Goats need different grasses, leaves, roots, grains, and vegetables to develop and to stay healthy. They do enjoy sweet treats now and then. Not all treats are safe.
So, can goats eat Strawberries?
Yes, goats can eat strawberries in moderation. Strawberries are packed with vitamins C, K, B2, B3, B5, B6, and E, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, which are all important for healthy development and maintaining good health.
However, because of their sugar content, you should feed strawberries in moderation. Some goats love the taste of strawberries, while others do not.
If you have strawberries on your property, you should ensure your goats do not get into them or there will be no Sunday pudding for you!
Here is everything you need to know about feeding goats strawberries.
The Benefits of Strawberries in a Goat’s Diet
There are several benefits to eating strawberries for goats. They are full of important nutrients.
But strawberries should not be given as a daily part of your goat’s feed. They can be given as a treat or mixed in with your goat’s other food; hand feeding can also be a great way to bond or train your goats.
Strawberries benefit your goats because of the following vitamins and minerals they possess.
Calcium: is important to healthy bone, maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance, and good cellular health.
Fat: Fat helps goats’ bodies absorb vitamins and minerals and gives them energy. Strawberries have a very low content of fat.
Magnesium: helps your goats metabolize carbs and fat to maintain good body weight. It is a great source of energy production.
Iron: is needed to ensure the production of red blood cells and to transport oxygen through the blood.
Phosphorous: improves the function of enzymes, improves their energy metabolism, and helps to maintain a healthy acid-base balance in their bodies.
Carbohydrates: helps lower blood sugar counteracting some of the effects of sugar contents; it helps keep your goats calm; it is important to healthy growth; and it helps combat obesity caused by sugars.
Zinc: breaks down proteins and can keep your goats calm.
Manganese: pregnant does need manganese to produce healthy kids with good bone, brain, and organ development. Goats are prone to stillbirths if they do not have a healthy amount of manganese in their diets.
Fiber: a single cup of mashed strawberries contains 6 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber is essential to ensure a healthy digestive system.
Vitamin B (B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6): are all of utmost importance to a healthy nervous system. It is also very much needed for good metabolism and healthy skin.
Vitamin B9 (Folate): helps in the production of DNA and RNA needed for healthy bones and organs; it also is important to the production of red blood cells, boosts the goat’s immune system, and helps the liver to stay healthy.
Choline: is important for good brain health; it increases the production of quantity and quality milk.
Vitamin C: is a good antioxidant and supports the immune system, helping your goats fight off illnesses; it is also vital to remove toxins.
Folic Acid: is essential for the production of nutritious, delicious milk.
Potassium: helps metabolize food, breaking it down and absorbing all the nutrients.
Vitamin E: is needed for a strong immune system, good growth, and for healthy reproduction.
Vitamin K: affects the ability of the blood to clot.
Water: strawberries are 91% water. Eating strawberries will help keep your goats hydrated and aid in the digestion of food; the water content is especially important in pregnancy and lactation.
The Risks of Strawberries in a Goats Diet
We do not eat strawberries all day every day because they are full of sugar and because we know we need a balanced diet.
Goats also need a balanced diet to thrive and develop normally. A diet that is high in sugar can lead to digestive issues, diabetes, obesity, and growth and developmental issues.
Strawberries can also pose a choking hazard if they are very big and you have goats with very small mouths. You will need to either chop them up or slice them if you are concerned about choking.
Strawberries should only be given as a treat, never feed your goats strawberries as a component of their daily food intake.
Make sure you clean up properly after feeding strawberries to ensure no pieces are left to ferment or get moldy.
Can Goats Eat All Parts of Strawberry Plants?
If you have ever started a strawberry patch that is accessible to your goats, you will probably never have seen a single strawberry. Goats are foragers, meaning they will love to chomp on any greens.
Yes, goats can eat the fruit of strawberry plants. However, in moderation to prevent the adverse effects of sugar.
If you have a picky goat, you are in for a delightful experience! I have had goats that took strawberries and did not like them.
They spit each strawberry out accompanied by a goofy raspberry blast with their tongues and then immediately wanted another of the treats the other herd members are enjoying. And the cycle goes on and on…
Absolutely yes! Strawberry tops are completely safe for goats to eat. Goats enjoy all the parts of strawberry plants. So, if you are preparing a delectable dessert for the family, save the tops for your goats.
Yes, goats can eat strawberry leaves. Goats will happily eat the leaves of strawberries. Even the picky eaters will enjoy the leaves. The leaves also are rich in nutrients and fiber making them a very healthy snack.
The leaves of strawberries are completely safe for your goats to eat.
Yes, your goats can eat strawberry roots. Strawberry roots are fairly shallow and therefore are easy to dig up.
As foragers, digging up roots is a common activity for goats. It is a healthy activity for them providing physical exercise and mental focus.
The roots are safe to dig up and eat.
Yes, the stalks are safe for your goats to eat. They are a healthy source of fiber for your goats.
Wild and Mock Strawberries
We obviously cannot have eyes on our goats 24 hours a day and different strawberry plants are common to find in overgrown or hard-to-reach areas that goats like to forage in.
As foragers, goats will get into whatever they find. Relax though, no one expects you to know every spot of ground you own. What grows naturally in foraging areas is often normal and safe for goats to eat.
Yes, wild strawberries are safe in moderation. It is a bit hard to find wild strawberries if you have a large property. If possible, check the areas where your goats spend a lot of their time.
If your goats get into some wild strawberries on your property, do not panic. They are safe for consumption but try to limit how much time they get to spend in areas where wild strawberries grow.
Mock Strawberries (Backyard or Indian Strawberries)
Yes, mock strawberries are safe for your goats.
Mock strawberries often grow among grasses in natural foraging areas. Your goats have probably tucked into many mock strawberries without any significant side effects.
Mock strawberries are safe for your goats to tuck into.
Preparing Strawberries for Goats
Always wash your strawberries properly to remove dust and pesticides before feeding them to your goats.
Now let the games begin! It is time for treats.
Feeding Raw Strawberries
Feeding raw strawberries is the best way to treat your goats. Strawberries are packed with nutrients that are lost when cooked; by feeding your goats raw strawberries you are ensuring they get all the valuable nutrients.
Only feed freshly picked strawberries. The fermentation of the sugar content will cause some painful digestive issues.
Feeding Your Goats Cooked Strawberries
Feeding your goats cooked strawberries isn’t recommended as you will lose the nutrients in the fruit.
Because of the high water content, when cooked, the water is mostly evaporated leaving the sugar intact. While this makes a tasty jam for you, you consume the sugar of more than one strawberry.
Cooked strawberries are bad for goats for the same reason. Concentrated sugar can lead to major weight and health issues.
Not many people cook strawberries specifically for their goats. Mostly, the cooked strawberries they offer their goats are the leftovers from decadent desserts. As desserts are often seasoned while cooking, they should not be fed to your goats.
How Many Strawberries Can a Goat Safely Eat?
Goats can eat 3 to 5 strawberries per goat per day, but you should only give them strawberries once or twice per week.
Juveniles (goats that are 5 to 15 months old) should only get 1 strawberry per day once or twice per week.
Can Baby Goats Eat Strawberries
Do not give your baby goats (kids) strawberries before they are completely weaned off their mom’s milk (3 to 4 months old). Their digestive systems are not ready for sugary treats.
If you rush to give your baby goats strawberries they can suffer from painful bloating and upset stomachs, as well as health issues related to obesity.
Once completely weaned (they are surviving on solid food only), you can start feeding your juvenile kids very small quantities of well-chopped or sliced strawberries.
Make sure to wash the treats thoroughly to remove any chemicals and dust. Please do not rush to feed strawberries – or any other – sugary treats to your kids.
Do All Goats Like Strawberries?
Not all goats – including kids – enjoy eating strawberries. Do not get offended if they shun this treat. It is very much a case of personal taste.
Strawberries can sometimes be rejected because they are either too sweet or too sour for their royal highnesses.
Try feeding them one strawberry to see if it is a treat worth giving to your goats.
Different fruits and vegetables have different nutritional values for goats. Some fruit and vegetables are unhealthy for your goats.
No sugary fruit should ever be given in excess.
To replace or reduce some of the high sugar content treats, try treating them once a week with sweet fruit, and on other days feed treats like:
This is… My Final Answer
While strawberries are packed with nutrients, they should not form a part of their daily feed. Sugar poses too much of a risk and can lead to obesity and overall poor health.
You can safely feed strawberries as treats, but only in moderation.
You will need to stand strong though, do not look them in the eye when you have no more strawberries to offer. Their adorable, sad, expectant faces will cause great harm to your heart.
Send us a picture of your goats enjoying their strawberries in the comments section below. It is sure to result in some funny faces – whether they love them or hate them.
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.