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Can Goats Eat Blueberries?

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Goats eat mostly grass, hay, weeds, grains, and other roughage. They have complex digestive systems made up of multiple stomachs designed to break down foods that other animals can’t eat.

Most of the food that goats eat is fairly boring. That’s why people love raising goats. They are a low-maintenance animal that doesn’t need a lot of attention, and they don’t usually need as many trips to the vets or medicines as some other more sensitive animals you find on farms and homesteads.

These days, more and more people are keeping goats as pets and having fun with them on ranches. When you have a pet, naturally, you want to create a bond with your animal that goes beyond your typical farm animal setup.

As a result, people want to give their goats treats like fruits and berries to make their goats happy. One thing people love to feed goats is blueberries.

Can a goat eat blueberries? Yes, feeding blueberries to goats is no problem at all. Your goats will love eating them and they actually provide some excellent nutrition for them. They are full of vitamins and antioxidants and can contribute to making your goat happier and healthier. The key to feeding goats fruit is moderation, though, because you don’t want them eating too much sugar.

a bowl of blueberry

If you’re interested in how goats will respond to blueberries and other similar foods, we’ve prepared some helpful information for you to help you give only the best to your goats.

Goats Love Eating Blueberries

Goats have a reputation for eating almost anything. You stick something in front of them, and odds are they’ll try to take a bite. People feed their goats scraps from the kitchen, and it can be a hilarious battle between gardener and goat as people try to keep the animals away from their corn and lettuce.

These animals typically eat a lot of fibrous foods that are low in calories. As such, they’re eating throughout the day to get enough nutrition. When a goat sees something like a strawberry or a blueberry, they know it is higher in calories and sugars, so they’re going to want to eat it.

If you’re growing blueberries in the backyard or someplace else your goats have access to, you may end up having to put a fence around them to keep the goats away. If it’s just a concern over whether you can toss your old blueberries that have been sitting in the fridge for a while to your goats, you can go ahead. They’ll love eating them and all of the blueberries will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Goats also love eating blueberries because they are small and easy to eat. They gravitate toward smaller foods that are easier on their stomachs and the rest of the digestive system. Eating big items is still something they’ll do, but they may end up with stomach pain or worse. Things like berries are an easy target for goats.

goat on pasture

Blueberries Are Healthy for Goats

The good thing about blueberries is that, generally, you don’t have to worry about how many of them your goats eat. These berries are high in vitamins and things like manganese. They also have a high antioxidant count which is great for immune systems and managing inflammation.

The only thing you should really worry about is if you see your goats absolutely gorging on blueberries. Just like humans, goats can get sick if they eat too much of one thing, and the sugars in the berries can cause upset stomachs and diarrhea. In general, though, it’s not an issue.

Certainly, feeding your goats blueberries is a much better option than high-sugar human foods like any sort of candy or processed foods you buy in a store. Organic fruits and vegetables are the way to go when you want to give your goat a treat.

Use Blueberries as a Treat Instead of a Meal

When the blueberry season starts to wind down, prices plummet and blueberries can be had for a steal at your local grocer. It may be tempting to buy a ton of blueberries to feed your goats, but you should resist the urge.

Blueberries and other fruits should be used as an occasional treat, not as a staple in your goats’ diet. Feeding them a handful of blueberries every once in a while is a fun way for you and your friends or family to bond with your animals, but by no means should it be a regular thing.

Goats should stick to their diet of roughage to keep them healthy and in the best shape possible. If you feed them too much sugar, your goats can gain weight and may start to experience associated adverse health symptoms. Play it safe and use berries as a treat.

little girl feeding goat at the farm

Finding Other Things to Feed Your Goats

Thankfully, your goats aren’t going to resent you if you only give them the occasional blueberry. These animals aren’t picky, and they’ll shower you with love and affection whether you’re feeding them corn or a peach.

Goats are great animals to have on a farm, in the backyard, or on your homestead because they can help you avoid most types of food waste. You don’t need to throw out those kitchen scraps when you have a hungry goat waiting outside. Just toss them out into your goat enclosure or sit there hand-feeding your animals instead.

Above all, some owners make the mistake of thinking roughage is too boring and their goats will enjoy eating other foods. While in the short term this may be true, it’s not good for the goats long-term.

Let your goats eat the foods that are best for them. Most of the time, you can find the best foods for a bargain at local farm stores, or your goats will be happy eating the hay in your fields if you’ve got the land.

They need fresh water and plenty of healthy food and you’ll spend years building lasting memories with your goats whether you’re raising them for meat, milk, or as a pet.