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Apples for goats? Do they like the taste of this healthy fruit? Well, most people believe goats can eat and digest almost anything, we are here to burst their bubble by saying that it is a big fat lie. They will indeed eat anything they get but goats are too naive to know what’s good or bad for them.
Every pet can eat selective food items, it would be foolish to give goats whatever you like. Their digestive system accepts certain treats and rejects others. Often, giving certain treats in large amounts without proper research may prove to be deadly for them. We get it, you want to shower them with treats, but a little research beforehand goes a long way in keeping goats healthy and happy.
Being a member of the family Bovidae, goats are herbivores, so dairy and meat are not an option for them to consume.
There are two distinct goat breeds, i.e, domestic goats and mountain goats. Goats, being social creatures, are the happiest when living in a herd. Goats are curious animals with a constant desire to investigate and explore. They spend their days grazing on pasture fields consuming their favorite food, grass, and also examining the surroundings.
There is a lot you need to know about feeding Apples to goats. Here is the much-awaited answer to your question, are apples safe for goats?
Can Goats Eat Apples As a Treat?
Goats are always up to eat something, they search for a nutritious source. What’s more nutritious than an apple, goats can eat apples. The health benefits of the apple are not hidden from the world, just like this nutrients rich fruit carries major benefits for humans, same is the case with goats.
Goats need fiber and dietary supplements, which can not all be attained from the regular diet. Therefore, owners try to deliver all the essential nutrients with different healthy treats. Goat’s major source of nutrition is green leaves or grass but they love a little change of diet every once in a while.
Goats love fruits and veggies, as long as the treatment is safe and healthy, there is no harm in feeding them with their favorite treats like watermelon, bananas, grapes, strawberries, peaches, spinach, carrots, and others. Apples and other fruits are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and protein.
Lactating goats need a well-balanced diet containing all the essential nutrients, apple contributes by providing great nutritional value. It is safe to say goats can eat Apple a few times a week.
Do Goats love Apple?
Goats are a sucker for a nutritious plant, snack, or fruit. Being picky eater, they search through the grass field for healthy nutritious grass and do not go about eating any grass or plant, that’s the reason they are dubbed as ‘browsers’. Goats love apples and they love having one at any time of the day. Besides green leaves, apples need a mix of healthy ingredients from other sources as well. Apple got ample of what goat needs to be healthy. Read more about can goats eat broccoli?
Can Goats Eat Apple Seeds?
Pet owners who are feeding apples to their pets should be warned about the apple seeds. When we talk about the health benefits of apples, it is also mandatory to tell our readers about the risks of feeding apple seeds.
Apple seeds contain cyanide which is not only poisonous or in some cases can be deadly. When goats eat apples with seeds, cyanide paves its way to their body, but how much cyanide is dangerous? Apple seeds possess a chemical known as Amygdalin.
When Amygdalin is damaged, it decays to form hydrogen cyanide in a tiny amount.
A small amount is acceptable and defended by the goat’s immune system but when apples are fed in large amount along with the seed, that’s what you call trouble in paradise.
However, to give you a clear number, cyanide poisoning does not happen frequently unless the goats consume 5 pounds of hydrogen cyanide in a day. To be on the safe side, it is advised to remove the seeds before feeding apples to goats.
Can Goats Eat Apple leaves?
Yes, goats can eat the leaves, branches, and barks of an apple tree. In fact, many livestock farmers believe that goats tend to enjoy apple leaves more than the apple itself. Do not stop them when you see them approaching apple leaves for a feast. It is completely safe for them to eat.
However, be cautious when baby goats demand to eat apple leaves, branches, and bark. Baby goats need to be introduced to this kind of diet gradually, otherwise, they will face bloating. Baby goats do not know when to stop and their tiny digestive system is just getting used to different kinds of food, so, do not let them eat in excess.
Can Baby Goats Eat Apples?
Newborn goats are different than adult ones, their digestive system is not as strong or trained for different food items. As they have just ventured into the world, giving treats should not be your priority. Do not feed them apples until they are 2 or 3 months old.
Encourage them to take mother’s milk till 1 month old. At the age of 2 months, introduce them to grass and grains slowly. At the age of 2 or 3 months, it is now safe to add apples to the diet in a tiny amount.
The digestive system of a baby goat takes time to adapt to new foods. One or two every week is enough for them in the earlier months, also, cut them into little slices to prevent any choking hazard. You should feed soft treats like bananas for baby goats is best to treat. Read more about feeding another soft treat strawberries to goats.
Is it Safe to Feed Apples to Goats?
It is safe to feed apples but one should know how much and when to stop. It would be foolish to give them apples every day and even worse to replace their regular diet with apples. It is a treat, should be given occasionally, chop apples into small pieces and mix it with the hay and grains.
Start small, if you are feeding for the first time. Every food item apart from the regular diet needs some time to be accepted by the goat’s digestive system. If you are feeding in large amounts, the risk of fermenting in the digestive system becomes higher and eventually causes bloating.
Many people give a basket of apples, goats eat it happily little do the innocent creature know how hard it would be to digest such a large amount. Goats are naive, not you, so, you better be feeding no more than one Apple a day.
How to Serve Apples to Goats?
Care should be exercised when feeding certain food items to the pet. Here are some dos and don’ts of serving apples to goats.
- Feed one tennis ball size apple every day. Make sure it is cut into small pieces to avoid choking.
- Wash it thoroughly as the apples coming from the market may have some pesticides left on them. Chemical residues can cause many health problems.
- Only feed fresh apples, avoid mold or rotten ones. Rotten apples are just as bad for goats as for humans.
- Just because apple is a safe food for goat does not mean you should not monitor their health. When feeding for the first time, look for signs like an upset stomach or an allergy. If the goat shows any unfavorable symptoms, say goodbye to the apples and hello to other fruits.
These instructions should be followed when feeding apples or any other food items. Not to put their health at risk, just follow these dos and don’ts, keep monitoring their health after introducing new snacks.
Why You Should Not Feed Too Many Apples to Goats?
Most animals absorb nutrition from the digested food but goats take 80% of their energy by breaking food or fermentation. The fermentation process happens inside the goat’s stomach and sugar is the natural accelerator of this process. Excessive fermentation causes bloating.
According to Research, Around 3% of sugar in the goat’s diet causes excessive fermentation and eventually bloating. Bloating is just as painful for goats as for humans. High sugar content in apples can be a leading cause of bloating if fed in a large amount. Not just apples, feeding any fruit should not go beyond a certain limit.
Risks of Feeding Apples to Goats
There are some potential problems with feeding apples to goats
- One of the most attention-required problems is choking. When you feed Apple or any big, hard fruit, there is always a risk of choking.
- Have you seen goats chewing food? If yes, you may have noticed that they are unable to make their mouth wide open. It is not an easy task for them to eat a large round apple, so difficult that they prefer to not eat it.
- Having a different teeth arrangement makes it difficult for goats to eat and crush a large apple. Goats possess 24 molars and 8 incisors in the lower jawbone and the upper jawbone has a dental pad. According to a Recent Study, Their teeth are designed to eat delicate, small food like grass, grain, and leaves. It is hard for goats to fit big fruits in their mouths and chew them. That is why it is emphasized to feed them small apple slices.
- If you feed apples in large amounts, they would not want their regular diet. As they are full, goats would ignore their nutritional daily diet.
Can Apples Substitute Regular Diet?
Feeding goats with buckets of apples or replacing their original diet with them would lead to a number of problems. Feeding in excess may cause many unwanted issues like upset digestive system, unbalanced diet, deficiency in certain nutrients, etc. Goat’s regular diet contains essential nutrients and high fiber, replacing it with apples would deteriorate their health by causing deficiencies.
Healthy Alternative to Apple
If the goat does not prefer to eat apples, replace this food item with other fruits like Watermelon, Pears, Peaches, Bananas, Grapes, Carrots, Lettuce, Celery, Pumpkin, and Squash.
In a nutshell, Feeding apples to goats is not only safe but also delivers a constant nutrients supply. However, it is only safe and healthy when you are not crossing a certain limit. Give apples in a moderate amount and small slices to maintain the goat’s health.
- Are apple seeds poisonous?
- Causes of Bloat in Goats
- The efficiency of chewing during eating and ruminating in goats and sheep