Can Goats Eat Cabbage and broccoli? What vegetables can goats eat? Contrary to popular belief that goats are great eaters and can consume everything, goats are very choosy with food.
Due to the sensitivity of their digestive system, goats are careful about what they eat. So can goats eat cabbage?
Can goats eat cabbage?
Yes, goats can eat cabbage, one of the healthiest snacks to feed your goats. Cabbage is highly nutritious and rich in vitamins, including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, and other vital essentials for growth and proper development. Since goats are herbivores, they eat healthy vegetables and leafy food.
Understanding that cabbages are safe for goat consumption brings us to the point of whether goats should be fed with cabbage always.
Although cabbage is healthy for goats, it shouldn’t become a staple diet like other leafy vegetables. Cabbage and other leafy vegetables should comprise only 10% of their diet.
Can Baby Goats consume Cabbages?
A baby goat that is one day to 30 days old should be fed with only the mother’s milk and nothing else. Ideally, goats wean when they are between 14 days to 28 days. So you have to wait until they are 30 days old before introducing other diets to them.
Unlike adult goats, baby goats take time to digest food because the bacteria in the stomach must adapt to the new diet. As such, you can start regularly feeding them small pieces of cabbage, along with their staple diet.
Never feed a baby goat with one full cabbage. Also, it would help if you chopped the cabbage into pieces while feeding them. Always follow the rule that supplements and snacks should form less than 10% of their staple diet. Overfeeding the baby goat with cabbage can disrupt its digestive system.
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Nutritional Value of Cabbages
Cabbages, known for their wide range of nutrients, provide numerous dietary benefits to livestock, particularly goats. The benefits of cabbages for goats extend far beyond providing a reliable food source.
They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, indispensable for maintaining optimal goat health. These leafy vegetables are renowned for their high content of vitamins C and K, which aid in fostering a robust immune system, promoting collagen formation, and clotting blood, respectively.
Furthermore, cabbages contain substantial amounts of magnesium, potassium, and calcium, imperative for heart health, nerve functions, and building strong bones. The dietary fiber inside these vegetables assists the goats’ digestive systems in processing food efficiently, ensuring their overall health and well-being.
If eaten in their fresh state, cabbages can provide goats with necessary hydration, vital during the hot summer months. Feeding cabbages to goats can, therefore, not only contribute to reducing feed costs but also to enhancing the nutritional intake of your livestock.
Is Cabbage good for goats?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to feed cabbages to goats. Apart from being highly nutritious and containing vitamins, carbs, proteins, folate, and other vital nutrients, it is also a tasty vegetable that goats love eating.
As stated above, cabbage should only make up 10% of the goats’ diet and should be served occasionally, as any slightest imbalance can cause digestive problems to the goats.
Another important thing is that feed your goats with only fresh cabbage. Stable cabbage can cause excessive bloating in goats, which is detrimental to the goat’s health. In a nutshell, fresh cabbages in small quantities are safe for a goat to feed on.
Can it be a Staple Diet for Goats?
It would be best never to make cabbage a staple diet for goats. The best staple diet for goats is hay and grains, which should be fed occasionally as a nutrient supplement. Hay is the best staple diet for your goats because it contains enough fiber for proper fermentation in their stomachs.
So fresh vegetables such as cabbage, although they cannot be easily digested in the goat’s stomach, can cause digestive issues such as bloating and excessive weight gain when eaten in large quantities.
You should understand that the goat’s digestive system is not well equipped to take fresh fruits and vegetables as a staple diet.
What about the cabbage worms?
In general, almost all leafy vegetables contain worms. Most of these worms in the cauliflower don’t cause serious trouble to humans when eaten, but for goats, this isn’t the case.
Because goats are herbivorous animals, they cannot easily digest worms that may be tapped in fresh cabbages, so when accidentally eaten, it may cause indigestion or bloat in the goats.
In extreme cases, some worms can lead to serious diseases like bovine spongiform encephalopathy in goats. As such, you should be extremely careful when feeding cabbage to your goats. You should wash the cabbage thoroughly with salt before feeding it to the goat.
Other Healthy Vegetable Goats Can Eat
As I stated earlier, goats have an affinity with fruits and vegetables. So in this section, I will show you other fruit and vegetable options you can feed your goats.
The above fruits and vegetables are healthy and beneficial to a goat’s health.
Also, for weaned goats, you can feed them beans and peas occasionally to serve as a protein supplement for muscle growth and strengthening. However, they shouldn’t be fed in large quantities not to disrupt the digestive system.
Goats contain a lot of worms in their guts, so as you feed your goats with cabbage and other leafy vegetables, ensure you deworm them regularly.
This is essential to domesticated goats, for wild goats have their way of deworming. Remember that cabbage is safe and beneficial only when served in small quantities.