Friday, September 24, 2021

What Do Goats Like to Eat?

Before getting goats, it's important to learn what do goats like to eat and what can goats not eat.  Goats are fairly easy to feed, but you do need to be mindful of a few things that they can't eat and be sure to give them the right feed and treats so they can be healthy.

Goats love food, in fact, one might argue that goats love food more than anything else. Every day goats will head out to the pasture and forage for whatever delicious plants and weeds they can find. 

When they go to bed, they'll happily munch on hay and grain before sleeping just to repeat it all the next morning.


As such, learning exactly what do goats eat is an essential part of raising goats. Further, learning what do goats like to eat is also important. Essentially, you need to know what can goats eat and not eat.

 Following is a guide to your goats diet that will teach you what you need to know to keep your goats happy and well fed.

What Do Goats Like To Eat?

Goats aren't finicky eaters.  While they don't really eat tin cans, they are happy to graze during the day and supplement with some goat feed as needed.

They do like treats, much like any animal does.  We keep a box of dry pasta in the barn for goat treats.  It's inexpensive and lasts a long time, and the goats love it.

You can also buy goat treats to supplement their diet.

Learn more about goats in these articles:


 Do Goats Really Eat Everything?

The rumor that goats will eat anything is just that: a rumor. While goats do eat a lot of things that are not food, they will not eat just anything. In fact, goats typically like to scavenge and forage for foods they especially like before resorting to grass.


It should be noted that goats enjoy chewing on things as well as actually eating them, like pants and rope and so on. Therefore, goats might gnaw on things around your property but that does not always mean that they are eating it.


Further, goats might try to eat something but quit or decide not to. Often, goats can get into some trouble and eat things that they are not supposed to but rarely will they eat things that will harm them.


I would still recommend keeping anything harmful but with a sweet smell away from goats as they can be tricked into eating or drinking it due to the sweet scent. Now that you know that goats don’t eat just anything, it is still important to know what do goats like to eat?


Can Goats Eat Grass?

Yes! Goats love grass a lot, however, they will usually look for leafy plants and weeds before picking grass.  

If you got goats to mow the lawn, they do a decent job, but they won't act like a finish mower.  They are more like a brush hog.


What Do Goats Eat In The Wild?

In the wild, goats will eat all sorts of plants and grass that they can get ahold of. They will even eat plants such as poison ivy and thistle. 

They are very good at knowing what is safe to eat and will eat poisonous or itchy plants in order to get rid of bugs that they may have eaten before.

Be sure to learn which plants goats can't eat.  Although they are pretty good at knowing what to eat and what they can't, I recommend getting rid of plants that they can't have.  This includes philodendron, crotalaria, alocasia, and rhododendrons, among other plants.  Alocasia is also called elephant ear.  Learn about alocasia varieties so you can identify this plant.  


What Weeds Do Goats Eat?

Goats will eat all kinds of weeds, including thistle and other annoying plants. Essentially, if it has leaves and is edible goats will eat it. In fact, they typically enjoy weeds and leafy plants over grass and will seek them out first.


This is why many place goats in heavily overgrown areas, as it gives the goats a buffet and property owners a break from weeding!


What Do Goats Eat On A Farm?

On a farm, goats will graze on grass and other plants if they are made available to the herd. Otherwise, they should be fed goat feed and straw, especially if they are put to bed at night. 


Further, they are known to get into feed storage as well as gardens, so you will want to ensure they are properly penned up if you have crops around your property.

What Do Goats Eat In The Winter

In the wintertime, goats will kick through snow looking for plants and grass to feed on. Domestic goats, however, need to be fed additional feed and hay to supplement for the lack of available plants.

What Can You Feed A Goat? What Do Goats Need To Eat?

There are all sorts of vegetables that you can feed a goat. Primarily, you will want to give the grain, corn and hay. This forms the foundation for their diet away from grazing. 

Goats can eat corn, and it's often a cheap meal for them.  However, you shouldn't feed more than 50 percent corn when you supplement them. 

For domestic goats, it is incredibly important to feed them as they will have limited space to graze and, if they are put away at night, limited time in which to eat.

What Vegetables Can Goats Eat?

Goats can eat pretty much any green vegetable, but the key is to make sure it can be easily broken down by your goat. Goats eat small portions at a time as large chunks of food can upset their stomachs. 


I recommend dicing hard vegetables, such as carrots, into small pieces before serving them to your goat.

What Do Goats Love To Eat?

Goats love all food, but there are some foods they love a bit more than others which begs the question: what do goats love to eat?

For instance, goats love carrots a lot! However, your goats favorite food may vary in your herd. I recommend watching and seeing what plants they are eager to get at. 


Goats also seem to enjoy their sweet feed and hay a lot too, which is good as it forms the cornerstone of their diet, domestically speaking.

What Are Good Snacks/Treats For Goats?

This is perhaps the most important question, from your goats perspective. So what do goats like to eat in regards to snacks and treats?


There are plenty of foods that make great snacks for goats. A lot of goats really enjoy dry pasta, just make sure to crunch it up or serve it in smaller sizes. 

Further, they enjoy carrots and other vegetables.Even garden scraps can be a treat for your goat, especially if they do not get them very often.

What Kind Of Hay Do Goats Eat?

Most resources recommend either first cut or second cuts of hay for your goats. More often than not, first cuts will do just fine, but second cuts can be used when your goats are not grazing as much. 


Often it is recommended to switch to second cut hay in the wintertime, just be sure to do it gradually so as to not upset your goats dietary system.

Do Goats Need Salt Blocks?

Salt blocks are a great way to provide your goat with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Further, it also ensures that they have easy access to it and they are simple to use.


They are not always necessary, but are recommended especially for younger goats who need extra nutrition to grow up.

What Can Goats Not Eat?

So far we have discussed what goats can eat, but what can goats not eat? Foods high in fat or sugar are not good for goats as they can upset their digestive system. 

Further, you should not attempt to feed goats thistle or poisonous plants even if they could ingest them.   These plants have a specific purpose and are not for enjoyment, and your goat will seek them out only when they need it. 

As previously mentioned, you should also not feed large foods or foods that will be hard to chew to your goat either. There you have it, and as you will notice what can goats not eat is a shorter list than what they will eat.

What Is Poisonous To Goats?

Certain foods and plants such as onions, buckwheat, and tall buttercups can be harmful if eaten by goats. In fact, there are quite a few plants that prove to be harmful should your goats eat them.


Most of the time, goats can tell what they can and cannot eat, however, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your herd. Always remember that if in doubt, look it up! I would also recommend doing some research and seeing if any plants native to your area might pose a threat to your goats.

I recommend the following books to help you get started with goats:


There you have it, a simple guide to the diets of goats. As far as what do goats like to eat, there diet will consist of grains, hay, and whatever they find while grazing.

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