Tomatoes are used in a variety of ways in dishes – like soups, sauces, chutneys, purees, ketchup, and enhances tastes in dishes. Whether you like tomatoes or despise them, you would be hard-pressed to avoid tomatoes in your meals. And what about goats, you ask? Can they eat tomatoes?
Can goats eat tomatoes? Yes, the goats can eat tomatoes but in moderation. Too many tomatoes can be the cause of many gastrointestinal issues in goats. Also, you have to be careful about what parts of the tomato plant your pet goat devours, and how much they consume. Do not let goats eat leaves and stems of the tomato plant as they are toxic to goats.
Always keep an eye out when your goat is rambling off and be careful of where it grazes.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes to Goats
Tomatoes are high in nutritional value. You might’ve heard that tomatoes are full of Vitamin C, and it’s true!
Vitamin C is essentially ascorbic acid with a range of useful qualities – it helps improve our skin, keeps your cells healthy, and strengthens bones and cartilage.
Vitamin C is also important for improving the quality of the skin, so you might want to get it right! Many people use tomatoes for face and hair masks – tomatoes make your skin glow and reduce dandruff in your hair.
Vitamin C is essential for healing external wounds. Consumption of tomatoes helps heal skin wounds faster.
Tomatoes are rich in other nutritional benefits. Vitamin K, which helps form clots in the blood to stop you from losing all your blood should you get injured. It also contains fiber, which helps you clean out your digestive system and lets your bowels do their work properly.
It also contains Folate, which produces DNA and RNA and helps create red and white blood cells in your marrow; and potassium, which is required to regulate fluids and sodium in your body, and prevents you from acquiring bone cancer and stones in the kidney.
This is all well and good for humans, but what about the wee goats?
Tomatoes have high water content — that is, about ninety-five percent water constitutes a tomato. This means that goats can safely eat tomatoes, and face no known health risks.
If your goat has been facing some bowel issues, you can consider giving the poor animal some tomatoes — many studies have shown that a moderate amount of tomatoes help clear out bowels.
Goats are usually very fond of cherry tomatoes and love munching away at the fun-size fruits. The preference for tomatoes depends on the taste of your goat — like humans, they either like it or they don’t.
Most goats love red juicy tomatoes, but some may avoid it completely. Then there are goats that are not fond of unripe, green tomatoes, while some goats love the immature green fruits. It really depends on what your goats like to eat.
However, there are some things you should keep in mind when offering your goats such a tasty and nutritional treat, the modest tomato.
What to Watch Out For
Goats either like tomatoes, or they don’t — there’s no being sure about it unless you offer them some fresh, ripe or green, tomatoes and study their reactions. If your goat doesn’t like it, it’ll ignore it. If it does, you’ll have an empty plate in a matter of mere minutes!
However, if your goat is fond of joyfully chomping away at these fruits, there are some things you need to watch out for.
Tomatoes are not toxic to goats, but moderation is the key to everything. Goats should be fed well at mealtimes, and have a well-balanced diet. If you let your goats munch on one too many tomatoes, they are going to have a full stomach, and will not be able to eat during meal times. This can lead to malnutrition in goats.
Goats are picky eaters – they are very fussy and overparticular about what they eat. If they don’t like tomatoes, don’t force them to eat it. There are other ways by which you can give them the nutrients that tomatoes carry – either through supplements or by offering them vegetable alternatives.
Tomatoes can be given to goats to cleanse their bowels, but you still have to maintain moderation in this respect as well. Studies have shown that too many tomatoes can cause stomach upset and diarrhea in a goat.
Keep in mind that goats are browsers. This means that they are more likely to graze at plants and shrubs than grass. They are explorers at heart and soul and will stand on their rear feet to chew on longer stemmed plants. Therefore, they might try to nibble at the leaves and stems of the tomato plant.
Never ever let your goat eat any part of the tomato plant save for the fruit. The leaves of the tomato plant are considered toxic for goats. The red berry is part of the nightshade family, and nightshade can be fatal for all animals, let alone goats.
Tomato leaves and stems contain high levels of alkaloids, and the nightshade family of greens has a high content of alkaloids. What are alkaloids, and why is it bad for your goats?
Alkaloids are organic compounds that typically form in nature. Alkaloids extracted from plants are used to make drugs like morphine, and even poisons, like atropine.
Hence, you can understand why goats chewing tomato leaves and stems can be so dangerous for them. Always ensure that if you do have tomato plants growing in your backyards, restrict your goats from visiting that space.
Alkaloid poisoning from tomato plants has terrible effects on goats and can be fatal for them. Some effects of concentrated alkaloid poisoning are higher body temperatures, some amount of disorientation, sight problems, etc. Goats that have consumed many tomato plants can suffer coma and seizures, which ultimately leads to their demise.
Ways to Feed Your Goats Tomatoes
Tomatoes can be presented to goats for consumption in a variety of ways. As long as you maintain discipline and do not overfeed your goats, you should be fine to offer your four-footed friends tomatoes.
Remember to keep your goats away from your tomato patch, and any plant that might be too exotic or a part of some plant family that is poisonous for goats.
Some of the ways by which you can feed your goats the nutritious tomato are:
Goats are dependent on a plant-based diet. Therefore, you can offer goats tomatoes as they are. Give them fresh tomatoes, and they’ll munch on it happily.
Some goats like raw tomatoes, so you can slice a couple or two green tomatoes, and give it to them as a snack.
Just like humans eat raw tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt, you can add a dash of salt on the tomatoes before offering your goat to eat some.
Mixed With Their Usual Meals
Goats are given commercial grains and hay for meals, which excludes whatever they browse in pastures. Tomatoes can be mixed in with the hay, chaffhaye, or grains during mealtimes.
Tips to Remember When Feeding Your Goats Tomatoes
Goats can wreak havoc on garden patches, so you should be careful to not let them enter any place you don’t want them to. Always inspect a pasture for foreign objects and exotic or poisonous fare before letting your goat roam around unsupervised.
1. Goats can be fed a variety of things, but there are some tips you need to keep track of when feeding tomatoes to your goats:
2. While tomatoes are safe for consumption, the rest of the tomato plant isn’t. Since it is so high in alkaloid content, you need to keep your goat away from tomato plants.
3. Never substitute tomatoes for a full-fledged meal. Tomatoes can never be the source of all the nutrients your goat needs for growth, developments, and/ or milk production.
4. Remember the old adage – moderation is the key to good health. Goats should be fed with a limited number of tomatoes, and on a schedule that is considerate on their choosy rumens.
5. Too many tomatoes can lead to diarrhea and other illnesses in goats. Be sure that you give them only a certain amount, and not more than that.
6. Goats are fond of variety in their diet. Avoid feeding them anything on a constant basis, and diversify the contents and ingredients of their meals.
7. Tomatoes are nutritious, watery fruits, and should be given only as treats.
Your goat may be a fussy eater at mealtimes, but that doesn’t stop it from eating things it should not. Always watch out for your goats when they browse through pastures.
Make sure the place where your goat is kept or rambles around on its walk is kept free of any plant that can cause harm to it.