Oranges are easy to find, rich in vitamin C and other essential minerals. Humans should definitely include oranges in their healthy diet, but how about goats? Can goats eat oranges?
For those of you who are keeping goats and are wondering if oranges are as healthy to us as to them, this post is for you.
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Can goats eat oranges?
The answer is an absolute YES. Oranges are very healthy for goats as they are a rich source of vitamin C, just like for us – humans.
Vitamins are essential to the immune system of goats. Apart from vitamin C, oranges can also provide vitamin B1, B9, and potassium, which are all healthy and beneficial to a goat’s diet.
A goat’s rumen can actually produce enough Vitamin B for its body. For other vitamins, however, especially those that help dissolve fats and oils like vitamin C, D, and K, goats have to get them through external sources.
When feeding your goat with any type of citrus fruit, keep in mind that too much consumption of oranges comes with a large amount of acid and thus may end up hurting your goats’ rumen which is the first compartment of their stomach.
Therefore, only feed your goats with oranges occasionally, like a treat or snack.
Read More: Best Goat Milking Machines for small-scale farming and homesteading. Not sure which milking machine is right for you? We clear the confusion in this review and guide.
Can goats eat orange tree leaves?
Not only orange leaves but any citrus leaves are all edible to goats. But the tricky thing here is that the leaves are only safe to your goats as long as they are eaten fresh from the tree or totally dried, or else they will be the opposite.
Never feed citrus leaves to your goats right after they are cut or pulled from the branch because the leaves release toxic substances while they are wilting.
So, you can either let the goats eat orange leaves right off of the tree or dry the leaves completely. Also, make sure that the leaves are clean from pesticides which may cause harm to your goats.
Can goats eat orange peels?
It may surprise you but there is actually more vitamin C in the orange peel than its flesh. Don’t throw away such a nutritious source of vitamin C, give it to your goats, and they will love it.
You may be hesitant to feed orange peel to your goats thinking they will give a hard time to their digestive system, just like ours. That’s why we tend to boil them, dry them before eating, or not eat them at all.
The peel can be digested easily by goats, so nothing much to be worried about.
Read our related article, Can Chickens Eat Oranges and Orange Peels? Find out if your other farm animals can enjoy a juicy orange!
Can goats eat orange seeds?
Orange seeds neither pose any threat to goats nor have much nutrition.
It is best to remove the seeds before feeding orange to your goats. But if this causes you too much inconvenience, you can just let the goats eat the whole fruit.
Can baby goats eat oranges?
When feeding oranges to baby goats, you should be very careful because their digestive systems are very different from the adults’.
Because their stomach is still very weak and unfamiliar with a lot of food, baby goats should only feed on milk from their mother for the whole first month of their lives.
At this point, you can start feeding them with a small amount of grains or hay, at a slow pace, for them to get accustomed to.
Oranges or any other citrus fruits, due to the high level of acid inside, can only be fed safely to baby goats when they are at least 3-4 months old.
Read more: Keep this Baby Goat Poop Chart!
Some notices when feeding your goats with oranges
1. Feed in moderation
If you have just started to feed oranges to your goats, it is better to make small pieces, like peel the orange, remove the seeds, or separate them in half,…
Oranges are quite soft so it won’t be much of a threat that your goats will be choked. But for other fruits, especially the harder ones, make sure you don’t feed your goats the whole fruit but instead cut them into small, bite-size pieces.
Also, start with a moderate amount of oranges at first then gradually increase it. This helps your goats get used to digesting new types of food.
2. Don’t feed them too much
Quite different from other animals, goats digest their food through a process of fermentation, in which sugar plays a very important part. However, too much sugar in the stomach can result in bloating, which is painful to goats just like us.
Although oranges are rich in vitamin C and other essential minerals, they are also pretty sweet. Therefore, feed oranges to your goats in a considerable amount and also take notice of other sweet fruits altogether as well.
3. Only clean oranges & leaves
Before giving oranges or orange leaves to your goats, you should wash them with water. Especially peels, which sometimes can be soaked in food coloring or preservative chemicals from the stores, should be cleaned through before feeding your goats.
Read more: Can Goat eats Chocolate?
We hope you can now answer the concern “can goats eat oranges?” for yourself. In short, you can and should definitely feed oranges to your goats for all of their health benefits. But feeding them in a reasonable amount is good advice to take to avoid damaging their digestive system.