Goats need different vitamins, minerals, grasses, leaves, grains, fruit, and vegetables to grow and be healthy. As foragers, they will always be interested in trying new tasty treats.
But, speaking for myself and my goats, it is safe to say that everybody needs a treat now and then. So, can goats eat cucumber?
Yes, goats can eat cucumber. Cucumbers have a lot of vitamins A, C, and K, and also contain magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Plus, they have a high-water content that will keep your goats hydrated, and boost milk production.
You do need to make sure that your goats are still getting a balanced diet of grass, hay, grains, and other nutrient-rich plants to ensure the goats grow normally and that the goat’s body and mind stay healthy.
Here is everything you need to know about feeding goats cucumber.
The Benefits of Cucumber in a Goats Diet
There are several benefits eating cucumbers have for goats.
- cucumbers boost healthy growth and development and helps maintain good overall health
- they also have a low caloric content and therefore will not lead to obesity
- cucumbers can assist the goat’s bowel movements, and help relieve constipation
Beta-carotene: helps with the physical and emotional health of your goats. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory source that will relieve joint pain.
Folate: is important for good brain health and it helps moms produce good quality milk and a balanced fat percentage. It aids in live births and strong, well-developed kids.
Lignan: is a powerful antioxidant that will calm your goats and give them a better-quality life.
Flavonoids: ensure your goats are healthy physically and emotionally due to the antioxidants present in flavonoids.
Vitamin B: ensures a healthy nervous system, aids the metabolism of food, keeps skin healthy, ensures a healthy liver, and synthesizes and repairs DNA.
Triterpenes: are substantiable antioxidants.
Vitamin A: maintains their epithelial development and strengthens the goat’s immune system.
Magnesium: is needed to metabolize carbs and fat to maintain good body weight.
Manganese: goats are prone to stillbirths; they need manganese to produce healthy kids with good bone, brain, and organ development.
Vitamin C: is needed to support the immune system and help your goats fight off illnesses.
Fiber: dietary fiber is essential to ensure a healthy digestive system, and it is needed to improve the quality and quantity of milk produced.
Potassium: breaks down and absorbs the nutrients in food, aiding in the metabolism of food.
Vitamin K: ensures good blood clotting when an injury occurs.
Antioxidants: have anti-inflammatory properties and aid in the physical and emotional sense of well-being.
Water: cucumbers are 96% water. The hydration provided by cucumbers will boost the quantity of milk production and high-quality milk.
The Risks of Cucumber in a Goats Diet
Be aware of the type of cucumber you are feeding your goats. Wild cucumbers have a high concentration of a toxin called curcumin which can lead to intestinal infections in your goats.
Wild cucumbers can lead to painful constipation, bloating of the stomach, bleeding from the nose and mouth, and eventually can kill your goats. If your goats ingest wild cucumbers immediately seek help from your veterinarian.
Store-bought cucumbers should always be thoroughly washed to remove pesticides from the peel and flesh of the cucumber.
Do not feed your goats rotten or moldy cucumbers as they carry harmful bacteria. Rather send spoiled cucumbers to the compost heap.
Can Goats Eat All Parts of Cucumber Plants?
As covered, yes, goats can eat cucumber.
While some goats do not like cucumber peels, the peels are very nutritious, it is therefore recommended that you leave the peels on.
The leaves of cucumbers are safe for your goats to eat.
The seeds are nutritious and safe for consumption.
The prickles contain probiotic bacteria that cultivate good flora which helps the process of digestion.
Cucumber roots are shallow and easy to dig up. The roots are safe for consumption.
The vines contain the same nutrients found in the cucumber but at a lower concentration. The vines are a healthy snack and a great source of fiber.
Preparing Cucumber for Goats
Feeding Raw Cucumber
Feeding cucumbers raw is really the only way to feed cucumbers to your goats. Before feeding your goats cucumbers, be sure to wash off any chemicals on the rind/peel.
The question is how to prepare the raw cucumber. Cucumbers can be served whole with the rind (peel), served whole without the rind, or sliced with the rind on.
Whole cucumbers have the risk of choking. It is best to slice the cucumbers to prevent choking and make the cucumber easier to digest.
You can add the cucumber to their food or hand-feed them as a bonding treat.
You should always feed them with or straight after or with their hay rations. Make sure they are eating all the components of a balanced diet.
Feeding Your Goats Cooked Cucumber
Cooking cucumber just leaves you with a sloppy, non-nutritious mess. Do not cook the cucumbers.
Feeding Your Goats Frozen Cucumber
Your goats will love frozen sliced cucumbers on a hot day. Just slice the cucumber into small, manageable pieces.
How Many Cucumbers can a Goat Safely Eat?
If goats are fed too many cucumbers, they could develop stunted psychological development.
Your goats can safely consume 3 cucumbers a day, but they can only be fed cucumbers 3 to 5 days a week.
Can Goat Kids Eat Cucumber?
It is completely safe to feed cucumber to goat babies once they have weaned off their moms (60 days old).
To start them on cucumbers, slice the cucumbers into thin slices to prevent choking.
Delicious Cucumber Treats
Dice or slice cucumbers with other safe fruit and vegetables (apples, carrots, and bananas are great partners to freeze). Pour or layer the fruit and vegetables into molds or ice trays and freeze them.
Your goats will love this refreshing and tasty treat.
You should be knowledgeable about good and bad fruit and vegetables to feed your goats. Goats love sweet treats, but they should only be fed in moderation.
To replace or reduce some of the high sugar content treats, treat them once a week with a sweet fruit, and on other days feed treats like:
This is… My Final Answer
Cucumber is a very healthy treat that can help lactating moms produce more milk and milk that will be very nutritious.
Go ahead and give them cucumber. Make it a special whole, sliced, frozen, or blended frozen treat. Your goats will love this treat.
Di-Anne Devenish Seebregts was raised in an environment where daily life consisted of hiking, environmental conservation, growing fruit and vegetables, and raising poultry for meat and eggs.
She combined her passion for the writing word with her love of the pride that comes with not relying on others. She raised three children (who are now adults) to value the environment, and understand the value of being self-sufficient.
Find out more about Di-Anne on our About Us page.