041 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.041 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.4 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||0.9 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
If we’ve learned from the table, it is that cantaloupes are nutrient-dense fruits that add many healthy nutrients to your pet’s diet. And if you want to learn more about how these nutrients can help the goats, go through the following pointers:
- Vitamin A promotes the healthy eyesight of goats and maintains their skin health as well as the linings of their digestive, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. It also keeps their respiratory health intact, protecting them from all kinds of respiratory infections.
- Both Vitamins C and E provide antioxidants to your goats that fight with the free radicals in their body and protect their cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is even more essential in kids since it supports their muscle growth.
- Vitamin K is responsible for the blood coagulation of goats. Its deficiency can cause them to bleed out even from the smallest wounds and injuries.
- The main purpose of Calcium in goats is to strengthen their bones. In addition to it, it can also support enzyme activity, nervous functions, and muscle contraction. Pregnant and lactating goats need a higher amount of Calcium in their diet.
- Phosphorus is an important constituent of their genetic materials and enzymes and plays a key role in energy metabolism. The deficiency of Phosphorus can stunt their growth and make them appear unthrifty.
- Magnesium helps them in the metabolism of the carbohydrates and fats that they consume.
- Zinc is indispensable in the synthesis of protein in a goats’ body. Additionally, it can also help them with stress management.
- Iron plays a key role in the transportation of oxygen to their blood. The lack of it can make them vulnerable to Anemia.
In addition to all these advantages, cantaloupes have a low-fat content and will not make your pets gain unnecessary weight. These fruits are also rich in fibers, which can support their digestive health.
Can goats eat cantaloupe rind?
The rind or the outer skin of cantaloupe is buff orange in color and has net-like ridges drawn all over it. Due to its unpalatable taste, most of us cut off cantaloupe’s rind and eat only the flesh inside. But since goats are often more willing to eat things that we consider inedible, it is natural to wonder whether or not can they eat cantaloupe rind.
As far as cantaloupe rind is concerned, there’s a chance that your goats might not want to eat it. Just like us, goats don’t find it tasty either. If you want to find out whether your pets will eat it, try serving it to them and see how they react to it.
In case your pets seem to eat cantaloupe rind without any fuss, there’s one thing you’ll have to take care of. The small indentations present on the rind can easily trap dirt as well as bacteria in them.
Therefore, before feeding it to the goats, you will need to wash it thoroughly, scrubbing it to get rid of anything that might be harmful to them.
What about cantaloupe seeds? Are they safe for goats to eat?
The pale orange seeds present between the flesh of cantaloupe are extremely healthy for us. These seeds are rich in protein and fibers and have plenty of antioxidants. They also have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and analgesic properties.
Cantaloupe seeds also have a mild, crunchy taste, which is why they’re commonly consumed by us both raw as well as roasted.
But can goats eat these seeds? Yes, they can. There is nothing in these seeds that could be harmful to their health. Moreover, these seeds are also far too small and thin to pose a choking threat to them. However, when feeding cantaloupe seeds to your pets, always go for raw ones, since goats have a difficult time digesting cooked foods.
Are the leaves and stems of the cantaloupe plant edible for goats?
There are many goat owners out there who grow cantaloupes in their own garden and wonder if their pets will browse on its plant. As you already know, goats are quite the browsers and will attack the plants and trees in your garden sooner than the grass.
Both the leaves and stems of cantaloupe plants are perfectly safe for your goats, so it shouldn’t be a problem if they want to munch on them. However, if you want to protect your cantaloupe plant from these voracious eaters, fencing is your best chance at it.
Feeding cantaloupe to goats: things to remember
Cantaloupes are fairly uncomplicated fruits that do not need much preparation for your pet goats. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind:
- Cantaloupes, just like any other fruit or vegetable, should be introduced to your goat’s diet gradually and not suddenly. This is because the digestive tracts of ruminants like goats don’t do well with sudden changes. These changes, therefore, often end up causing bloating in them.
- When purchasing cantaloupes for your goats, always go with the fresh ones. Don’t buy for them anything that you wouldn’t eat yourself. Also, between organic and commercially grown cantaloupes, always go with the former.
- Although many of us might prefer eating cooked cantaloupes to raw ones, however, while feeding your goats, you should always go with raw ones. This is because raw cantaloupes are more nutritious than cooked ones. Also, goats might have trouble digesting cooked foods, since their stomachs are not used to them.
- You should always chop cantaloupes into smaller pieces so that they do not pose a choking hazard to your goats.
- Frozen cantaloupes can also be used as a cool treat for your goats during the summer months.
- If you want to feed cantaloupe seeds to your pets, do so along with the flesh. Feeding them store-bought cantaloupe seeds is not a good idea.
- Cantaloupes should only be fed to the goats in moderation, about 2-3 times a week. Also, make sure that these are not the only fruits your pets are eating. Adding diversity in there is always a good idea.
Frequently asked questions
Which fruits should I feed to my goat?
Goats can eat a variety of fruits safely in moderation. Here are some of the fruits that goats enjoy eating:
Can goats eat tomatoes? Yes, tomatoes are safe for goats to eat, as long as they’re fully ripened. Green, underripe tomatoes contain solanine and should never be fed to your pets.
Conclusion: Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe?
So can goats eat cantaloupe? The answer is yes, of course. Goats love cantaloupe almost as much as they love chewing on cedar tree branches. As it turns out, goats are pretty adaptable creatures.
Cantaloupes are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They can also be a great source of folate and potassium too, depending on the variety you pick out at the store.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. If you think it’s helpful for you, please share it with your goat-loving friends.