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Can Goats Eat Bread?

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When you think about goats and their natural diet, the first thing that comes to mind is plants. This is a great start since goats are herbivorous animals.

But you may also notice that goats are more than willing to eat foods that are not green plants, weeds, or made of plant matter. Just because goats are ready to snack on human or processed foods does not mean that these items are automatically safe for them.

Goats will eat almost anything including avocados, onions, garlic, meat scraps, citrus fruits, and even bread.

Goat eating bread

Can goats eat bread?

Bread is safe for goats to eat as long as you give them limited portions. Although they eat bread without having any major issues, bread should not replace a goat’s healthy diet.

Since breads can vary, let’s explore different bread types and how well goats eating them so you can be sure to give your animals the safest treats.

Goat Eating Habits

On average, adult goats eat as much as 2-4 pounds of hay and other roughage per day. Dairy goats sometimes need more than average and can eat as much as 7 pounds per day.

In general, if other types of food are not available for grazing or foraging, they may eat more hay than usual.

Even though goats eat a wide variety of foods, they can be extremely picky eaters. This does not mean they always pick the best snacks for themselves.

You might find your goats eating things you won’t normally consider vegetal or appealing to them.

Goats and Bread Types

Goats are unlikely to turn down a new food treat, and if you offer them bread, they will eat it happily. But is bread good for goats? Will they eat just any type of bread?

Breads and bread products can vary in ingredients, processing, and nutritional value, and it is important to consider these factors when choosing snacks for your goats.

White Bread

Goats can eat white bread. On average, white bread contains 2.7 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams. Giving goats white bread may even add to the total required fiber amount needed for proper stomach function.

White bread is roughly 48% starch. Starch is quite important to ruminant animals: it promotes rumen fermentation, digestion of structural carbohydrates, and flow of protein to the small intestine. So your goats can benefit from eating white bread on occasion.

Too much starch can trigger ruminal acidosis in ruminant animals. Since goats are ruminant animals, you should be wary of the amount of white bread you give them.

Wheat Bread

Wheat Bread

Goats can eat wheat bread. Wheat bread contains about 7 grams of fiber per 100 grams, which is more fiber than white bread.

It also contains wheat starch, a type of starch that is highly fermentable in the rumen. With these contents, giving wheat bread to goats might be beneficial to their digestive function.

Since wheat bread and its starch is highly fermentable, your goats can easy get ruminal acidosis if given too much. Do not replace a goat’s regular diet with high starch breads.

Rye Bread

Goats can also eat rye bread. Rye bread is about 56-70% starch, and it contains 6 grams of dietary fiber per 100 grams.

Fiber and starch are great for a goat’s rumen and general health.

Besides good fiber and starch content for your goats, rye bread also contains less sugar than white bread and wheat bread.

Limiting excess sugars in your goat’s diet is better for their health, so the lower sugar content of rye bread makes it a great alternative to wheat bread as a snack.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough bread is another alternative bread that goats can eat safely. It contains 2.4 grams of fiber per 100 grams, placing it on par with white bread.

However, it contains 50% less sugar than white bread, making it a better for goats.

Whole Grain Bread

Whole grain bread is fine for goats. The amount of fiber can vary depending on the grains included in the specific brand of bread but generally tends to be quite high.

Potato Bread

Potato Bread

Potato bread has a sugar content 2-5 times the sugar content of other breads. While goats might enjoy it, the high sugar content and generally lower fiber content make it nutritionally weak and not the best option to feed your goats.

Bagels

Goats love bagels, and they can be safe snacks depending on their ingredients.

If you intend to give your goats bagels, be sure to give them plain bagels.

Avoid bagels with excessive toppings, flavors, or spreads as these can upset their stomachs.

Muffins

Muffins typically have very high sugar content, and you should avoid giving them to your goats especially if they contain chocolate.

While they are similar to other bread-like or grain-based snacks, muffins often contain too many processed ingredients and are not healthy for goats.

Cake

You should avoid feeding cake to your goats, especially if it is chocolate.

While your goats might be more than willing to eat it, cakes are just as sugary as muffins and have low nutritional value.

Other Sweet Breads

Pumpkin bread

Goats can also eat the following bread-like treats as long as they do not contain chocolate.

  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Banana bread
  • Pumpkin bread

If you are feeding your goats any of the sweet bread mentioned above, try to opt for breads with all-natural ingredients and the least amount of sugar.

How Much Bread Can Goats Eat?

There is no fixed quantity of bread you can feed goats. Some people limit the bread treats their goats get to 1 loaf per goat.

Some other people report that they give their goats as many as 4-5 loaves per day. You will need to take into account the general health of each goat as well as their regular diet.

When giving bread to your goats, ensure that they also have access to a regular healthy diet and that the bread is only a small treat in proportion to their regular feed.

Do not replace their usual diet with bread. Goats need hay and their other roughages for the proper function of their digestive system, particularly their rumen.

Goat Treat Ideas With Bread

Trying to come up with some fun bread treat ideas for your goats? Here a few options to explore:

Chopped Bread Crust and Carrot

  1. Gather the bread loaves based on how many goats you want to feed.
  2. Remove the bread crusts and cut them into strips.
  3. Get an equal amount of carrots.
  4. Wash, peel, and cut the carrots into strips.
  5. Mix the carrot strips and bread crust strips together.

Bread and Peanut Butter

Feeding goat bread
  1. Gather the bread loaves based on how many goats you want to feed.
  2. Slice the bread if it is not already in slices.
  3. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on each slice.

Dried Breadcrumbs and Banana Slices

  1. Gather the bread loaves based on how many goats you want to feed.
  2. Bake the loaves in an oven at 300°F for 12 minutes to dry them out.
  3. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely.
  4. Place the dried bread in a food processor and pulse a few times until coarse.
  5. Get bananas that are half the amount of breadcrumbs you have.
  6. Peel and then chop the bananas into tiny pieces.
  7. Add the bananas to the breadcrumbs and mix well.

Final Thoughts

Goats can eat bread in moderate portions. Always make sure that the bread does not contain chocolate. The best bread treats for goats are those with high fiber and low sugar content.

Resources

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