Goats are known to eat anything, but is that really true? While goats have taste preferences just like humans, they tend not to be picky eaters. However, that doesn’t mean that every food that is good for humans is good for goats. So what about oranges, a summertime snack favorite? Can goats eat oranges? Let’s find out!
Can Goats Have Oranges?
The short answer is… yes! Yes, goats can eat oranges. In fact, they can be good for them due to the high Vitamin C content, though that comes with some caveats. Oranges should only be given to goats as a treat in moderation. This is because while they contain Vitamin C which is good for goats, oranges are also high in sugar and are very acidic. The sugar and acid can be harmful to goats if they eat too much. Additionally, oranges do not provide all of the nutritional requirements goats need. Goats should eat a balanced diet including grass, hay, and other types of vegetation to meet their nutritional requirements which means if you are going to share your summertime snack, it should be a small amount and in addition to their regular healthy diet.
What To Look Out For If Your Goat Eats Too Many Oranges
When goats have too many oranges, it can cause a variety of digestive issues. Too much vitamin C can cause loose stools and bloating. The acidic nature of oranges can cause acid reflux and heartburn (yes, goats get heartburn, too!). Oranges are also high in calories and sugar which means that you should look out for weight gain. If your goat experiences an upset stomach, irregular stools, or weight gain, do not feed them any more oranges and consult your veterinarian.
Tips & FAQs For Feeding Your Goat Oranges
Here are some tips and the answers to a few frequently asked questions about feeding your goat oranges.
Cut Into Small Pieces
Due to not having any front teeth, goats can have a hard time chewing and breaking down food into smaller pieces. So to prevent them from trying to get it all down at once, cut the orange into smaller pieces or give it to them by the segment.
Provide Fresh Water
Due to the acid and sugar, it is important that you put out plenty of fresh water to essentially “dilute” the amount of sugar and reduce the pH. This will help prevent any uncomfortable symptoms.
Keep Fruit Tree Out of Reach
Even though they might not feel good after, goats cannot help themselves if they are allowed access to an orange tree. The sweetness is just too good for them to pass up! Therefore, if you have any fruit trees on your property, ensure that there is a fence between them and the goats otherwise not only will your goats have an upset stomach, but your trees will be eaten to the roots, too!
Can Goats Eat Orange Peels?
Yes, goats can also eat orange peels, though the peel is high in calcium so too much can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. If you are going to feed your goat an orange, ensure you peel it about halfway. Only giving them half of the peel should keep the calcium down.
Don’t Share Your Snack Too Often
Ultimately, though goats can have orange and orange peels, you should only share your snack with them as an occasional treat. They should also have plenty of fresh, clean water and a balanced diet to meet their nutritional requirements. Look out for stomach upset and call your veterinarian if your goat experiences any symptoms after eating oranges.