Goats want to eat everything in sight. They have a habit of trying to consume everything they see and they are not very clever in identifying food that isn’t favorable for their digestive system.
They can easily eat anything given to them. So you must know what to feed your goats and what to keep out of their reach. Can goats eat strawberries safely? Yes, goats can eat strawberries but not every goat is fond of the taste.
Can We Feed Strawberries To Goats?
Goats are herbivores and have stomachs consisting of four compartments: the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. Their heavy-duty stomach allows them to digest the tough grass, fiber, woody plants, and weeds very easily.
Despite having a strong stomach some foods can still affect a goat’s digestive system. A goat’s digestive system is sensitive to certain fruits and vegetables.
Goats can surely eat strawberries and are one of their favorite fruit treats. Although not every goat is very fond of the sweet and sour taste of strawberries, some goats like them. Strawberries are full of vitamins and minerals good for both goat and human health.
Strawberries can be given as treats to goats but should not be a regular part of their diet. Excessive amounts of any food can be bad, it’s no different for strawberries. Eating strawberries too often can upset your goat’s digestive system.
There are few things to keep in mind when starting to feed strawberries to goats. Goats’ digestive systems are not very adaptive to sudden changes. That is why they can eat the same grass and fodder for years without getting bored.
And with this type of digestive system when you think of feeding something new to goats, you must be very careful. Always start with a small amount. If your goats like strawberries and do not seem to have any adverse reactions when you introduce them, you can continue to give them as occasional treats. Just make sure not to give too many.
Can Baby Goats Eat Strawberries?
If you are being careful with adult goats then you need to be super careful with the younger ones. Though baby goats have a fast-growing speed still they need some time to develop a proper digestive system. From birth, till six to eight weeks of age, their digestive system is not properly developed to digest any solid food.
Throughout this time they can only feed on either mother’s milk or bottle milk. Feeding any solid food during this time can severely upset their stomach which will affect their overall health.
When the baby goat starts weaning you can introduce it to some solid feed. Always begin with small amounts until they fully adapt to solid feed.
You can only start introducing fruits into their diet once they have acclimated to eating plants. Beginning straight with fruits like strawberries is not recommended.
When the baby goats turn 2-3 months of age you can start giving them some fruit treats. Similarly, you can give them some strawberries now and then but not on regular basis.
Still, there are some things to be careful about. Always chop or slice the strawberries finely to make them easy to eat and digest. Also, wash them properly to ensure the removal of any chemical pesticides or insecticides.
Benefits of Feeding Strawberries?
Feeding strawberries to goats will not only bring some variety in their routine diet but will provide several vitamins and minerals to them as well. All of these vitamins and minerals are important for them to have stable health. Strawberries are full of vitamin C which is needed to strengthen the immune system.
They also have some amount of vitamin K which helps in regulating the blood clotting mechanism. Goats do not need vitamin K supplements but getting a little amount through diet is fine. The most important nutrient found in strawberries is fiber.
Goats, especially females require fiber throughout their life. The most important role of fiber is during the period of pregnancy and lactation.
Another equally important nutrient is folic acid. It is required for DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation. Just like humans, animals also require folic acid.
When coming to the minerals found in strawberries, manganese tops the list. Manganese is very important because its deficiency can lead to limb deformity. That is why getting manganese through diet is fundamental for goats. Otherwise, manganese deficiency can lead to deformed legs, improper enzyme functioning, and reproductive issues.
Potassium found in strawberries also serves great health benefits to goats. It helps keep a proper fluid balance in the body. And also supports proper metabolism.
Other minerals found in strawberries include selenium, zinc, copper, potassium, and iron. All these vitamins and minerals help to keep your goats healthy and fit.
How to Feed Strawberries to Goats
Because goats tend to eat whatever they find, they consume a lot of vitamins and minerals unknowingly. Although the nutrients found in strawberries are extremely healthy for goats, they need to be fed in moderation only as treats.
If you decide to feed them strawberries then keep a few things in mind.
Less is more, never feed too many strawberries to your goats. Around 3 to 5 a week would be enough. Do not make strawberries a regular part of their diet. Feeding too many strawberries can cause digestive issues.
Only feed freshly plucked strawberries to your goats. Rotten or mold strawberries cannot be digested by goats so it is advisable to pick them fresh from the garden. It is important to wash them properly to remove any insecticides or pesticides.
The same rules apply to baby goats. But just to be extra careful to chop or slice the strawberries when feeding baby goats. This is to make them easy to eat, digest, and absorb.