Goats Feed List: What do Goats Eats and Don’t Eat

What to feed your goats? How to manage goat nutrition facts and gain weight? This is the complete goats feed list including what they eat and do not eat in detail.

what do goats eat
what do goats eat?

Goats are herbivorous ruminants. They have four stomachs (Rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum) as cattle, sheep, deer, etc.

That allows them to consume grass, fiber, woody plants, and weeds. Moreover, their digestive system is strong enough to process bacteria and plants toxic to humans.

In this article, you will discover the complete goat’s food list that they like to eat. Moreover, following that the list of foods they don’t like to eat or shouldn’t feed. After that, we discuss the inevitable rules of goat feeding to secure better health.

What do Goats Eat? – Goats Feed List

Do you know that people have a misconception about the fact that “goats eat everything”?

What do Goats Eats

It isn’t true, in fact, their digestive system can process lots of things. Besides, this is not a wise thing to feed your goats everything that is eatable. Because you need to make sure that your farm or pet goats stay healthy.

The List of Best Foods for Goats

The list below contains the daily feed of a goat in terms of their liking and nutritional needs. These are the foods you are going to provide them daily basis.

Besides, the feed listed below is enough to maintain good healthy goats on your small or commercial farm.

Goats Feed List
Daily Diet Details
Pasture or HayThe best food for them. Can fill 80-100% of the daily diet.
StrawA cheap alternative to hay.
Grain0-10% of the daily diet.
ChaffhayeAlfalfa or grass that is cut early.
Vitamins and Minerals If there are deficiency symptoms, especially in winter.
Garden and Kitchen ScrapYou can feed them the vegetable leftovers.
Fresh Water Two to three gallons of water daily.
Daily Diet Chart for Goats
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Here are the most common goats feed lists, with some descriptions and pros and cons.

1. Pasture & Browsing

Goat Pasture

Pasture is a fresh land that contains sufficient nutrition & delicacy for goats. It helps the digestive process of the goat and also it’s really delicious for goats.

There are various kinds of pasture but for the goats, Sudan grass, Bahia grass, Sorghum, and Millet, the mixture of grain grass and clover is a great source of nourishment for the goats. Pasture mostly covers the necessity of hay.

Browsing also helps the pasture procedure during the grazing season. They don’t have to worry much cause while browsing in the places the goat can provide food for itself. It also keeps the health of the really good and protects it from any kind of contagious disease.

2. Hay

Goats Eating Hay on a Farm

Hay is a crop that is produced and harvested as a feed crop for cattle. Hay is another key element like the pasture in the goat farming scheme.

The goats should be fed qualified products (hay) not containing mold. If the pasture feeding system is good on your farm then the feeding process of hay can only occur when grazing isn’t available.

Hay is also on the goat’s feed list for cold or rainy days. Weedy and grass hay are really good for the goats. It’s not only cheap but it also contains a large amount of protein and nutrition. Alongside, alfalfa hays provide extra protein for the goats.

The most favorable hay are clover, alfalfa, soybean, lespedeza, and vetch.

3. Straw

Straw is a byproduct of a grain crop. Goats like to eat fresh strows (the nutritional value is low but it is good roughage). People use to feed their goats to minimize the feed cost and are relatively easy to store.

Wheat straw, oat straw, rice straw, and barley straw are considered the best types to feed them. However, avoid dusty or damp straws.

4. Chaffhaye

Chaffhaye is mainly grass or hay that begins by cutting them early into smaller chunks and spreading with molasses.

After that, it is generally put into a bag. this will parch while inside these containers. It combines beneficial bacteria with hay. That causes it comfortable for the goats to digest. This agitation method includes extra minerals, energy, and nutrients.

5. Vitamins and Minerals Needs

Calcium, Phosphorus, and salt contain minerals that are essential for the goat’s health. Baking soda is one of the vitamin providers which helps the goat with the bloating problem.  Vitamins E, A, and D are really necessary for both baby and mature goats.

  • Black oil sunflower seeds contain vitamin E. This helps the goat enrich its milk and develop its reproductive system and muscles.
  • Probios help the goat with the function of the rumen. Kelp Meal is a source of iodine that increases the production of milk for goats.
  • Besides, Apple Cider Vinegar is full of enzymes and minerals which help with the immune system.

6. Garden and Kitchen Scrap

Scraps have a great nutritious demand in the field of the feeding of goats. It saves your time as well as your expense. Domestic goats can eat those scraps alongside hay and pasture.  

  • Scraps like tomato end, banana peels, garlic skins, and orange peels are of great purpose in this regard.
  • Furthermore, human foods, like veggies, fruits, and dried fruits can be used for this purpose. Sweet feeds are not really great for the goats.
  • Cause it can make the goats lazy and dependable on these junk products.

7. Grain

Grain for goats

People who are unable to provide the necessary foods for the goats can fill the gap with 12-16% of grains. Besides, it can be a great source of energy.

Feeding GrainDetails
Whole Grain A cheaper alternative to barley-protein supplements.
Pelleted GrainAlfalfa pellets are great science it provides both protein & calcium.
Rolled GrainThe combination of oats and alfalfa creates a balanced diet.
Textured GrainTextured feed is a mixture of different high-quality ingredients. You can provide 15%-18% textured grain/
Feeding Grains

In any species goat feed list and any part of the world, the grain is an essential item.

  • Generally, you have to feed grain every day.
  • For mature goats, about 30%-40% of the feed must be grain foods.
  • But baby goats can’t digest that properly.
  • It consists of protein and carbon. So grain food is essential for goats.
  • There are different types of grain such as rolled, texturized, whole, and pelleted.
  • Products like oats, rye, corn, barley, and moil are known as cereal grains that provide consistent elements.

Now in the winter seasons, they need some extra care. Note that they do not like rain and winter. If you read our article “7 steps to start goat farming business for profit” you will know the consequence. Where I completely break down the impact of winter, snow, and rain.

8. Water and Drinks

 Water and Drinks for Goats

As with any animal in the plant, goats will need plenty of water to survive. Especially when you feed them hay and grains. On average the adults will consume two to three gallons of water daily. 

Now, if your goats are not drinking enough water, put some effort to make them. Here’s what you can do for encouraging them to drink- 

  • Fill the water pot with fresh water.
  • Ensure the water is edible, and not too hot or cold.
  • Clean the pot regularly. 
  • Sweeten it up, add ACV (1 tablespoon per 1 gallon), or molasse. 

List of Feeds in Winter or When Pasture is not Available

The goat’s feed list or any animal starts with water. In the cold season, make sure that the water is drinkable. If you find that your goats do not eat enough water then provide hot water.

On the other hand, grain foods can be harder to digest especially for kids.

HAY is the single most important thing, at that time they will live on that. So you need to store the best quality hay in the season.

Additional proteins can be served too. But you have to decide whether proteins are required or not. However, If your animals are fond of green grass, and three leaves then it is possible that they won’t like hay. In that case to ensure healthy goats you need to provide supplements like proteins.

Note: Keep an extra eye on bulks, make sure that they do eat, and make a goat’s feed list for cold days. 

Read more at Winter Goat Care Guide: How to care goats in the winter season.

List of Goats Favorite Foods:

Now, here is a list I can provide you. These are the foods that they like to eat. However, this will be important for you if you raise them as a pet.


90% of the food they eat is pasture or hay. Undebatably this is the most favorite.

In general, goats love to eat pasture, raisins, greens, chaffhaye, sunflower seeds, carrots, and pumpkin seeds.  Furthermore, species like Black Bengal are extremely fond of Jackfruit leaves.

They also like some human foods and fruits i.e. bananas, pears, watermelon, grapes, peaches, celery, pumpkin, squash, and spinach.

What Shouldn’t Give to Goats?

Some farmers give unwholesome and unhygienic food to the goats. It’s not good for them and also could cause serious health issues. Goats like to browse and eat leaves, trees, hay, grass, etc. But special attention should be given so that any trash like paper or Cigarettes doesn’t get mixed with its food.

On the contrary, any dog or cat feed mustn’t be given to goats even though the dog food is dietary. Alongside this, the products that shouldn’t be given to goats are:-

  • Crotalaria.
  • Azaleas.
  • Avocado.
  • Chocolate.
  • Milkweed.
  • Wild cherries.

Plants with oxalates such as- 

  • Kale.
  • Holly trees or bushes.
  • Lilly of the valley.
  • Rhubarb leaves.
  • Any nightshade vegetable.
  • Lilacs.
  • Peach and palm leaves.

This animal also dislikes grass hay. Though you can mix them with other Legume hays. But a mix of grass hay and alfalfa is very effective as a feed.

Plants that are extremely toxic to goats:

Livestock digestive systems are complex. Especially, for goats. Some plants are toxic to this animal. But likely they are smart enough to avoid consuming toxic plants. 

But, some plants can be poisonous, if consumed excessively. What I meant it if they are overfed with those plants, it will be toxic for their digestive system.

However, it is worth mentioning that, goat kids have weaker digestive systems than adults.

List of plants poisonous to goats:

  • Berries -China berries, Baneberry, Inkberry, Elderberry.
  • Weeds – Buckwheat, Pokeweed, Pigweed, Redweed, Milkweed, Nightshade, Sneezeweed, Staggerweed, Rattleweed, and Jimsonweed.
  • Grass – Johnson Grass, Sorghum, Sudangrass, Velvetgrass.
  • Lawn or Backyard Shrubs – Boxwood, Oleander, Carolina Allspice, Virginia creeper, Rhododendron Wild Hydrangea, and Black Locust Buckeye.
  • Cherries– Black Charry, Chokecherry.
  • Ferns,
  • Poppy
  • Corn Cockle
  • Lily,
  • Poison ivy etc.

What to Feed Goats to Gain Health and Weight?

Farmers seldomly face this problem of sluggish growth while bad health. Goats have relatively high protein needs than other livestock.

In general, an ideal diet for them should contain 7% of portions. But, milking goats needs 14% of portions.

Showdown a bit.

You will need a dedicated “goats feed list” for gaining weight quickly. But, Believe me! you do now want them to be fat. Do you?

To secure extra or first health and weight it involves steps feeding process and providing a balanced diet plan. What to do and what to feed your goats are:-

  • First, provide clean and safe water. You can include minerals in small portions, too much of that may cause water phobia. Haha…

Food list to gain health and weight.

  1. Pasture (80-90% of daily diet), 
  2. Grain(7-10% of daily diet),
  3. Minerals (1-2% of their diet),
  4. Black Sunflower Seeds – Provides vitamin E & selenium.
  5. Fresh Water 

You must ensure Vitamins from foods or Protein supplements.

Some Inevitable Rules of Goat Feeding

Now then, I assume you have a complete goat’s feed list. But, the question is how and what to provide them?

Here are the intensive rules for a profitable farm.

  • A goat’s daily diet should also include at least 25% pasture and 20% grains.
  • The quantity of green feed, water, vitamins, and minerals have to be adequate cause these are the key elements for farming goats.
  • Special attention needs to be given to improving the goat’s bodily condition.
  • Supplements have to be given to goats to develop their milk, skin, and better immune system.
  • Goat feeding has to be secured so it can’t get contaminated by germs, bacteria, and parasites.
  • The diet can be controlled by hay.

Finally, to create such an in-depth goat feed list, we have to communicate with farmers like you. This allows us to plan the best farming methods.

Necessary Equipment for Feeding Goats:

  • Feed storage vessels
  • Food containers
  • Water pots
  • Hay storage
  • Mineral feeder

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Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Foods

Goats are the most popular livestock animals. Besides, miniature goats like boar are commonly grown as pets.

So there are millions of questions that peoples want to know about feeding them. Here, we have listed the most common questions and answered them. 

Can goats eat apples?

Yes, they can eat an apple. However, it is not suggested to feed a full bucket of apples at a time. Because It is harmful to their digestive system.
Actually, they love skin.

On the other hand, feeding apples on a daily diet is deadly. Feed small portions during each snack time. However, If you feed fruits or vegetables make sure that all pieces are small enough to eat for the goat.

A large apple has 11% carbohydrate and 1% protein which can be vital to keep them healthy. Moreover, Carbohydrates usually provide the majority of energy to goats.

Now, that means, you can feed apples but like snakes not like regular foods. Besides, a small amount of apples is safe for goats.

Can goats eat blueberry?

Yes, They eat blueberries. They always try to have that food because its small size attracts them. However, It is not suggested to feed a lot of amount in one sitting. Because it is injurious to their digestive system.

On the contrary, Blueberries have vitamins, minerals, Manganese, and antioxidants. Antioxidants act superbly in the internal parts of the body.

it has many minerals that the body use. the mineral helps to generate blood. This fruit usually provides a couple of vitamins like vitamins C and K.

These are all of the nutritional elements get from this delicious fruit.
In the end, We can say that you feed that fruit like occasional food not like regular food.

Can goats eat meat?

No, they can not eat. Goats are mainly grass-fed animals. They mainly love to eat granular foods and grass.

Particularly, The goat’s digestive system is plant-centric because they are not carnivorous animals.

The fact that they have meat intake is completely wrong.

Again, Many have heard that goats eat all. I can say that this is a misconception. Goats have a bad temper, they always give their mouths forward, which at times seems like they are eager to eat, but not really. They turn their mouths on a piece of meat, but they never eat it.

In conclusion, We can say that goats can not eat meat.

Do goats eat strawberries?

No. It is not recommended. Look! goats can eat sweet fruits. However, too much of them is not healthy for them. Besides, the strawberry taste is mixed with sour and sweet. Therefore, it is not a great thing to feed them.

And, a handful of goats will not prefer strawberries. However, you can try a small number of strawberries on top. 

Can goats eat corn?

Yes, you can feel up to 50% of the diet with corn. But, It has only 9% of protein. Therefore, to ensure greater health you should not provide more than 10% of the grain as a daily diet. The percentage is much lower for meat goats.

You can provide 1-2% of their body weight. Now, for better milking, a minimum of 14% protein is recommended.

But, most farms prefer to provide corn as it is inexpensive. And, it is possible to provide the prescribed amount of protein, if set the diet plan wisely. Unlike sheep, goats can not take whole corn. They can only consume cracked corn.

Now, if you are into corn farming, there will be leftovers like- cornstalks, leaves, husks, etc. You can try to utilize cornstalks is to grazing them. Some goat varieties will love them.

Can goats eat watermelon?

Watermelons are tasty, and goats will choose them over hay and foliage. They will consume flesh, rinds, and seeds. However, this fruit has 90% of water and doesn’t have the required nutrition values for goats. 

Now, you should provide watermelons, after they finish their daily meal. Especially, in the hot summer. To make it enjoyable cut them into pieces and throughout seeds as much as possible.

Can goats eat potatoes?

Yes! Goats may eat potatoes. But too much is not recommended as, it contains toxins, and the goat’s stomach is not capable to digest them properly. 

Furthermore, it is not a healthy diet for them. 

Now, potato slacks or green skins are also prohibited by Veterinarians. If the goats suffer from low protein deficiencies they may lose weight. 

Can goats eat broccoli? 

Yes! Broccoli and broccoli sprouts can be fed moderately. It’s safe. But, they can be picky. Provide fresh as they will not be interested otherwise. But, be aware of protein supplements.  

What grains do goats eat?

Goats need a lot of fiber to survive, and the same is true of sheep and cows. This means that you can give your animals a little bit of grain, and they will be satisfied, but not too much.

Unlike people, goats are not picky about what they eat, so they will eat some of any grain you feed them. Here is the list of grains that goats eat.

  • corn,
  • barley,
  • wheat,
  • oats,
  • milo,
  • rye, etc.

What do mountain goats eat?

Mountain goats are an interesting bunch. They are exclusively herbivores and spend most of their time grazing. That means they don’t eat meat, fish, or insects, but they do eat many types of plant material such as lichens, grasses, woody plants, mosses, bushes, roots, berries, and edible plants.

However, they depend on dry weeds, grass, brush, and plants beneath the snow in the winter.

What do baby goats eat?

When feeding baby goats, you can feed them goats milk, which is the more preferred source. You may also feed them hay and alfalfa.

Do goats really eat everything?

Goats don’t really eat everything. In fact, they can be picky eaters, and they can’t eat just anything. The biggest misconception is the idea that goats eat everything. While they can eat a variety of things, they have a few dietary requirements that make up for the rest.

Do goats really eat paper?

Goats are herbivores and eat primarily plants. Some goats will eat papers if they are starving, but this should not be a regular habit.

Do Goats Need Salts?

Generally goats like salts in their intake of water. It can help to maintain a healthy appetite and body weight. Moreover, if your goat’s lake sodium, it may cause slow growth or low milk production.

You can give sodium chloride as a free choice or mixed with the feed at 0.5%.

However, in some cases, goats may consume more salt than they need. Hence, we suggest avoiding high-salt blocks in food.

Final Words

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Now, let us know your goat’s feed list. Comment below this article we will love to hear from you.

32 thoughts on “Goats Feed List: What do Goats Eats and Don’t Eat”

  1. Can goats eat peeled sweet potatoes spiral? Its just fancy. Peeled. Trying to help neighbor with a new pet billy goat! Please get back asap, Thank you

  2. i have 4 Nigerian Dwarfs and 1 of which is anemic so we are trying to get his iron up is it safe to feed em garlic cloves and spinach leafs aswell as coating the meds with honey.

    • Salts are necessary, however too much is bad for them. Most goats breed like salt.

      is it good?

      if the the percentage is about 0.5% then it is good. Otherwise, not recommended.

  3. Im not clear as to the precentages.im trying to build pasture and im very disappointed in commercail blends. im trying to build my own. im in north central texas we are having a problem getting hay. i have 30 head and i cant get hay we are having a convinyet rainy spell. i thought it would be a good time to seed but i cant find a answer for the mix i should put down


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