Although goats are primarily considered to be agricultural animals, they also make great pets. They’re very friendly with humans and quite harmless. They also love attention, and will never let you feel lonely. But when it comes to their diet, most pet owners believe they can eat everything. While goats are ruminants and can easily digest most of what humans eat, certain foods are toxic to them. If we talk about fruits, goats love to eat most fruits. But what about oranges?
So, can goats eat oranges? They most certainly can. Oranges belong to the citrus family and are nutritious and healthy for goats. Oranges make great snacks for goats. However, consuming too much citrus can upset the rumen of goats. Therefore, you should feed them oranges in moderation.
Goats, unlike other livestock animals such as sheep, are not instinctive ‘grazers’. In terms of their eating tendencies, they are ‘browsers’, like deer. They prefer trees, shrubs, and flowers over grass. If you keep a lawn and expect your pet goat to act as a lawnmower, you’d be disappointed. They will finish off all your well-kept flowering plants much before they work on the grass.
Oranges are both tasty as well as healthy treats for oranges. However, a general rule of feeding goats, like the other pets, is that too much of anything is not a good idea.
- Are oranges healthy for goats?
- Do goats eat oranges?
- Can goats eat orange peels?
- How should you feed oranges to your goat?
- What happens if you feed your goat too many oranges?
- Can you feed oranges to baby goats?
- Are orange seeds harmful to goats?
- Can goats eat the leaves of an orange tree?
- What other fruits can you feed your goat?
- What should you avoid feeding your goat?
- Final Takeaway
Are oranges healthy for goats?
Let us take a look at the nutritional chart of orange:
Serving size: 1 fruit (approx. 131 g)
|Dietary fibers||3.1 g|
Although a goat’s rumen makes enough Vitamin B required for their metabolism, it cannot make fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Therefore, they depend on external sources for acquiring these vitamins.
In addition to Vitamin A and E, orange contains a large amount of Vitamin C, which is essential for the goat’s immunity system.
All the minerals found in oranges, such as Calcium, Potassium, Copper, and Magnesium, are essential elements of a goat’s diet.
Therefore, oranges are indeed healthy for goats.
Do goats eat oranges?
Out of all the pet animals, goats have the least reservations about food. They are not picky or particular and eat almost everything they can.
So, yes, goats eat oranges, pretty much like any edible (and sometimes non-edible) item. Also, goats have a sweet tooth, so they are naturally inclined towards fruits, including oranges.
Can goats eat orange peels?
Yes, goats can eat orange peels. They have an excellent digestive system that can easily break down and digest peels of oranges.
An orange peel contains more Vitamin C than the fruit itself, which is healthy for the goat. Therefore, next time you bring home oranges, instead of throwing away the peel, feed it to your pet goat.
How should you feed oranges to your goat?
While feeding any fruit to your goat, you have to be careful about the size of the pieces you feed them.
However, with oranges, it doesn’t become a problem. Oranges are usually too soft to choke on.
Also, they are already divided into several carpels, so you don’t have to cut them either. You can feed your goat oranges as you eat them yourself, by peeling them out and removing the seeds.
Are you planning to feed your goat the peels later? If you are, you must wash the peels thoroughly to get rid of any chemicals or artificial coloring vendors often add to make them look fresh.
Never feed your goat a whole orange at once. Remember to feed them in moderation.
What happens if you feed your goat too many oranges?
Unlike other pets, goats receive their nutrition from the process of fermentation. Fermentation is a process of breaking down the food they consume for digestion.
Sugar accelerates the process of fermentation. Therefore, even 3% of sugar in your goat’s diet can lead to excessive fermentation, and result in bloating. Bloating is painful for goats just as it is for us.
Therefore, you should avoid feeding your goat foods that are rich in sugar to prevent bloating.
Can you feed oranges to baby goats?
The digestive system of baby goats is very different from that of an adult goat. They are fragile and unacquainted with the variety of food available.
Baby goats should consume only their mother’s milk until they are a month old. After that, you should steadily feed them small quantities of grains and hay to get them habituated to it.
Only when they are at least 3-4 months old should you feed them oranges, or any other fruits.
Are orange seeds harmful to goats?
No, the seeds of oranges are not harmful to the goats, just as they are not harmful to us. However, we still practice removing them when we eat oranges. The same is true for goats.
If removing the seeds before feeding oranges to your goats is a hassle for you, you can leave them in.
Can goats eat the leaves of an orange tree?
Goats, being browsers, love the leaves of all trees without discrimination. And since the leaves of orange trees are not particularly harmful to goats, they can certainly eat them.
What other fruits can you feed your goat?
Goats are nibblers, always looking forward to the next treat. However, you should only treat them with fruits once in a while.
The following some of the fruits that are healthy for your goat to consume.
Take a look:
Watermelons, because of their high water content, are refreshing treats for goats. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium, and thus, healthy for goats.
Rich in fibers and Vitamin C, apples are delicious treats for goats when served in small slices.
Mangoes are rich in Vitamin C that boosts the immunity system of goats. Goats also love to eat mango leaves.
Plums contain minerals like Phosphorous, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Fluoride, and Potassium, and are rich in Vitamin A, B1, C, and K. Before feeding pears to your goat, remove their pit.
What should you avoid feeding your goat?
Contrary to popular belief, goats can’t eat everything. There are many foods and plants out there that are toxic or unsuitable to your goat.
These are a few examples.
Meat and dairy products
Goats are herbivores, and plant materials dominate their diet. Meat is not well-suited for their digestive system. The same is true for dog and cat foods.
As far as dairy products are concerned, consuming food or supplements from other ruminants can lead to bovine spongiform encephalopathy in goats.
Goats are naturally curious creatures and will nibble at anything they find. While barks of trees are a part of their diet, other non-edibles, such as paper, cardboard, or tin cans, are not.
Before leaving your goat out alone, you should make sure of the plants in the surroundings. Are any of them toxic to your goats?
Following is the list of some of the plants that are considered to be poisonous to goats:
- Lily of the valley
To conclude the article, let’s return to our original question: can goats eat oranges? Yes, they can. Orange contains many vitamins and minerals that are healthy for the goats, and make delicious treats for their sweet tooth. However, as a concerned pet parent, you should always feed oranges to your pet goat in moderations to avoid any negative impact on their digestive system.