Goat farmers pride themselves in having healthy livestock. How do they achieve that? In this article, you will find detailed information about goats and grape feeding, the dos and don’ts, and benefits of feeding grapes to goats.
Grapes are fruits of the deciduous woody vines of the flowering plant genus Vitis. Their scientific name is Vitis vinifera and they are classified as berries because the pericarp is fleshy all through.
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Cultivation of Grapes
Grapes are grown worldwide as a fruit and consumed for their high levels of vitamins.
The growth and cultivation of grapes is called viticulture.
Grapes can be propagated from either seeds or cuttings. By use of cuttings, they are rooted in a glass of water for close to six weeks. Thereafter, you will notice the emergence of roots and you can transplant each cutting individually into a container with potting mix.
In seed propagation method, the seeds are dried and stored in a cold store for 2-3 weeks to initiate dormancy. From there, the seeds are then planted individually in moist soil. They will take close to six weeks to germinate.
The method of propagation will depend on the farmer, the season, and the urgency of the fruits in the market if there is a need.
Can Goats Eat Grapes?
There is a perception about goats that says they can eat everything they come across. Well, can be true but you ought to ask yourself if whatever they consume is digestible. Goats do love healthy treats and snacks.
Grapes are highly nutritious to goats. Goats can eat the grape flesh, seeds, and even the vines. Most goats prefer sweeter grape varieties to those that are more tart.
In most cases, grape seeds are not chewed by goats hence are always passed out in their manure, undigested.
A mixture of hay and grapes can also do better for these animals.
Types of Grapes
- Moon drops
- Pinot noir
- Sweet jubilee
- Crimson seedless
- Kyoho (giant mountain grape)
- Cotton candy
- Moon balls
Grapes are mostly black, red, green, yellow and pink in colour. They usually grow in clusters. Some varieties are seeded while others are seedless.
They are highly nutritious and contain high levels of antioxidants.
Just like human beings, goats also love fruits as a snack. They are a rich source of nutrients and vitamins.
Can Goats Eat Grapevines?
Yes! Grapevines are like goat candy. The entire plant is edible to goats. There is no problem at all. Goats can feed on grapevines.
If you accidentally latch your gate or just let the goats roam in your yard, no grapevines will be safe.
The goats will devour any vine that they can access. Only the top vines that are out of reach will survive.
Can Goats Eat Raisins
Raisins are the cute little dehydrated remnants of fresh grapes and goats love them too! If you love having raisins as an afternoon snack, your goats will happily share this delicious treat with you.
Just remember that, like all of the other items listed here, they should be fed to your goats in moderation.
Can Goats Drink Grape Juice?
Grape juice is relatively safe for goats to drink. If they get into it it’s probably fine but, pure grape juice should be diluted before offering it as a treat.
Keep in mind that, as with any of the above items, you want to only offer your goat items that are free from mold. If you found old nasty grape juice in your fridge that you don’t want…well, your goat shouldn’t have it either.
Can Goats Drink Wine?
As with most animals, you will want to avoid giving your goat anything alcoholic. It isn’t funny and it isn’t nutritious.
Now, is your goat going to die if you left out your own glass of wine and came back to find one of your pesky caprine fans lapping it up? Probably not but best to make sure they have clear water and watch them for any ill signs.
Factors to Consider About a Goat’s Diet
Goats are herbivorous animals commonly referred to as browsers. They do not feed on all the grass they come across. They are differentiated from grazers.
In captivity, goats rely mainly on hay or pasture as their main source of nutrition.
They are ruminants. They ferment the food they consume. This takes place in specialized chambers in their stomachs so as to absorb nutrition.
Fermentation process is very sensitive in such a way that even a small variation in diets can have adverse effects hence you need to be very keen on what to feed goats.
Five Health Benefits of Feeding Grapes to Goats
- They are packed with vitamins K and C which is a vital antioxidant used for connective tissue health.
- Grape seeds and skins are high in antioxidants contents which help in the prevention of chronic diseases.
- Goats that feed on grapes have fewer signs of retinal damage. Grapes have compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the goat’s eyes from blue light.
- Consuming grapes improves a goat’s memory and attention.
- Grapes may prevent chronic diseases by lowering inflammation. They contain resveratrol which is an anti-inflammatory compound.
Five Disadvantages of Feeding Goats With Excessive Grapes
- Though small in size, grapes have the potential of choking baby goats hence ought to be sliced into tiny pieces.
- Some goats have allergic reactions to grapes. When consumed, they may feel itchy around the mouth and throats.
- Like most fruits, grapes have fiber. Too much consumption of fiber could lead to constipation.
- There may be cases of weight gain.
- Other side effects include indigestion and stomach flatulence.
Grape Treat Recipe Ideas for Goats
There are several different ways to feed grapes to goats that your herd is sure to love. Here are some ideas:
- Frozen Grapes
- Grapes combined with other goat-safe fruits to make a medly.
- Grape bran mash – simply toss some bran in a bucket, add water and grapes.
- A Splash of Grape – dilute pure grape juice 4-5 parts water to 1 part grape juice and mix up into a bran mash or splash onto their grain.
- Throw some frozen grapes into their water bucket as behavioral enrichment. Start with a bucket with barely any water and slowly add more until the grapes float. Your goats will soon figure out how to bob for grapes.
Other Fruits That Are Beneficial to Goats
On the other hand, there are feeds that should never be given to your goats. These include but not limited to avocados. They are highly poisonous. Goats should never be left to roam around your yards aimlessly if there are avocado trees around.
What You Should Never Feed Your Goats
- Wild cherries
- Lily of the valley
- Milk weed
- Nightshade vegetables
- Oxalate plants such as kales
A Final Word
Grapes are easy to incorporate into a goat’s diet such as hay. They contain a number of nutrients and powerful compounds that are beneficial to the goat’s health.
Avoid feeding your goats with too many grapes. For baby goats, ensure that they are chopped into small pieces to prevent choking.
For better results, feed your goats with fresh red grapes rather than the white grapes. Goats tend to enjoy the sweeter taste and will consume them far more readily.