Goats are adventurous animals when it comes to the food they eat. Oftentimes, they will try anything once to see if they like it. However, just because they will eat something or at least try it, doesn’t mean that it’s good for their health.
Today we’re going to answer the question: Can goats eat watermelon? Plus, we’ll go over a few safety precautions, so you can give your goats treats with confidence.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon?
Yes! Goats can eat watermelon and they love it as much as we do. It has an interesting texture, is juicy and sweet, and is fun for goats.
Watermelon is non-toxic to goats, though since watermelon contains much higher amounts of sugar than their standard diet, watermelon must only be given to them in moderation.
Preventing Digestive Issues
Too much sugar, especially all at once, from watermelon or any fruit, can cause digestive issues in goats.
Goats have four stomachs and in the rumen which is the first stomach, carbohydrates like sugar can get fermented too quickly. When rapid fermentation happens, excess gas and acid are produced that disrupt the entire digestive and metabolic systems with potentially fatal consequences.
If you suspect that your goats have indulged in too much watermelon, look for bloating on the upper left side of the abdomen and signs of distress. Signs of distress include grinding teeth, excessive salivation, an unsteady gait, frequent urination, and anxious bleating. Goats experiencing any of these symptoms should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Benefits of Feeding Goats Watermelon
Despite having to closely regulate the amount of watermelon goats are being fed, there are a few benefits for the goats as well.
High Water Content
Watermelons are about 90% water. Goats need quite a bit of water on a daily basis, especially in warm climates, so watermelon can be a great way to sneak in extra hydration for your goats. Of course, you should always have a freshwater source for your goats as well. Watermelon cannot replace that.
Vitamins & Antioxidants
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and more, watermelon is full of things goats need. Feeding goats an occasional watermelon treat can help prevent vitamin deficiencies since it acts as a supplement. Additionally, antioxidants help cells repair damage, so they could help prevent several chronic diseases.
Build a Bond
Feeding goats an occasional sweet treat like watermelon builds their bond with you, especially if you feed it by hand.
Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about feeding goats watermelon.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon Rind?
If you’re wondering if goats can eat watermelon rinds, the answer is yes, though they, like humans, don’t like them as much as the watermelon flesh. Watermelon rinds can also be a concern for pesticides and chemicals so if you are going to feed watermelon rinds to goats, clean them thoroughly.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Goats can eat watermelon seeds though it can pose a choking hazard and you may end up with a rouge watermelon patch later if a seed or two isn’t completely digested. It’s best to go with a seedless watermelon if you can.
Should I Cut A Watermelon To Feed My Goats?
Watermelon rinds in particular are much thicker and firmer than the flesh, so with the goat’s limited teeth, large pieces of watermelon rind are a choking hazard. Goats cannot take a bite from a piece of fruit, so always cut the watermelon into smaller chunks focusing on an even smaller size for rinds.
Share Your Summer Watermelon With Your Goats
There’s nothing better than a fresh watermelon in the heat of the summer. Your goats agree! Share your summertime watermelon with your goats to give them a boost of hydration, vitamins, and fun. Just remember, never feed your goats anything that wouldn’t be safe for you to eat (like a rotten watermelon), and keep sugary snacks in moderation.