If you own goats, you know by now that they love treats. Feeding goats treats is a great way to help move them to new paddocks or keep goats occupied while you do health checks. Goats can eat a variety of treats, but are bananas on the list?
Can Goats Eat Bananas?
It is safe for goats to eat bananas as treats in moderation. Bananas are healthy treat options, and they can be used to reward your goat without packing on unnecessary pounds.
It is important to monitor your goats when feeding them bananas and follow a few simple tips to keep your goats safe and happy.
Sometimes goats may be a little picky with unfamiliar treats like bananas. That does not mean that goats cannot eat them or that they are unhealthy for goats.
Banana treats have a lot to offer and they can be prepared in a few different ways. There are, however, some precautions you should take when feeding bananas to goats.
Are Bananas Healthy for Goats?
Bananas are healthy for goats to eat as treats only. Bananas contain several healthy nutrients that are vital for your goat’s wellbeing.
They have fiber and potassium as well as vitamin C and vitamin B6 (source). They are a natural fruit, far healthier than many processed goat treats on the market today.
Can Goats Eat Banana Peels?
Goats technically can eat banana peels, but many of them may not prefer to eat them. If you decide to feed your goats banana peels as treats, try chopping them up to make them easier to chew.
The smaller pieces can prevent choking as well as may make them slightly more appealing to goats.
You could even mix them in with hay or their grain to make them more appealing.
Can Goats Eat Banana Leaves?
Goats love to eat leaves and often prefer leaves and rougher forage over simple grass. They will eat banana leaves if they are able to reach them.
If you prefer that your goats do not eat banana tree leaves, consider fencing off the tree or moving the goats to a different enclosure.
If they like the leaves, they will do everything they can to access them and eat them all.
How Many Bananas Can You Feed Your Goat?
Treats of any kind should be fed to goats and other livestock in moderation. Bananas are no exception to this rule, regardless of how many nutrients they contain.
This means that you should limit the number of daily treats you feed your goats so that it does not interfere with their normal daily diet.
One banana per goat per day should be your maximum limit.
How to Feed Bananas to Goats
First, always peel the banana to make it easier for goats to chew. Then, cut the banana into small, easy to chew pieces to avoid choking incidents.
This will also make it seem like they are getting a lot of treats as opposed to one large one.
If you are not hand feeding the banana pieces to your goats, place them in a trough or feeding pan to keep dirt and debris from sticking to the banana.
Banana Treat Ideas for Goats
Besides plain slices of bananas or chopped up banana peeling, there are a few different ways to incorporate bananas into your goat’s diet.
Here are just a few of the tastiest banana treat ideas for goats.
Banana Oatmeal Cookies
Mix 1 cup of molasses and 1 cup of applesauce together in one bowl. In another bowl, mix 1 cup of dry oatmeal, 1 cup of raw wheat germ, and 2 cups of raisin bran. Add 1 to 2 chopped bananas.
You can also add vegetables like shredded carrots. Slowly add in molasses and applesauce mixture until you get a cookie dough consistency, you may not need it all.
Roll into small balls, place on greased baking pan and bake at 300 degrees for up to 30 minutes. Keep them small to prevent choking.
Dried Banana Chips
Bananas should be ripe, but still firm.
Cut a peeled banana into thin slices. Soak in a lemon juice and water mixture for 10 minutes to prevent browning.
Drain and lay in a dehydrator until dry.
If using an oven, you can place them in a single layer on baking sheets.
Bake on 215 degrees for up to 90 minutes.
Flip and bake for 30 more minutes.
Mix with Regular Food
You can chop up bananas, along with the peeling, into small pieces and mix in with their hay or grain to add a little variety to their normal meals.
Soft, ripe and peeled bananas are the best for mashing. Since they are harder to slice, try mashed them with a fork or potato masher.
You can also use a food processor if bananas are still firm.
Feed goats the mashed bananas in a food bowl or mix with a limited amount of other fruits or vegetables.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Banana treats should only be fed to goats in moderation.
- Cut bananas into small pieces or mash to avoid choking.
- Monitor your goat for any adverse side effects from eating bananas.
Goats enjoy treats like most livestock animals do and bananas might just be their favorite treat yet! They could also despise bananas with a passion; the fruit is sometimes hit or miss with goats.
Offer a variety of banana treats to your goats and see which kind they prefer, if any. Sometimes it’s more about presentation than them not liking the banana itself.