Feeding goats treats is fun for both you and them. As curious creatures, goats are well-known for eating a wide variety of foods and trying almost anything at least once. This almost always inspires questions surrounding what you can and can’t feed them as a treat.
Today we’re answering the question: Can goats eat bananas? We know goats ‘go bananas’ occasionally with their crazy personalities, but let’s take a look at feeding goats bananas as a snack and a few safety precautions.
Can Goats Eat Banana?
The simple answer is yes, goats can eat bananas. The entire banana tree or plant is non-toxic for goats, though, of course, the sweet flesh is always their favorite. Unfortunately, bananas are high in sugar, so goats should only enjoy bananas in moderation.
If left unattended to banana trees, they will quickly devour copious amounts of bananas and then eat the rest of the plant. Goats can’t help themselves, so it's important to keep them away from unlimited banana sources.
When goats overindulge in bananas or sugar in general, it can cause digestive issues.
Preventing Digestive Issues
Too much sugar at one time or too frequently from bananas can cause rapid fermentation in the first of the four stomachs in goats. The fermentation creates a build-up of gasses and acids leading to the dysfunction of their entire metabolic and digestive systems. It is often referred to as bloat and is a condition that is life-threatening.
Signs to look out for include bloating on the upper left side of the abdomen and signs of distress. Signs of distress are those such as anxious bleating, frequent urination, excess salivation, an unsteady gate, and teeth grinding. If you notice any of these signs or feel your goat might have consumed high quantities of bananas, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Benefits of Feeding Goats Bananas
Despite bananas being high in sugar, there are still a few benefits of feeding goats bananas.
Vitamins & Minerals
Like many other fruits, bananas contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Fresh bananas can act as a vitamin supplement for your goats to prevent vitamin deficiencies. Don’t worry, excess vitamins are flushed out, so it is not harmful.
Bananas contain fiber which many animals, including goats, need for proper digestion. So, a banana here or there is a good source of fiber.
A Fun Treat
Feeding your goats a banana is a fun treat for them. When you feed them sweet treats by hand, it also strengthens your bond with your herd.
Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about feeding goats bananas.
Can Goats Eat Banana Leaves?
Yes, goats can eat banana leaves and even have a preference for young, tender banana leaves. If you live in a climate where bananas grow, it's recommended to keep your banana trees away from your herd because they will eat it to the roots!
Can Goats Eat Banana Peels?
Goats can eat banana peels, though since they are bitter, not all goats like them. Some will try to eat just the flesh.
Can Goats Eat Banana Flavored Foods?
No, goats should not have banana-flavored foods. Artificial foods are all harmful to goats, especially in large quantities or when they are fed frequently.
Should Bananas Be Washed or Cut to Feed Them To My Goat?
Bananas that grow on your property and have not been treated with chemicals can be eaten by your goats without washing or cutting. However, to minimize the risk of choking, whole pieces of fruit should be cut into smaller pieces.
Any fruit from a supermarket or that has been treated with pesticides and chemicals should be washed if you are going to feed your goats the rind or peel.
Can Goats Eat Plantains?
Goats can eat plantains and plantains, though similar to bananas, are actually a bit healthier for them. This is because plantains naturally do not have as much sugar as bananas.
Give Goats Bananas & Watch Them Go Bananas With Excitement
Goats go bananas for bananas so feel free to treat them! Just remember, moderation is key and it is important to ensure the majority of a goat’s diet is primarily hay, grass, and other vegetation that is appropriate for their dietary needs.