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

Published By Andre lutforovich Last Modified: 
July 29, 2020

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? - Goats Feed List

Do you know that people have the misconception about this fact that "goats eat everything"?

what do goats eat

what do goats eat

This is not true at all. People misunderstood this matter. But as a farmer, we know that they do not eat everything. Well, you may find that goats eat paper, household trash, etc. But our questions does it digest?

The answer is that they can not digest not properly anything. Besides, if you think similar to people, we can eat everything but does it digest? Another question is it that healthy? We can die eating something poisonous or not digestible.

Also, this is not a wise thing to feed your goats everything that is eatable. The causes are they may not need that. And what about nutrition? We will dig deep into that too.

This is the complete goat's food list that they like to eat. And following that the list of what they do not like to eat or shouldn't feed. After both of these two-section, we discuss the inevitable rules of goat feeding to secure better health.


The List of Best Foods for Goats:

This list contains the best food to feed a goat in terms of their liking and nutrition value. This list is divided into several sections in order to provide better understandability. The first list contains what to feed goats to gain health and weight. Then they're favorite food list and other least favorable goat foods.

Goats Feed List

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Here are the most common goats feed lists, with some description and pros and cons.

Pasture & Browsing:

Pasture and browse contain 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, Millet, the mixture of grain grass and clover are the great source of nourishment for the goats. Pasture mostly covers the necessity of hay.

Browsing also helps the pasture procedure during the grazing season. The doesn'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.

Hay:

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 the grazing isn't available.

Hay is also in the goats 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, it alfalfa hays provide extra protein for the goats.

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

Chaffhaye:

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

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

Vitamins and Minerals:

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.  Vitamin E, A, and D are really necessary for both baby and mature goats.

  • Black oil sunflower seeds contain vitamin E which helps the goat enriching its milk and developing its reproductive system and muscles.
  • Probios help the goat with the function of the rumen. Kelp Meal is a source of iodine which increases the production of milk for goats.
  • On the other hand, the Apple Cider Vinegar is full of enzymes and minerals which helps the goats with the immune system of the body.

Garden and kitchen Scrap:

Scraps have a great nutritious demand on the field of the feeding of the goats. It saves your time as well as your expense.

  • 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 also 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.

Grain:

People who are unable to provide the necessary foods for the goats can fill the gap with 12-16% of grains. In any species goats 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, moil are known as cereal grains that provide the consisting 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.

List of Feeds in Winter: 

The goats 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 or liquid then try to provide hot water.

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

HAY is the single most important thing, at that time they will live on that. My tips will be to store the best quality hay.

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, 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 goats 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:

goat-feeds-list

Now, here is a list I can provide you. This is 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, pumpkin seeds.  Furthermore, species like black bengal are extremely fond of Jackfruit leaves.

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 don't get mixed with its food.

On the contrary, any dog or cat feeds 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.
    Plant 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 toxic to goats: 

Livestock digestive systems are complex. Especially, for goats. There are some plants that 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 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 portion, 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

You must ensure Vitamins from foods or Protein supplement.

Some Inevitable rules of goat feeding:

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

Here are the intensive rules for a profitable farm.

  • 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 goats bodily condition.
  • Supplements have to be given to goats to develop its 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 goats feed list, we have to communicate with farmers like you. This allows us to plan the best farming methods.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Goat Foods:

Can goats eat apples?

Yes, they can eat an apple. However, it is not suggested to feed a full bucket of apple at a time. Because It is harmful to their digestive system.
Actually, they love skin.
On the other hand, feeding apple as 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 goat.
A large apple has 11% carbohydrate and 1% protein which can vital to keep them healthy. Moreover, Carbohydrates usually provide the majority of energy to goats.
Now, that means, you can feed apple but like snakes not like regular foods. Besides, a small amount of apple is safe for goat.

Can goats eat blueberry?

Yes, They eat blueberries. They always try to have that food because it's 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, antioxidants. Antioxidants act superbly in their internal parts of the body.
it has many minerals that the body use. the mineral helps to generate the blood. This fruit usually provides a couple of vitamins like vitamin C and K.
These all of the nutrition 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, Strawberries taste is mix 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 amount of strawberries top. 

Can goats eat corn?

Yes, you can feel up to 50% of the diet with corn. But, It has only 9% of protein. Therefor, ensuring 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 fermes 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, husk, etc. You can try to utilize cornstalks is to graze them. Some goats 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 don’t have required nutrition values for goats. 

Now, you should provide watermelons, after they finishes 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?

No, don’t ever feed them potatoes.  99% of goats will not take potatoes. Besides, it contains toxins, and goats stomach is not capable to digest them properly.  Also, 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.  

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


Andre Lutforovich, founder member of Farming method -The modern Farmer's blog and regarded one of the best farming experts. He completed his higher education introductory agricultural systems . Now, he is involved in various livestock business research. His hobby is gardening and blogging.

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25 comments 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.

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