The Diet of a Goat

What do Goats Eat?

The general assumption is that goats consume anything they encounter including tin cans and cardboard boxes. As goats are browsing animals, they never actually eat inedible material like cattle and sheep (crazing animals). Goats are found to have a curious nature, which makes them taste everything that resembles the plant like material to them such cardboard, clothing and paper. Do goats eat everything? This is how they have achieved their stereotype of being an animal that will eat anything. They do so in order to taste and decide whether it is good or bad. This curiosity develops when the goats comes in contact of an unusual smell coming from tin cans and cardboard boxes.

A domestic goat is usually fed cape weed. A cape weed is a weed which is toxic to most animals but not to goats or sheep. Goats are found to be particular in what they consume thereby making them likely to sample a number of things. This is done by biting the tips of woody shrubs and trees. As a result, the goat’s diet is extremely varied and does include some species toxic to humans and other animals.

Goats will only consume soiled food or contaminated water at the time of starvation. Because of this reason, goat rearing is most often free ranging as compared to stall-fed goat-rearing. This type of rearing involves extensive upkeep and is not commercially viable.

Like deer, goats also prefer to look for vines such as kudzu, shrubbery and weeds thereby consuming grass. Nightshade, wilted fruit tree leaves are poisonous to goats. They can consume fermented corn stalks and hay immediately after opening as it might contain Listeria bacteria, which are not suitable for goats. A high-protein plant, Alfalfa is widely fed as hay instead of fescue, which is not palatable and least nutritious hay. A goat can get sick or die on consuming mold in their feed.

A young kid has a similar digestive physiology as compared to that of a mongastric animal. The digestion of milk takes place in abomasums after the milk bypasses the rumen through closure of the reticuloesophageal groove. The rumen of the kid is underdeveloped at the time of birth. It starts developing when the kid starts consuming solid food resulting in an increase in size and capacity. Depending on the genetic and nutritional potential, the size of a goats vary. The size of goat can be eventually increase by consuming more of protein diet along with sufficient calories during the pre puberty period.

It has been seen that goats with large skeletal size and frame have ability to reach a mature weight at 36 to 42 months of age, whereas a small framed goat can reach mature weight at the age of 18 to 24 months. However, large frame goats requires extra amount of calories to perform daily routine functions.


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