Goats seem to be able to eat and will eat almost anything. They will eat weeds, bushes, leaves, grain, hay, vegetables and even fruits! Goats may eat more than most farm animals, but is leftover cantaloupe safe for them?
Can goats eat cantaloupe? Yes, in moderation.
Cantaloupe is a healthy fruit that some goats enjoy on occasion. Not all goats like cantaloupe and will prefer less tasty options like weeds and leaves. Too much cantaloupe or any treat for that matter can be dangerous for your goat.
Goats are what some may call strange characters because they eat the less than appealing weeds and leaves in your pasture, but that is a good thing! They will eat what horses and cows do not eat!
Goats also like trying new things like cantaloupe, but it is important that you always take some special precautions before introducing new foods to your herd.
Is Cantaloupe Healthy for Goats?
Cantaloupe is a melon fruit that contains mostly water, making it a great treat to help add a little extra water to your goat’s diet. They also contain protein, fat, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene. (source)
Goats need these minerals in their diets to help keep their bodies functioning properly. This means, that overall, cantaloupes are considered a healthy treat for goats! (source)
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe Flesh?
Cantaloupe flesh is the inside of the cantaloupe. In order words, the fleshy inside is the good part!
Goats, if they like cantaloupe, often prefer to eat the fleshy part as opposed to the rind covering it. It is the juiciest, most appealing part of the fruit and it is perfectly healthy for goats to eat in small amounts.
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe Rinds?
Yes, goats can eat cantaloupe rinds, but they may not prefer them. The rinds of a cantaloupe, the outer shell, are not very tasty, even for goats.
If you do decide to feed the rinds to your goats, consider chopping them in smaller pieces to make it easier for them to chew.
Are Cantaloupe Seeds Safe for Goats?
Cantaloupe seeds are safe for goats and there is no indication that they are toxic in any way. It is safer, however, to only let them eat what comes in the fruit.
Do not feed your goats the cantaloupe seeds by themselves, just to be on the safe side.
Are Cantaloupe Plant Stems and Leaves Safe for Goats?
People who grow their own cantaloupes at home may wonder if the stems and leaves on their cantaloupe plants are safe for goats.
Luckily, they are safe for goats! Some goats may not prefer them, but other goats will happily eat the stems and leaves of your cantaloupe plants.
How Much Cantaloupe Can Goats Eat?
Cantaloupe should always be viewed as a treat for goats and not a part of their main diet. All treats must only be fed to goats in moderation, preferably after or in between their regular meals.
Cantaloupe should never be fed to goats as a replacement for their normal meals. Goats must continue eating their normal forage including grass, hay, weeds, leaves and plants each day. (source)
How Do I Feed Cantaloupe to My Goats?
All new treats, including cantaloupe, should be introduced to goats slowly. Feed only a piece or two the first time to see how they react.
Cantaloupe treats should be cut into small pieces to prevent choking incidents. Always monitor your goats afterward to make sure they do not have any adverse effects from eating cantaloupe.
Cantaloupe Treat Recipes for Goats
Some goats may not like plain cantaloupe, so being creative could be the answer to getting your goat to eat healthier treats like fruit instead of processed treats.
Here are a few ideas of how to make unique cantaloupe-based treats for your goats, especially if they are picky eaters.
Cantaloupe can be cut in slices, balls or small squares and frozen. This allows the cantaloupe to last longer and offers a cool treat for goats during warm months.
Goat-Safe Fruit Cocktail
You can cut up a variety of fruits and mix them together to makes your goats a small fruit cocktail! Consider mixing some cantaloupe with fruits like watermelon, honey-dew melon, peaches, bananas, pumpkin and pears.
Oat-covered Cantaloupe Balls
You can use a melon baller scoop to scoop out small, bite-sized cantaloupe balls. Dip the balls in molasses and then roll in raw oats. Let dry and serve to your goats, in moderation of course!
Things to Remember
- Always feed cantaloupe treats to goats in moderation.
- Introduce new foods to goats slowly to avoid gastric upset.
- Make sure your goats are still eating plenty of forage.
- Be sure to wash the cantaloupe before preparing it for your goats
- Contact your vet immediately if your goats have any adverse effects.
Goats can eat all the parts of a cantaloupe if it is fed in moderation. No treats, even natural foods like cantaloupe, should be fed as a goat’s main meal.
Goats should continue to be fed their regular diet and only given limited amounts of treats each day. It is important to introduce all new foods slowly and watch for any changes in their health or demeanor.