Goats, or at least domestic goats, can eat a surprisingly varied diet. Some owners even choose to supplement it with a variety of tropical produce, including fruits and vegetables.
Many such things can be a tasty treat for them, and even packed with nutrition that they need.
However, goats can’t eat everything when it comes to fruits and vegetables and some things are really bad for them. How about avocados? Can goats eat avocados and is it safe for them?
No, goats cannot eat avocados. Avocados and all parts of the plant contain toxic persin which can attack a goat’s heart and lungs. Don’t let them eat any part of an avocado, including the flesh.
Avocados are delicious and highly nutritious, but they are nothing that your goats should ever have.
Depending on what part of the plant they ingest even a few nibbles of this surprisingly dangerous tropical treat can spell disaster for your goats.
It’s just that simple, but there is a lot more to learn on the topic. I’ll tell you all about it below.
Avocados are Toxic for Goats!
The bottom line is that avocados are highly toxic for goats as mentioned above.
Don’t be deluded because people can eat that tasty, creamy flesh with no ill effects. Most other mammals cannot, and that includes your goats.
To get specific, this is because all parts of an avocado contain a toxin called person.
While it’s true that the flesh often contains very little, all other parts of the fruit, including the skin and stem and that huge seed in the middle, contain a lot more of the stuff.
Likewise, all other parts of the plant, from the leaves and branches all the way down to the roots, contain dangerous amounts of persin.
You cannot risk your goats ingesting this toxin because it is particularly bad for them. And I warn you: it is a particularly grueling and awful death for a poor animal.
We’ll talk more about the symptoms and outcomes associated with persin toxicity down below.
Is Avocado Safe for Goats Raw?
No! All parts of the avocado fruit and the avocado plant are dangerous for goats.
Though the flesh of the fruit contains very little toxin as described above, it is still a significant amount for goats and if your goats were to accidentally ingest any of the skin they will be seriously poisoned.
Eating the leaves or branches of the plant itself is even worse, as they contain dramatically more toxin than the fruit.
Is Cooked Avocado Safe for Goats?
No. Cooked avocados are just as dangerous for goats as raw ones. Cooking doesn’t neutralize the toxin. This applies to the fruit and parts of the plant itself.
Is Any Part of the Avocado Plant Safe for Goats?
No, sorry. All parts of the avocado fruit and the plant are very dangerous for goats.
Do not, under any circumstances, feed your goats any avocado or any parts of the plant or allow them to eat from or near the plant itself. You have been warned!
How Frequently Can Goats Have Avocado?
Goats cannot have any quantity of avocado, and there’s no quantity or feeding schedule that is considered safe for them.
What Problems Does Avocado Cause for Goats?
Why is avocado so dangerous for goats? What exactly does persin do to a goat?
Persin is an oil-soluble fungicidal toxin that has pronounced and devastating effects on a goat’s lungs, heart, and circulatory system.
Acute toxicosis generally starts an accumulation of fluid around the lungs which will make respiration difficult, and in all cases even mild poisoning results in severe diarrhea and vomiting.
Death, when it occurs, is usually due to heart failure rather than suffocation, but both bad outcomes result in a sort of vicious circle that makes treatment very difficult.
Potentially even worse is that a relatively small amount of persin can cause permanent harm to the milk glands of does. Something you’ll definitely want to keep in mind if you’re increasing the size of your herd.
But in all cases persin is extremely toxic for goats and nothing you want to risk them being affected by.
Especially in cases of acute poisoning dying from persin is a very rough and slow way to go, and I know you and your family don’t want to see your precious animals suffer like that.
Avocado is Very Dangerous to Baby Goats
As is the case with most toxins, young goats or any other goat with lower body mass is especially vulnerable to poisoning.
Not only is a smaller concentration of the poison enough to inflict severe harm or even kill them, but their underdeveloped systems are less able to deal with any quantity of persin.
You never want to give your goats avocados, and you never, ever want to risk any amount of it being eaten by baby goats.
What Should You Do if Your Goat Has Eaten Avocado?
If you suspect that any of your goats has eaten any part of an avocado plant, stay calm but you need to assess the situation quickly and accurately.
First, look at them and see if they’re showing any symptoms of persin poisoning.
This could be manifested as sluggishness, reluctance to stand, a loss of appetite, labored breathing, vomiting, severe diarrhea or in serious cases a total inability to stand up.
If there’s evidence or a strong suspicion that your goats have eaten avocado or parts of the plant and are showing any of these symptoms, do not wait: call your vet immediately and get the goat into their care as quickly as possible by any means necessary.
Treatment is possible, but generally requires intensive care, IVs, and antidotes to help eliminate the toxins from the goat’s body before they cause serious harm.
In any case, the vet will likely want to observe the goat for a time even if they are on the mend to make sure they do not relapse.
Tim is a farm boy with vast experience on homesteads, and with survival and prepping. He lives a self-reliant lifestyle along with his aging mother in a quiet and very conservative little town in Ohio. He teaches folks about security, prepping and self-sufficiency not just through his witty writing, but also in person.
Find out more about Tim and the rest of the crew here.