Goats are known for their love of eating just about anything. And this is for a good reason, as goats need a surprisingly varied diet in order to get all the nutrition their bodies require.
But what most people don’t know is that goats can actually enjoy quite a bit of fruit. Hard to imagine when you see them happily chowing down on bark!
Below is a list of 22 fruits that goats can eat with no problems, along with information on their benefits. Make sure you check out the list of fruit that goats shouldn’t eat at the end.
Fruits You Can Feed to Your Goats
|✓ Grape Vines
Can Goats Eat Apples?
Apples are a great source of nutrition for goats. They contain vitamins A, B, and C, as well as minerals like potassium and iron.
Not only that, but apples are also a good source of fiber. This makes them perfect for helping goats maintain a healthy digestive system.
Apples provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they also contain plenty of moisture to keep goats healthy and hydrated.
In fact, some goat owners even use apples as a treat to reward their goats for good behavior.
Just make sure to remove the seeds first, as they contain cyanide precursors that might harm goats in high concentrations.
Can Goats Eat Bananas?
Bananas are another fruit that goats can enjoy without any problems. In fact, they’re actually one of the most popular fruits among goat owners.
This is because bananas are not only delicious, but they’re also packed with nutrients that goats need.
Bananas contain vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium. They’re also a good source of fiber, which helps goats stay regular. Goats can even eat the peels safely!
Can Goats Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are a great treat for goats, and they offer a number of health benefits as well. They’re packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as antioxidants and phytochemicals.
These nutrients help protect goats from disease and keep their immune system strong.
Blueberries are another good source of fiber, which helps goats stay regular. And like other juicy fruits on this list, they’re a good way to keep goats hydrated.
Just make sure you don’t give them too many at once, as they can cause stomach upset in large quantities, and be ready to deal with some blue snouts when they are finished.
Can Goats Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are yet another juicy fruit that goats love to eat, and they offer plenty of nutritional benefits as well.
They’re packed with vitamins C and K, as well as antioxidants and phytochemicals. These nutrients help protect goats from disease and keep their immune system strong.
Strawberries, like so many fruits, are a reliable source of fiber and have been shown to improve digestion in goats. They’re also a good source of water, which helps keep goats hydrated.
Just be sure to give your goats fresh strawberries, as the sugar in processed or frozen ones can cause stomach upset.
Can Goats Eat Raspberries?
Goats like raspberries and they aren’t afraid to brave the thorns to get at them.
You can help them out by offering picked ones to them, and they will enjoy a tasty snack while getting solid nutrition. Raspberries contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are all essential to a goat’s diet.
They also have a good amount of water content, so they help keep goats hydrated. Just make sure you offer your goats raspberries in moderation, as too many can cause bloating and diarrhea.
Can Goats Eat Elderberry?
Elderberries are one fruit that goats can have, but cautiously. Unripe elderberries are actually poisonous to goats, so be sure you know whether they are ripe or unripe before feeding them to your goats.
If you have ripe ones, then your goats can enjoy the nutritional benefits of elderberries.
These berries are high in vitamins A and C, as well as fiber and minerals like iron. You can give them to your goats fresh, dried, or cooked, and they make a great addition to a healthy diet.
Just be sure not to overdo it, as too many can cause stomach upset even when they are ripe.
Can Goats Eat Grapes?
Grapes are another popular fruit that is enjoyed by both humans and goats alike. They can help boost a goat’s immune system and are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K.
Vitamin A is used by goats for reproduction and growth, while vitamin C helps with tissue repair.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and the utilization of minerals like calcium. Grapes also contain a variety of said minerals, like potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
You can feed grapes to your goats fresh or frozen, and they make an especially great treat for them. Keep the quantity small for maximum benefit: grapes are quite sugary and it is easy for goats to overindulge on these bite-sized fruits.
Can Goats Eat Grape Vines?
If you allow goats to snack on grapes that are still on the plant, they are just as likely to eat the whole vine! This is actually not a problem, as grape vines are perfectly safe for goats to eat.
They provide similar nutritional benefits as grapes themselves, just with more minerals like magnesium, sodium, and manganese.
You don’t have to worry about your goats being harmed by the vines themselves, just be sure that the plants haven’t been sprayed with any harmful chemicals like herbicides or pesticides as this can make them poisonous.
Can Goats Eat Lemons?
It is hard to imagine, but yes, goats can eat lemons and other citrus fruits! These tart fruits are a great source of vitamin C, which is important for a goat’s immune system. Lemons also contain flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.
You can give your goats fresh lemons to eat, peel and all, but you might try mixing the flesh in with other foods in case they are just too sour for them.
You can also give them lemon juice in water to help keep them hydrated on hot days. But mind the quantity: lemons are intensely acidic and too much can cause stomach upset.
Can Goats Eat Limes?
Yes, they sure can! Limes are actually a little less sour than lemons on average, and this can make them more appealing to goats. They contain the same nutritional benefits as lemons, just in a slightly different ratio.
You can safely give limes to your goats whole, juiced into their water, or mixed in with other foods. And just like with lemons, keep an eye on how much they are eating and adjust accordingly.
Too much citrus can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. As an occasional treat or nutritional supplement limes are wonderful.
Can Goats Eat Oranges?
Who could turn down a perfectly ripe orange? Not goats, that is for sure. Goats love the sweetness of oranges and will often eat the peel as well as the flesh.
Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, and other vitamins including A, B1, and B6. They also contain fiber, potassium, and calcium.
You can give oranges to your goats whole or peeled. We recommend avoiding juicing oranges for them, however: oranges are quite sugary, and too much sugar can cause major problems for goats. Keep oranges and other citrus fruit limited to occasional treats and you won’t have any problems.
Can Goats Eat Raisins?
Raisins are just grapes that have been dried. Like the grapes they were, goats can eat them.
Goats can eat raisins as they are an excellent source of energy for them, and are often used as a training treat or reward. They are also high in fiber, which can help with digestion.
Raisins are very sugary, however, so it is important to give them to your goats in moderation.
Too many raisins can cause the digestive problems mentioned above, and possibly disrupt the delicate internal ecology of a goat’s rumen. A few here and there as a treat won’t hurt them, but don’t make them a regular part of your goat’s diet!
Can Goats Eat Pineapple?
It is difficult to imagine how a goat would ever get at a pineapple in the wild, but that doesn’t matter because they can, in fact, eat them.
As long as you can cut them up so your goats need not deal with that spiny skin, they won’t hesitate!
Pineapples are a dependable source of Vitamin C, as well as manganese and fiber. For supplying a quick energy and hydration on hot days, pineapples are tops.
However, like most super sweet tropical fruits this is something that should only be given to your goats as an occasional treat.
Can Goats Eat Mango?
Another tropical treat for goats, mangoes are a welcome addition to their diet. Mangoes are high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and several other vitamins and minerals including potassium.
The potassium and moisture content make mangoes a great way to keep your goats hydrated on hot days.
Mangoes can be given to goats peeled, or cut up into small pieces. Be sure to remove the skin and seed. The skin, in particular, sometimes acts as an irritant for mammals.
Mangoes are very sweet, and like other sugary fruits, should only be given to goats in moderation.
Can Goats Eat Kiwi?
Yes, goats can eat kiwi. Kiwis are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. They also contain a compound called actinide, which is known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin K is especially important for goats, as it helps with blood clotting. Potassium is also needed by goats, as it helps to maintain proper electrolyte balance in their bodies.
The actinide might help any goats recovering from injuries or if they are suffering from any joint pain or other inflammatory conditions.
Your goats can eat a kiwi whole, skin and all, but you can peel it for them if you want to. Kiwis can be a healthy treat for goats, but should be given in moderation due to their high sugar content.
Can Goats Eat Pumpkins?
Pumpkins aren’t just for pumpkin pie and jack-o’-lanterns. Pumpkins can also be a nutritional powerhouse for your goats! Pumpkins are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene.
They also contain some iron, magnesium, and potassium.
- Vitamin A in pumpkins is important for goats, as it helps to keep their eyes healthy.
- Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body and also helps with vision.
- Iron is always important, as it helps with red blood cell production and magnesium helps with muscle and nerve function.
- Potassium is the primary electrolyte for goats, as it helps to maintain proper fluid balance in their bodies.
Goats can eat both raw and cooked pumpkins. If you give your goats raw pumpkins, make sure they are broken open or cut into small pieces so they can get at the flesh and don’t choke on them. Also of note is that goats can eat the slimy “guts” and seeds with no issues.
Can Goats Eat Peaches?
There is hardly any fruit more appealing than a perfectly ripe peach, and goats seem to agree. Goats love peaches and they are actually quite good for them!
Peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. The vitamin A in peaches helps to keep goats’ eyes healthy.
Vitamin C is important for goats because it helps their bodies to heal wounds and fight infection, though it should be noted that goats make much of their own vitamin C internally.
When serving peaches to your goats, keep two things in mind. First, always remove the pit, as it is rock hard and toxic. Second, mind the quantity. Peaches are super sugary, and you know by now goats shouldn’t have too much.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon?
Watermelon is a delicious, refreshing, and highly hydrating fruit, and it’s good for goats too. Watermelon is a good source of vitamins A, and multiple B vitamins including B6 and B12, as well as vitamins C and E.
It also contains potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The high water content in watermelon (about 92%) helps to keep goats hydrated, which is especially important on hot days or if they are sick or injured.
Goats can eat both the flesh and the rind of the watermelon. The seeds are also edible, but should be removed before feeding watermelon to your smaller goats and kids as they can be a choking hazard.
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is another melon that is totally safe for your goats to eat, and a solid choice because it is lower in sugar than watermelon and most other fruit.
Cantaloupe is a good source of vitamins A, C, B6, and B12, as well as potassium and fiber. Like watermelon, cantaloupe is also very hydrating due to its high water content.
Consider peeling or chunking cantaloupe before feeding it to your goats as the rind is leathery, rough, and can be unappealing to goats, though they can certainly eat it if they want to.
Cantaloupe seeds are also safe for goats to eat, but as with watermelon seeds, should be removed before feeding to smaller goats and kids.
Can Goats Eat Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is another tropical fruit that most people haven’t even heard of, but it is quickly growing in popularity. More to the point, it is another one that goats can eat the same as we can.
Jackfruit contains a pretty solid cross-section of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
As with other fruits, goats can eat both the flesh and the seeds of jackfruit. The seeds are actually quite nutritious and contain protein.
One potential issue with feeding jackfruit to goats is the fact that it is very sticky. If you have ever cut into a jackfruit, you know what we mean.
This sticky substance can coat a goat’s mouth and make it difficult for them to eat. To avoid this, consider peeling or chopping the jackfruit into small chunks before giving it to your herd.
Like so many other fruits on this list, the watchword is “moderation”: goats don’t need too much sugar in their diet!
Can Goats Eat Dates?
Yes, they can. Dates are another fruit that is safe for goats to eat and are actually quite nutritious.
Dates contain vitamins A, C, B6, and K, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron.
B vitamins are especially important for goats, as they help the body to convert food into energy. Dates can be eaten fresh or dried. If feeding your goats dried dates, consider removing the pits which might be swallowed accidentally.
One potential issue with feeding dates to goats is that they are intensely sugary. As we mentioned so many times before, too much sugar is not good for goats.
For this reason, it is best to give them only a few dates at a time as a treat or reward for good behavior.
It is especially important to regulate the quantity with dried dates as they contain more sugar by weight than fresh ones. It is an easy thing for goats to overdo it!
Can Goats Eat Kumquat?
Kumquats have a hilarious name, at least to the english speaking world, but that does not mean that goats cannot eat them.
Kumquats are actually quite nutritious, containing vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. They can be eaten fresh, canned, or made into marmalade.
Kumquats are also quite tart, so if you have a goat that is especially fond of sweet fruit, they may enjoy the change of pace.
One potential issue with feeding kumquats to goats is that they are pretty acidic, and this acidity can disrupt the pH balance in a goat’s gut.
While this is not generally a problem, it can be if your goat has an existing digestive issue or if you feed them too many kumquats. If you are unsure whether or not kumquats are right for your goats, check with your veterinarian first.
Can Goats Eat Quince?
Quince is another fruit that most people don’t even know about, or rather have forgotten about: it is not exactly a common fruit these days.
Quince is actually related to the apple and pear, and like those fruits is safe for goats to eat. Quince contains vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Magnesium is needed by goats since it helps to regulate metabolism and muscle function.
It can be eaten fresh or cooked, though most goats seem to prefer the latter. One potential issue with feeding quince to goats is that it is very hard and very tart, and some goats may not enjoy the taste or texture, especially compared to other fruit.
If your goat does not seem to like quince, try mixing it with other fruits or giving them quince in smaller quantities.
Fruits That Goats Shouldn’t Eat
Goats can eat all kinds of things, almost anything the way it seems to us. But they cannot genuinely eat whatever is in front of them. Nature has made many things toxic or harmful, even to the seemingly iron constitutions of our goats.
The following are common fruits that goats should never eat…
|✗ Holly Berries
|✗ Yew Berries
|✗ Pokeweed Berries
Many types of holly contain toxic substances that can cause gastrointestinal upset, central nervous system depression, and death in goats.
The American Holly (Ilex opaca) is especially dangerous to goats. Of all parts of the plant, it is those beautiful and alluring berries that contain the most toxin. All hollies and holly berries should be considered potentially deadly to goats.
The yew, in tree or shrub form, is profoundly deadly with poison. All parts of the yew plant are poisonous to goats, but those olive-like berries are the most toxic part by far.
Every part of the yew plant contains a toxin called taxine, an alkaloid that is a powerful heart-inhibiting agent. In small doses, taxine can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but larger doses can lead to cardiac arrest and death.
Even a single berry can kill a goat. If you have yews on your property, make sure they are fenced off and goats cannot get to them.
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is a large, herbaceous plant that grows in pastures and open woods. All parts of the pokeweed are poisonous to goats, but the berries are especially dangerous.
They contain phytolaccotoxin and other toxic alkaloids that can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.
Avocadoes are delicious, but only for humans; for most other animals, including goats, they are dangerously toxic. The skin, pit, and leaves of avocados contain a toxic substance called persin.
Persin is lethal to goats in large enough doses, causing gastrointestinal upset, respiratory distress, and death. Ostensibly the flesh of ripe fruit does not contain persin or only trace amounts, but the risks to your goats are just too great. Avoid at all costs!
Goats Can Eat All Sorts of Fruit Safely
While there are some fruits that goats should not eat, they can safely consume most other types of fruit that you and I enjoy every day.
Fruit can serve as wonderful supplements or treats for your goats and that means you have a variety of options when it comes to feeding them.
Be sure to monitor your goats’ reactions to new fruits, and as always be mindful of their total sugar intake to prevent problems.
Also be sure to save these two fruits lists as a PDF from here and print them out. This will make it easier for you to quickly see which fruits are good and which are bad for your goats without having to come back and search for the article.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.
Find out more about the team here.