Goats, although primarily agricultural animals, make interesting household pets. They have no violent tendencies and are sweet to everyone, even strangers. They need no effort to be domesticated, are good with children, and have few demands. When it comes to their diets, goats are pretty flexible due to their four-fold digestive system. There’s very little that can harm your goat’s health as long as you stick to moderation. Goats are known to eat fruits, but what about blueberries?
Can goats eat blueberries? Yes, goats can eat blueberries and do with great excitement. These small and vibrant berries appeal a great deal to your ruminant pets. Blueberries are rich in nutrients and benefit their health if fed in moderation. Blueberry seeds are also safe for goats to eat, and so are their leaves. All you need to be careful about it the quantity they eat because too much sugar isn’t healthy for goats.
Goats are instinctively curious beings and like to put everything into their mouths, be it edible or non-edible items. Don’t be surprised if you see your pet goat putting cardboard or tin can into their mouths; they won’t eat it but are only testing it. However, this means that you should be more careful about what is lying around in your home or garden.
How do blueberries benefit your goat’s health? What if your goat eats too many of these berries? Is it safe for baby goats to eat blueberries? If you are wondering about these questions, you can find their answers ahead. Stay tuned.
Do goats like eating blueberries?
Most people don’t know this, but goats are fussy eaters. While they put everything into their mouths, they can occasionally throw tantrums when it comes to feeding them. As far as fruits are concerned, blueberries are mostly liked by a majority of goats. Their small size attracts goats to them.
However, it may happen that your goat doesn’t touch the berries you serve them. If it happens on more than one occasion, take the hint and stop feeding blueberries to your pet.
Are blueberries healthy for goats?
Among all the berries, blueberries are the most nutritious. These little fruits are cholesterol-free, gluten-free, contain low fat, and are rich in fibers.
To determine whether or not blueberries are healthy for goats, you should take a look at its nutritional chart.
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
|Pantothenic acid||0.124 mg|
|Vitamin C||9.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.56 mg|
|Vitamin K||19.3 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||2.4 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now, let’s take a look at how blueberries can benefit your goat’s health.
For the health of your goat’s epithelium and eyesight, vitamin A is essential. Vitamin A is also helpful in fighting against any respiratory infection and in keeping their reproductive health intact.
Vitamin C has the same function in goats as it does in humans: it is responsible for strengthening their immune system.
Vitamin E provides essential antioxidants to goats. It is particularly more important in their younger ones to support proper muscle development. A lack of vitamin E can cause muscle diseases in young goats, and reproduction issues in the older ones.
Calcium has various functions in your goat’s health: it supports nerve functions, muscle contraction, blood clotting, cardiovascular functions, and enzyme activity.
Potassium plays a key role in maintaining the fluid balance in goats and improves their metabolism.
While magnesium breaks down carbohydrates and fats, iron boosts cell respiration by transporting oxygen from hemoglobin.
Zinc is essential in stress management and protein synthesis in goats.
Blueberries have a high water content which is great for a nursing goat’s health. It is because nursing goats need more water than regular goats, which blueberries can supplement for them.
Did you know that goats derive a major portion of the energy they need from carbohydrates? A deficiency of this nutrient can make your goat weak and lethargic. Blueberries can provide your pet with a considerable amount of carbohydrates.
What happens if your goat eats too many blueberries?
While blueberries and nutritious treats for your goats in moderation, when fed carelessly, they can lead to problems.
Unlike other animals, goats receive their nutrition from the process of fermentation. It is a digestive process commonly seen in ruminants such as goats, cows, etc.
Excessive sugar intake can accelerate the fermentation, which ends up causing bloating in your goat. Bloating is a painful health condition in which even a slight movement can cause your pet a great deal of pain.
Too much sugar also upsets their stomach and often leads to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea.
Can baby goats eat blueberries?
If you have a baby goat at home who loves blueberries, there’s no harm in feeding them a few berries once in a week. However, once a week is where you should draw the line. Any more than that could upset their stomach and cause them to bloat.
Are blueberries safe for pregnant/nursing goats to consume?
There is no reason why occasional treats of blueberries would harm pregnant or nursing goats any more than they do to regular goats. In fact, pregnant goats need more water than other goats. Blueberries, being rich in water, can fulfill their extra water requirement.
Can goats eat blueberry seeds?
Most people have no idea about blueberries containing seeds, which is a common mistake. Blueberries have very tiny, yellow-orangish seeds that are easy to miss.
One blueberry contains about 10-15 seeds on an average. Blueberry seeds are far too small to be removed easily. But do you need to remove them for your goat? The seeds of blueberries pose no harm to goats, or any other animal or bird. Thus, you needn’t remove the seeds before feeding blueberries to your goats.
What about blueberry bushes?
If you’re a goat owner, you must already know that goats are more of browsers than grazers. Whenever left to feed freely, goats will always choose plants, flowers, bushes, even trees, before the grass. Are you wondering if blueberry bushes are okay for your goat to browse on?
Yes, they are. Blueberry bushes contain no toxins that can hamper your goat’s health. Moreover, the plant is rich in antioxidants which improve their health. Therefore, if your goat wants to nibble on blueberry bushes, let them do it.
How to feed blueberries to goats?
The size of blueberries has an advantage when it comes to feeding these to your goats. These berries are too small to be prepped before serving.
The first and most essential part of feeding blueberries to your goat is to wash them thoroughly, especially if they are market-bought and not home-grown. This is because many fruit-sellers spray pesticides and other chemicals on the fruits to prevent insects and to make them look fresh.
Soak the berries in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes before rinsing them with freshwater, and they are ready to serve. You can feed your goat blueberries by hand, or serve them in a dish. Goats can easily eat them whole, just like us.
Frequently asked questions
Can my goat eat azaleas? No. You must keep your goat away from azaleas since they are lethal to them. Even if your goat eats these plants accidentally, it is bound to suffer from severe poisoning.
Can I let my goat munch on veggies? Many vegetables are safe and healthy for your goat, including:
Are oxalates okay for my goat? No, oxalates are toxic to goats and shouldn’t be fed them. These are the following plants that are rich in oxalates and must be avoided.
- Nightshade vegetables
- Palm leaves
Are all kinds of cherries safe to feed my goat? No, all cherries are not safe for goats. You should keep black cherry and chokecherry away from your goat.
To conclude, blueberries are safe and healthy treats for your ruminant friends. They are rich in nutrients, have low fat, and are free of cholesterol or gluten. Moreover, blueberry plants and leaves are safe for goats to feed on as well. Just remember, too many berries can result in excess sugar consumption, which is a bad idea for your goat.