All farmers want to see their livestock healthy, right? Proper feeding and care of livestock are the key secrets to their healthiness.
Goats are so much fun to have around the farm and always ready to receive any handouts we might offer. In this article, we are going to explore whether or not goats eat carrots and the benefits of carrots to their bodies.
All parts of the carrot including the root and the leaves, or carrot top, are safe for goats to eat in moderation. They should be free of pesticides and cut up into appropriately sized pieces when possible.
Fun Facts About Carrots
- Carrots, Daucus carota, are root vegetables that are mostly orange in color. However, black, red, white, purple and yellow cultivars exist too.
- Carrots are crunchy, tasty and highly nutritious.
- Carrots have lots of beta-carotene which helps the body make Vitamin A.
- Carrots are over 85% water.
- Goats can eat carrots raw, boiled, cooked or juiced.
- Carrots go from seed to table in just under 3 months.
Three Important Goat Facts
When it comes to goats and food, there are three important things you must keep in mind.
1. They don’t have front teeth.
Goats have back teeth that are great for chewing but, they don’t have top teeth in the front. This means that they are less able to bite a carrot into smaller pieces.
Be sure to check out our article on goat teeth for more information.
2. Goats are Herbivores
Goats are herbivores and are commonly referred to as browsers. They hardly eat all the grass they come across. They are so choosy when it comes to food.
This feeding behavior is different from grazers like cows and horses, which makes them great pasture companions. Most goats, though, will happily eat hay and pasture in a domestic setting.
3. Goats are Ruminants
Like cows, they are ruminants. They ferment the food they consume. This takes place in specialized chambers in their stomachs so as to absorb nutrition.
It isn’t uncommon to see a goat lying down and happily chewing their cud. Basically, that means they eat their food, then kinda spit it back up to chew it again. I know…sounds yummy right!
How Many Carrots Can Goats Consume Daily?
There isn’t really a maximum number of carrots in a day. Too many carrots can definitely cause stomach upset but, there isn’t a magic number for that.
To be safe, always introduce any new foods, including carrots, slowly. Start off giving one carrot sliced up to your goats. Then slowly add more.
My favorite way to cut them is in vertical pieces. This helps to avoid choking and also makes a single carrot last longer.
Five Advantages of Feeding Goats With Carrots
- They are a rich source of vitamin A, B, C, D, K, fibers and minerals.
- They contain high amounts of carotenoids that provide eye and cardiovascular health protection.
- Chewing carrots can help in improving your goat’s dental health. The hard texture of carrots will help remove any food residues in the teeth.
- They help in constipation due to their richness in fibers.
- They also boost the goats immune systems. The vitamin C helps their bodies to build antibodies that protect their immune system.
Five Disadvantages of Feeding Goats With Excessive Carrots
- There are higher chances of excessive weight gain.
- Excessive consumption of carrots may lead to bloating and other digestive disorders.
- It causes urinary calculi, a metabolic disease that occurs when calculi (stones) that comprise of phosphate salts lodge in the urinary tract thus preventing urination.
- Carrots can cause allergic reactions such as itching around the mouth, on the tongue and throats.
- Carrots can also cause stomach gas if goats find them difficult to digest. This can be as a result of feeding them with too many carrots hence causes flatulence.
Can Goats Eat Carrot Tops &Leaves?
Goats much prefer the actual carrot to eating carrot tops (the leaves). You see, the carrot is the sweet yummy part, the leaves not so much.
Some goats will eat them, some won’t. You will just have to use trial and error. If you want to encourage your goats to eat carrot tops, try feeding ONLY the tops, no carrots. That way they are less likely to be picky.
The good news is, carrot tops are perfectly fine for a wide variety of farm animals including chickens, horses, and cows. So long as they are fresh and free from any pesticides of course.
Can Carrots Be Fed to Baby Goats?
Young goats can eat carrots depending on their age. If they have been fully weaned from their mother, it is fine to give them carrots in moderation.
Baby goats still on mom might taste carrots but their primary source of food is mom’s milk. It’s important to make sure the carrots are in very small pieces if there is any chance that a baby might get a hold of a piece.
Just like human beings, goats love healthy treats and snacks too. It is essential to feed them with carrots which are highly nutritious and a good source of vitamins. However, carrots should not play a big part in their regular diet.
Chop the carrots into small pieces to avoid choking. Feed carrots in moderation, only as a treat. Too much carrot consumption may lead to constipation and other related problems.