To us, the diet of a goat must seem pretty boring. Just a nonstop rotation of hay, grass, tree bark and other plain, bland stuff.
Goats don’t seem to get too much exciting food, in the wild or in captivity, but as it turns out, they do get some tasty treats in the form of fruit, and berries are a perennial favorite of theirs.
But not all berries are safe and healthy for goats. What about raspberries? Can goats eat raspberries and are they safe for them?
Yes, raspberries are safe for goats and nutritious for them. Raspberries have a good assortment of vitamins and minerals that goats need and goats really do like them, but they should only get them as a treat because they are so sugary.
Your goats will love raspberries and you can feel good about feeding them to your herd, but you can’t overdo it.
Raspberries and other sugary foods can cause problems for goats if you allow them to overeat, and believe me they will try. I’ll tell you what you need to know about including raspberries in the diet of your goats below.
What Benefits Do Raspberries Have for Goats?
Raspberries are a healthy treat for goats, and can make a great supplement to their usual diet.
Raspberries contain good carbohydrates that can give goats some quick energy, and many vitamins and minerals that they need.
Together, these nutrients can help goats cope with heat stress, enjoy a boost their metabolism but also general improvement to overall nervous system health, vision, organ function, and the overall health and quality of their skin and fur.
Raspberries also contain nutrients that will improve the health, growth and healing of a goat’s skeleton and connective tissues, and they can even boost circulatory health by promoting proper oxygenation of blood.
A pretty remarkable set of benefits if you ask me, and goats love raspberries enough that they’ll certainly look forward to getting them as a treat.
Nutritional Profile of Raspberries
Raspberries have a surprisingly strong nutritional profile, vitamins particularly, and they’re also impressively fortified with minerals.
Looking at the vitamins first, we see that raspberries contain abundant thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and pyridoxine.
These are the B-complex vitamins that are so crucial for many metabolic factors. Aside from those, raspberries also contained lots of vitamins C, E and K.
The mineral content of raspberries is also impressive, and they contain plenty of magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.
These are all nutrients that goats need, and particularly concerning the vitamins and goats need them in abundance in order to thrive and stay healthy.
Are Raspberries Safe for Goats Raw?
Yes, raw raspberries are safe for goats. This is the ideal way for goats to eat raspberries because they’ll have the best possible nutritional content, and they’re also highly appealing and easy for goats to eat.
Can You Cook Raspberries to Give Them to Goats?
Yes, if you want to you can cook raspberries to give them to your goats. But let me stop you right there: there truly is no reason for you to go through the trouble of cooking raspberries for them.
Cooked raspberries aren’t really any easier for goats to eat, and you’ll deplete the vitamin and mineral levels from raspberries by doing it.
That’s a losing proposition, so just give fresh, raw raspberries to your herd.
How Often Can Goats Have Raspberries?
As healthy and wholesome as raspberries are, you still want to treat them as just a treat or an occasional dietary supplement for goats.
Vitamins and minerals are all good for them, yes, and goats really do love to eat them, but they’re too sugary to be a regular item on their menu.
I recommend that you give your goats a small quantity of raspberries once or no more than twice a week. As long as you do that, they’ll get plenty of benefit from them and enjoy them without worry.
Can Raspberries Cause Problems for Goats?
Yes, believe it or not, raspberries can cause some significant problems for your goats, but this is only likely to occur if you let them gorge on as many raspberries as they want or if you feed them to your goats entirely too often.
When goats get any kind of food, fruit included, that’s too sugary or too carbohydrate-dense it can potentially cause some digestive issues. Sometimes, this will just take the form of diarrhea or a loss of appetite.
That’s bad enough, but when things really go wrong, your goats might suffer from rumen acidosis, a potentially fatal disruption of the pH balance in the rumen.
It’s as bad as it sounds, but like I said above, it’s entirely possible to avoid this fate for your goats if you just give them raspberries and other fruit in strict moderation while keeping them on a normal, nutritionally correct goat diet of hay and other foods.
Goats Should Only Be Served Plain Raspberries
Speaking of nutritionally correct, you only want to give your goats plain, fresh raspberries.
Never give them any dessert made with raspberries, and don’t ever give them raspberries that are doctored up with sauces, chocolate, frosting, extra sugar, or any nonsense like that.
All that stuff is seriously bad news for goats and can cause a whole host of health problems.
And remember that goats are known to develop a sweet tooth very easily, meaning they will start to crave sweet foods which are bad for them above everything else. Not good!
How Should You Serve Raspberries to Your Herd?
You don’t really need to do a thing to serve raspberries to your goats.
You can let your goats eat raspberries right out of your hand, scatter them on the ground for them to find, or place them in a tray or trough for them to snack on.
Just remember that you don’t want to give goats too many, so watch the quantity and only give them periodically as a treat.
Are Raspberries Safe for Baby Goats?
Yes, your baby goats can have raspberries under a few conditions. You want to be sure that your baby goats are grown enough to be eating solid foods at all times, meaning no longer nursing, before you let them have raspberries.
When they’re old enough to try raspberries, keep those portions very, very small and give them the raspberries occasionally!
Baby goats are still developing and still have highly sensitive stomachs that are prone to becoming upset.
An adult goat getting diarrhea is bad enough, but it can be positively devastating for a baby goat because they will dehydrate so quickly. If you have any doubts, wait until they mature.
Don’t Leave Raspberries Lying Around When Your Goats are Finished
Make sure you pick up any leftover raspberries when your goats are done: raspberries are fragrant and highly attractive to rodents and other mammals, several of which can cause problems for your goats and spread disease or parasites to them.
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.