Goats are curious browsers who love to try anything they find to decide for themselves whether they like this new item or not. The problem is, not everything they find is good for them.
And, even if something is ‘safe’, it is probably only safe in moderation. So, can goats eat pineapples?
Yes, goats can eat pineapples in moderation as treats. Pineapples are full of nutrients that are essential for growth and development. However, the sugar can lead to obesity and gastrointestinal problems. Therefore, moderation is essential.
Pineapples are an excellent source of fiber, sugar, water, citric acid, malic acid, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, thiamin, and more that help goats develop, and stay strong and healthy.
I know, they are adorable to watch when they are given new treats, however, goats should never be allowed to gorge on any sweet treat. Their diet should consist of grass, hay, leaves, and vegetables. Treats should be treats only.
Here is everything you need to know about feeding goats pineapples.
The Benefits of Pineapples in a Goat’s Diet
If you are looking for a nutritional treat, pineapples have many benefits for your goats.
Citric Acid: modulates rumen fermentation and inflammatory responses in dairy goats.
Malic acid: improves the antioxidant capacity; improves the quality and quantity of milk production; and stimulates the growth of the Selenomonas ruminantium bacteria which improves the ruminal environment which aids in the digestive system.
Bromelain: is an enzyme in pineapples that aids in correcting digestive problems and is a natural anti-inflammatory.
Phosphorous: ensures skeletal health, it is important for energy metabolism; it maintains a balance of acids.
Carbohydrates: are the main source of energy for goats; without carbohydrates your goats will be listless, weak, and lethargic.
Calcium: is essential to good bone and muscle development; it is essential to the bodies’ nervous and cardiovascular functions; it is important to prevent painful illnesses that lead to stiff, swollen joints, and poor growth and development; and it is important for their teeth to be strong and healthy.
Vitamin A: helps maintain normal epithelial development and strengthens the immune system. It’s important to help keep the goats’ eyesight intact; it gives their metabolism a boost; helps with tissue growth; and wards off respiratory infections.
Water: pineapples are 87% water; eating pineapples will help keep your goats hydrated and is very important to the production of milk.
The Risks of Pineapples in a Goat’s Diet
Pineapples do have some problems for goats that only you can help them with. If you feed pineapple to your goats, they can experience painful digestive issues and sore mouths.
The biggest risk in feeding your goats comes from feeding unripe pineapples. If the fruit is not ripe it can cause diarrhea, upset stomachs, and allergic reactions.
Pineapples can cause painful bacterial flair-ups in their stomachs. Pineapples can cause bloating. Pineapples can cause indigestion.
Goats will struggle to bite through the thick, spiny outer layer of the fruit.
The spikes on the skin and on the tops can hurt your goat’s mouth.
Pineapples can be a choking hazard because they are so hard (especially the core).
The high sugar content can lead to obesity.
The sugar can damage your goat’s teeth.
Can Goats Eat All Parts of Pineapple trees?
While all parts of pineapple trees are edible, you will find some goats do not like the pineapples at all but will enjoy the leaves and pineapple tops.
Goats are fussy eaters so do not feel offended if they pull their noses up to your delicious treats and all the love it took to prepare for them.
Yes, goats can eat the fleshy fruit parts of the pineapples. However, you will see that some of your goats are picky and will only eat the parts they love the most, while others will eat the whole pineapple.
The high sugar content can lead to health issues like obesity, dental issues, diabetes, and upset stomachs. You should never feed more than ¼ of their daily food allowance and only once or twice a week.
Pineapple Rinds (Peels)
Yes, pineapple peels are safe for your goats to eat, but they require some preparation.
There are 3 risks to feeding your goats pineapple peels:
- The risk of chemicals and pesticides on the peel – wash the peels well to remove any chemical treatments from the farmers and shops.
- Peels can also be hard to chew making them a choking hazard – chop the peels into smaller pieces so that they are easier to chew.
- The spikes can hurt your goats’ mouths, so they need to be chopped up into more manageable pieces.
The core is a valuable source of fiber and has the lowest sugar content of all parts of the plant, making it the safest part of the plant for your goats.
The tops are high in fiber but must be cut into small pieces to avoid injury to your goats’ mouths.
Pineapple leaves should not be fed to goats for two reasons: the leaves are large and extremely sharp, and they have absolutely no nutritional value.
Goats can drink pineapple juice provided it is 100% pure, organic juice. Store-bought pineapple juice is higher in sugar and additives that will harm your goats.
I recommend that you dilute the juice and set it down in a shady spot for your goats to enjoy. Remember the high sugar content, if they drink too much juice their health will be negatively affected.
Preparing Pineapples for Goats
Feeding Raw Pineapples
- Wash the whole fruit thoroughly to eliminate all dust and potential pesticides from the fruit.
- Remove the crown (the top) and chop it into small pieces.
- Cut the peel off the fruit and chop it into small pieces.
- Cut the fruit off of the core.
- Cut the core into small, manageable pieces.
- Mix everything together and give it all to the goats.
Feeding Your Goats Cooked Pineapples
It is never recommended to cook any fruit for your goats. Cooking the fruit loses many of the nutrients and concentrates the sugar content as the water evaporates from the fruit during exposure to heat.
However, if you are determined to cook your pineapple, it can only be roasted or grilled.
As long as you have not used any spices or fried the pineapple in butter, margarine, lard, or oil, you are good to go.
No, canned fruit should never be given to goats. Please do not feed your goats canned pineapple.
The sugar levels in canned fruit are ridiculously high, and they are canned with loads of preservatives that are harmful to goats. I cannot say this enough, no canned fruit, ever!
How Many Pineapples can a Goat Safely Eat?
Never feed your goats more than ¼ of their daily food. That amounts to 1 – 2 cups of pineapple per goat per week.
Treating Your Overindulged Goat
If your goat shows signs of bloating, discomfort, or an upset stomach, give your vet a call.
Can Baby Goats (Kids) Eat Pineapples
Kids should never be given sweet treats until they are weaned from their mother’s milk. The only source of nutrition needed is their mother’s milk.
When it comes to introducing treats, like pineapple, they should receive tiny amounts and should only be offered the pineapple when they are 3 – 4 months old.
Chop the pineapple into very small pieces until you see that they are coping.
The most important deciding factor when thinking about healthy alternatives should be the sugar content of the fruit.
Arm yourself with knowledge about the pros and cons of the treats you give your goats and feed sweeter treats in moderation.
To replace or reduce some of the high-sugar content treats, try treating them once a week with a sweet fruit, and on other days feed low-sugar treats like:
- Swiss Shard
This is … My Final Answer
Because of their high sugar content, pineapple should be given in small amounts, and as a treat only.
Be kind to your goats’ mouths, and cut up the pineapple into small pieces.
Never feed your goats unripe pineapples. Most importantly, if you are preparing pineapple for your family, save the skin and crown for your goat’s weekly treat.
Let me know in the comments below how much your goats enjoyed this article, and feel free to post pictures.
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.