Being herbivorous animals with great digestive systems, goats enjoy a variety of plants and vegetables. And yes, goats can eat cabbage. Cabbage has many essential nutrients in it, which is beneficial for goats if they consume it. And if you try giving them cabbages for a change, you can see them happily enjoying the leafy vegetable. You can try serving cabbage as treats and as supplementary food to bring about small changes in their dietary plans.
Is Cabbage Good for Goats?
Cabbage contains 92% water, making it one of the best summertime snacks for goats. It also has several other nutrients and minerals like carbohydrates, protein, calcium, vitamins K, C, B6, folate, and other trace elements. All these nutrients and minerals are good for goats and help them replenish their energies and stay refreshed.
Cabbage has more protein content than corn silage which makes it an excellent replacement food. This crude protein also has a significant role in promoting growth and reproduction, making it a good choice for dairy goats. The vitamins found in cabbage strengthen their immunity and prevent them from contracting diseases, while calcium promotes bone health and maintains their tissues. Other trace elements are found in minimal quantities to help the goats with processes like enzyme formation, blood synthesis, reproduction, etc.
How to Feed Cabbage to Goats?
While preparing cabbage for goats, make sure that the cabbage is free from chemical pesticides and other pests. It would be best if you could provide them with home-grown cabbages. Store-bought cabbages must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any chemicals, pests, or worms before feeding them to your goats. After cleaning it, you can shred the cabbages and serve it to your goats.
Shredding the cabbages and serving the goats is the usual way of feeding goats cabbage. You could also make coleslaw with cabbages for a change instead of the traditional way. It can also be served with hay for a change of texture and can also be added to smoothies by juicing cabbages. All these different ways help the goats in attaining greater immunity and growth.
Can Cabbage be Fed Daily?
Though cabbage is a good source of nutrition, it cannot be added to the list of food that goats can consume daily. Cabbage should not take up more than 10% of a goat’s dietary plan and should not be considered a daily food. Hence, it also cannot replace the goat’s daily food intake; it can only be a supplementary food. Cabbage can be fed as a complementary food to hay by adding a few shreds of cabbage to make it a balanced diet. It can be served as coleslaw two times a week to limit the intake.
Goats could suffer from bloating if they eat cabbage more than the limit. This drastically affects their food intake and weakens their immune system, making them susceptible to diseases and weakness. It can also cause problems with digestion if taken in large quantities, as cabbages take longer to be digested by them compared to their daily feed, like hay. So, feed cabbages in moderation to keep the goats’ healthy and immune.
Can Young Goats Eat Cabbage?
If the goats are more than 30 days old, cabbage is safe for them to consume. Any goats below 30 days should only be allowed to drink their mother’s milk. And while serving young goats cabbage, remember to serve them in moderation so that it does not go beyond 10% of their overall dietary plan. Exceeding the limits can cause problems with their immunity and digestion. If you are feeding cabbage to your goats for the first time, take caution to introduce it slowly into their diet and observe their reaction to consuming the vegetable. Make sure to monitor their digestive health as well to be on the safe side.
Other Treats for Your Goats
Goats enjoy eating and even have a bad reputation for eating everything they find. But this is not exactly true, as there are things that goats do not like and should not consume. Even then, they are always ready for treats and juicy fruits and vegetables. Fruits like apples, bananas, pears, peaches, and watermelons are quite loved by goats. These fruits can provide refreshment to goats, especially during summer. Carrots, lettuce, pumpkins, zucchini, and spinach are some of the juicy vegetables that goats enjoy. While serving these, take proper care to wash and get rid of any chemicals and worms that might be on the fruits and vegetables. It will also be good to chop them and serve them in moderation. Raisins, bread, and corn chips can also be given to them as occasional treats if your goats are following a balanced diet.
Treats to Avoid Feeding Your Goats
Chocolate, lilacs, beet, cranberries, wild cherries, etc., should not be given to your goats. These food items contain the compound oxalate, which causes kidney stones in goats and is a painful condition for them. Cat and dog food should also be kept far away from them as goats should not eat those. And since they are ruminants, any kind of meat should not be fed to them since their digestive system cannot process meat.
Goats are smart mammals that love juicy and crunchy treats. Cabbage being one of them, added to it the nutritional benefits it has to offer, is a good supplementary food to serve to your goats. Even then, keep in mind not to feed them cabbages in excess, as it can cause issues with their digestion and immunity, making them fall sick. And if you have a pet goat at home, go on and feed them a few shreds of cabbage every two or three days and keep them happy.