Goats can eat almost anything, that’s what most people said. We somewhat agree on that, however, does it mean that they can digest anything? Apple, for instance, is a very nutritious fruit, so can goats eat apples? Or more specifically, is there any good feeding them with it?
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Can goats eat apples?
Goats can eat apples for sure. For the most part, they love it, not only apple flesh but also skin as well. Apple and so many other fruits such as strawberries (yes, goats can eat strawberries) are a good source of carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, and protein for goats.
Carbohydrate from apples is a significant source of energy for goats, along with vitamin C and fiber that good for their digestive system.
However, feeding your goat with too much apple (or probably anything) might cause them some unwanted issues concerning their digestive system, unbalanced diet, deficiency in certain nutrients, etc…
Therefore, you might want to give your goats apple as occasional treats. Remember to limit the amount each day. If you just started to give your goats apple recently, just limit to a small amount or a few pieces and remember to keep an eye on them throughout the day.
Read our related article, Can Chickens Eat Applesauce and Apples? Find out if your other barnyard animals can enjoy a tasty apple!
Can goats eat apple seeds?
Yes, they can. We people always been warned not to eat apple seeds (they do not have a good taste anyway). You may have learned that there is cyanide in apple seeds and that it can be dangerous to your goats.
Yes, it’s true that there is cyanide in apple seeds and it can be dangerous to your goats. Question is, how much cyanide is considered harmful? Truth is, apple seeds contain a chemical named amygdalin. When damaged they amygdalin decays to form hydrogen cyanide in a very tiny volume, which is acceptable.
There is no chance of cyanide poisoning unless your goats eat 5 pounds of hydrogen cyanide a day. So just relax when you feed them apples in whole.
Can goats eat apple leaves?
Yes, they are just okay with eating apple leaves. In fact, many owners believe that goats usually enjoy the leaves, branches, and barks of an apple tree. So, it’s completely fine to feed the leaves of the apple tree.
However, you need to be cautious when feeding the baby goats leaves, barks, and branches of the apple tree. Baby goats need to be used to this kind of diet slowly, or they face severe bloating.
Can baby goats eat apples?
You should not feed apples to baby goats until they’re 2 to 3 months old. The digestive system of a baby goat is different from the adult one. They are just new to the world and don’t know how to handle different kinds of food.
The right thing to do will be to encourage them to take only mother’s milk until they are 1 month old. When they’re 1 month old, you should slowly start giving them grass and grains in small amounts for about a month.
When they are at the age of 2 or 3 months, you can start to give them an apple on a small scale. This would help the baby goat’s digestive system has time to adapt to the new foods in the long run. Plus, make sure that you cut the apple into small pieces to prevent chocking
Potential problems when feeding apples to goats
Chocking is one of the most attention-required problems when feeding apples or any big fruit to goats.
If you have ever seen a goat chewing, you may have found that a goat can not make its mouth wide open like most animals. That would make it impossible for them to eat a large round apple, and they prefer not to eat it.
Their teeth arrangement is also different. They have 24 molars and 8 incisors in the lower jawbone, and they have something called the Dental Pad in the upper jawbone.
That being said, goats cannot eat anything quite big for their mouth because their teeth are not designed to crush a large apple into little bits and then chew it.
Moreover, if you feed your goats to many apples, they would eventually ignore other main foods as they are full. That would cause an unbalance in their usual diet.
How to serve apples to goats?
As being said before, you can chop apples into small pieces then feed them. In my experience, feeding 1 tennis ball size apple per day is fine.
Keep in mind that only feed your goats with fresh apples, stay away from mold or rotten ones. It’s bad for them just like it’s bad for humans.
You should rinse the apple before feeding your goats to remove chemical residues or any kind of pesticide on the skin. These things could cause severe health problems for your goats.
Last but not least, if it is the first time you give your goats apples, don’t forget to monitor them throughout the day and should stop feeding it immediately if you notice any signs of allergy.
In a nutshell,
Now that we know apples are fine for goats to eat, they even love it. You just need to remember some key points when feeding them with it like don’t give them more than one apple per day, don’t feed baby goats under 2 months old with it, chop before serve, and monitor your goats on the first day of feeding it.
With a detailed and well-study method of feeding, apples would be a very ideal choice to treat your chubby friends.