Believe it or not, in the wild goats don’t get too much fruit. The occasional berry bush is probably all they have to look forward to, even though goats can eat most kinds of fruit without problems.
Now, domestic goats, that’s a different story: Many owners regularly treat their goats with various kinds of fruit either as a dietary supplement or just something to help keep them from getting bored.
But not all kinds of fruit are safe for our goats. How about peaches? Can goats eat peaches and are they safe?
Yes, goats may safely eat peaches, but they should only have them as a treat. Though they have nutrients that goats need, they are too sugary to be eaten regularly.
A perfectly ripe peach is one of the most delectable and delicious fruits you could possibly get, and goats generally seem to agree!
Goats are somewhat notorious for having a sweet tooth, and peaches will definitely make them excited. Despite this, you cannot give goats peaches whenever you want.
Doing so can easily make goats sick. I’ll tell you everything you need to know down below…
What Benefits Do Peaches Have for Goats?
Peaches are one of the sweetest and most delicious fruits out there. That’s reason enough to eat them for most people, and most animals, the peaches also have a respectable nutritional profile that can benefit goats.
Specifically, peaches contain a reasonable array of vitamins and minerals, and even though they aren’t the super-healthy fare that some other fruits are, your herd will still definitely benefit from them.
The vitamins and minerals present in peaches can improve metabolism, eye and skin health, improve the quality of a goat’s fur, and even help to protect cells from oxidative damage.
Perhaps most notably, peaches contain a variety of nutrients that can improve circulatory health, including oxygenation of the bloodstream.
These are all great benefits for goats, ones that they can get from peaches even if they only eat them periodically.
Nutritional Profile of Peaches
Peaches contain a solid array of vitamins and minerals, but compared to other fruits they don’t contain a whole lot of either.
Peaches have a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. I also have a smattering of the B-complex vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine, along with folate, and choline.
The mineral content is likewise diverse, but not particularly impressive, although it can still supply goats with much-needed calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Together, this is a pretty good shot of nutrition from a fruit that is so good it is basically dessert!
Are Peaches Safe for Goats Raw?
Yes, your goats can eat raw peaches safely. Raw peaches are ideal for goats because they’re easy to eat as-is, and also because they will contain the best possible amount of nutrition.
Is Peach Skin Safe for Goats?
Yes, goats can eat peach skin with absolutely no problems, although some might be turned off by it. If you have some picky eaters in the herd, simply peel the peaches before you hand them over.
Can You Cook Peaches to Give Them to Goats?
Yes, you can, but you don’t need to. Most goats will find fresh, raw peaches perfectly enticing.
Cooking peaches will concentrate the sugars in them somewhat, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, and more than that the cooking process will deplete the vitamins and minerals that peaches have.
This means they are less nutritious overall for your goats.
Are Peach Pits Safe for Goats?
No, peach pits aren’t safe for goats. Peach pits are extremely hard and basically indigestible by them.
Worse yet, peach pits and the pits and seeds of other stone fruits contain compounds that are essentially precursor chemicals to cyanide, and as they are digested, cyanide will be created in the goat’s body.
You don’t need me to tell you how bad this is!
You can generally rely on goats to avoid eating the pit, but I never risk it: remove the pit from any peach you plan to serve your goats.
Are Canned Peaches Safe for Goats?
No. Canned peaches are invariably drenched in sugary fruit juice or, worse yet, syrup. This is way, way too much sugar for goats, and so you should never give them canned peaches.
How Often Can Goats Have Peaches?
Goats should only have peaches once a week in a small serving, or maybe every week and a half depending on their nutritional goals and propensity to start craving sweet food.
Peaches are wholesome, for sure, but they are just too sugary to be a regular part of any goat’s diet.
Eating too many, or any other carb-dense food, can make goats very sick. I’ll tell you all about how in the very next section…
Can Peaches Cause Problems for Goats?
Yes, they can. If goats are allowed to eat too many carbohydrate-rich foods, a category which peaches definitely belong to, they can start to suffer from serious digestive upset known as rumen acidosis.
This is a serious condition that will result in a loss of appetite, the inability to digest fibrous foods, diarrhea, bloating, and in many cases, death.
It occurs when carbohydrate-rich foods disrupt the delicate balance in the goat’s rumen which they depend on to process their usual food.
Too many grains in the diet can also cause it, but any carbohydrate-rich food is a potential suspect. This is why it’s so risky to let your goats develop a sweet tooth!
Goats Should Only Be Served Plain Peaches
Peaches are sweet and delicious for goats just the way they are. You never want to serve your goats any peaches that have other harmful ingredients on them, things like spices, added sugar, syrup, butter, etc.
Similarly, if at all possible avoid giving your goats any peaches that were treated with pesticides, because these can have serious long-term health consequences if they build up in their systems.
Your best bet is to buy organic peaches at the grocery if you don’t grow them yourself.
How Should You Serve Peaches to Your Herd?
The best way to give peaches to your goats is in slices. Slices are much easier for them to handle, chew and swallow compared to whole peaches, as even the softest peach might be difficult for goats to take a bite out of depending on their size.
Remember, whatever size you slice the peaches into make sure you remove and discard the pit. Don’t give your goats any chance to chew on it or eat it!
Are Peaches Safe for Baby Goats?
Peaches are nominally safe for baby goats so long as they are old enough to eat solid food all the time.
The biggest problems associated with peaches being fed to kids is that they have very sensitive digestive systems, even compared to adults, and the fact that these young goats need correct and complete nutrition pretty much all the time.
Peaches, for both reasons, don’t fit into their nutritional plan very well at all.
You can let one of your baby goats have a little nibble of a fresh, sweet peach as a treat, but I would wait till they grow up quite a bit before they can have any sizable quantity.
Always Clean Up Leftover Peach Scraps
If there’s one thing that you must do after serving peaches to your goats it is clean up after them.
As I mentioned, goats do have a sweet tooth, and will typically eat every last scrap of peach that they can find, but you have to make it a point to clean up the leftover bits and skins: fragrant, sweet peaches will readily attract insects and pests like rats, mice, raccoons and the like.
You probably don’t want those critters hanging out around your goats or your other animals!
More than that, peaches will begin to decay quickly, and if any of your goats comes back around and finds one of these leftover, but decaying, and eats it, it could make them sick.
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.
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