We’ve always been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can goats eat apples? And if so, does it keep the goat doctor away? Below we’ll answer these questions and more!
Can Goats Eat Apples?
Simply put, goats can eat apples. They are not toxic to them and can be a healthy addition to their diet. In fact, goats love to eat apples because they are sweet, crunchy, and different from their day-to-day food sources.
However, like with all good things in life, there is a such thing as overindulgence in apples for goats, too. Goats should be restricted to an apple a day due to their high fiber and sugar content.
Therefore, goats should not have open access to apples or an apple tree. They cannot help themselves as it is like cookies or candy to them. Inevitably goats with unlimited access to apples overindulge creating health concerns.
What To Look Out For If Your Goat Eats Too Many Apples
The primary food source of a goat should always be hay and foraged vegetation. Apples are a dense source of vitamins and fiber for goats. Of course, they also have a significant amount of sugar compared to what they are used to eating.
For this reason, goats who eat too many apples get an overload of sugar and fiber leading to digestive concerns, particularly bloat. Bloat is a quickly occurring, life-threatening condition that causes the stomach to “blow up” with gas and prevent the food from digesting.
The hallmark sign of bloat is distension in the upper left side of the abdomen. You should also look out for signs of distress if your goat consumes too many apples. This includes signs like grinding teeth, urgent bleating, an abnormal gait, frequent urination, and excessive salivating. If you notice any of these things, call a veterinarian immediately.
Tips & FAQs For Feeding Your Goat Apples
Here are some tips and the answers to a few frequently asked questions about feeding your goat apples.
Cut Into Small Pieces
Goats can choke if food is presented to them in too large of pieces because they don’t have any front teeth. This means they try to eat the fruit whole because they can’t just take a bite. Ensure when you feed your goats apples, that you cut it into small pieces to prevent any choking hazards.
Wash The Fruit
Apples should also be washed prior to feeding them to your goats. This is especially true if the apples are store-bought. Pesticides can be harmful to goats and any foreign creatures that may have made that apple a home even if you can’t see it is dangerous for your goats as well.
Can Goats Eat Apple Seeds?
Most people have heard that apple seeds contain a poisonous chemical to humans, but can goats eat apple seeds? Well, apple seeds have very small amounts of hydrogen cyanide when they are broken down which is poisonous in large amounts.
With that being said, the same is true for goats. Apple seeds in large quantities could poison your goat. If you feed your goat apple seeds rarely, it is perfectly fine for them, but if you give them one each day, it’s probably best to just remove them when you cut it up.
Can Goats Eat Apple Cores?
Yes, goats can eat apple cores, though if they are eating them often, it's a good idea to remove the seeds just in case as we mentioned above.
Can Goats Eat Apple Tree Leaves?
Goats can eat apple tree leaves and even apple tree branches and bark for that matter. Some experienced goat farmers even report that it seems they enjoy the rest of the tree just as much if not more than the apple itself.
Can Goats Eat Apple Peels?
Yes, goats can eat apple peels. The apple peel contains a majority of healthy vitamins, so there’s no need to peel apples for your goats.
An Apple For You, An Apple For The Goats
Ultimately, apples make for a tasty snack for both you and your goats. However, don’t go overboard on the sweet treats for your goats. Goats should primarily be eating hay and foraged vegetation, so though goats can eat apples and love them, try not to feed them more than one per day.