Goats are mischievous little minions who love eating treats, but this doesn’t mean that you should start testing every human food on them. Finding the best treats for goats can be a difficult task because you’ll have to weigh the nutritional benefits and the cost of those treats. There are various food choices when it comes to giving treats for goats, and Watermelon is a wise choice to feed your goats while they are bleating and dancing around.
Can goats eat Watermelon and its rinds?
Goats love eating Watermelon, and there is a bright chance that they will ask for more once they have developed a taste for it. Goats are the hungriest creatures on earth, and they will chew down its flesh, rinds, seeds, and even vines. Watermelon is a tasty fruit, and as it is safe for human consumption, Foothills Large Animal Hospital has also marked it safe to give your goats. But is it healthy enough to feed your goats? Well, let’s dive into the details.
Is Watermelon healthy enough for your goats to eat?
As mentioned above, Watermelon is safe for your goats. Likewise, it has its health benefits. Watermelons are tastier than other fruits, and above all, it contains 90% water. This makes it more special to feed your goats during hot weather and summers. To make sure that your goats are drinking enough water and their vitals are normal, consider feeding them watermelons, and they’ll stay hydrated for a longer period.
When it comes to nutrition, Watermelon is enriched with vitamins, potassium, and fibers. Here is a detailed chart of the nutritional benefits of Watermelon for goats.
|Nutrients||1 Cup Watermelon Contains|
|Calcium (milligrams [mg])||10.8|
|Carbohydrate (g)||11.6, including 9.6 g of sugar|
|Folate (mcg, DFE)||4.6|
|Vitamin A, RAE (mcg)||43.1|
|Vitamin C (mg)||12.5|
Keep in mind that everything has a limit. Just like humans, goats are prone to getting sick from overeating watermelons. According to a local goat farmer Jimmy, who is a friend of my uncle and has a large herd, “Watermelon is an awesome treat to give your goats, but this can’t, at any cost should replace their daily diet.” Though goats love feasting on watermelons, they should be given something other than the standard watermelons too. Give them their forage and hey, and use watermelons as treats only.
As said above, watermelons are a treat for goats, so they should only be given to goats once they have had their original meal. Think of it as like a dessert to give them after your goats have eaten their meals. Just ensure that the watermelons aren’t cold enough for them to eat.
Can goats eat Watermelon rind?
Goats will try to chew everything that they can find, and watermelons rinds are the tastiest choice available when the sweet part is consumed, and there are just rinds left. Goats prefer eating the flesh, but they can gulp down watermelon rinds too. According to Jimmy, most of the goats in his herd tend to skip the outer part, i.e., watermelon rind, but they absolutely love eating the lower parts when they aren’t hungry enough.
The outer rind of the Watermelon contains just as much nutrition as the inner red part, which makes it a wise choice to give your goats. This means that you yourself can eat the insiders while leaving the uneaten parts to be fed to your goats later on. Just keep in mind that the rinds should be chopped down before giving them to goats, as most watermelons contain a thick rind. It will make the rind easier for the goat to eat, and they will not choke on it.
Step By Step Guide on How to give Watermelon to your goats
While it might be easier for you to throw the watermelon pieces at them, but it might not be a great idea if you want to keep your barn clean. On top of that, who knows if the little ones might choke on the huge pieces of Watermelon and its rind? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to give Watermelon to your goats.
· Wash the Watermelon carefully.
Washing the Watermelon before feeding it to your goats is necessary as who knows what kinds of pesticides and toxins its outer layer might have. Washing it carefully will help you in removing the outside toxins and pesticides and will keep the Watermelon safe for your goats to eat.
· Think again while giving them seeds
Although watermelon seeds are harmless for goats and will only provide them nutrition and vitamins, this doesn’t mean that you should dump a bucket full of seeds in front of them. You should limit the number of seeds that you are feeding them. If you are feeding your goat the leftovers from your own feast, then you shouldn’t add seeds to their treat. You can use the watermelon seeds to feed your chicken. Feeding a nicely chopped whole watermelon along with its seeds is a great idea to feed your goats, but if your goats are small, consider carving out the portions of Watermelon that are rich in seeds.
· Keep a check on them while feeding them.
While feeding your goats watermelon pieces, you must keep a check on them. Ensure that the Watermelon is fresh and your goats are eating without any worries. If the Watermelon isn’t fresh, then you shouldn’t consider feeding them a stale treat, as it will make things worse for you.
Can goats have watermelon vines?
Watermelons are the only fruit that is safe for your goats to eat along with its other parts. Although watermelon vines are tasty enough for your goats to eat, these shouldn’t replace their daily diet and should only be given to them in moderation. Vines themselves aren’t harmful to them, but if unclean and unwashed, they could pose a major health risk for your goats. That is why you should wash and clean them thoroughly to get rid of the pesticides and related chemicals that have been used on the watermelon vines before feeding them to your goats. Consider feeding your goats’ watermelon vines that are homegrown, and avoid using spray-on those plants.
Always ensure that the food you are giving your goats isn’t toxic for them. Goats and humans are two different creatures. What’s beneficial for humans doesn’t mean that it will work for goats too. Though there hasn’t been an allergy reaction in goats because of eating watermelons in my herd, you should ensure constant monitoring while feeding anything to your goats to assess their overall behavior and quickly take remedial measures just in case something is out of the ordinary happens.
Can goats eat Watermelon flavored foods?
Processed foods are never a good idea to feed your pets and farm animals. The digestive system of goats isn’t designed to process man-made foods. Although there are certain exceptions, feeding your goats processed flavored foods, no matter the flavor, isn’t a wise choice. Foothills Large Animal Hospital recommends that flavored foods should always be avoided and shouldn’t be given to goats.
DIY Watermelon treat Ideas for your goats
Here are some DIY Watermelon treat ideas for your goats that are recommended by Jimmy.
· Watermelon soup
Watermelon soup is something that will keep your goats content and hydrated all the time. For making this treat, you need to chop up the watermelons into tiny chunks and feed them to your goats. Ensure to use a food feeder to feed your goat’s watermelon soup. It is called watermelon soup because the goats will turn it into a soupy mess while eating it. Don’t worry about the mess; I know that you are a good cleaner.
· Watermelon Ice Cubes
Freeze the watermelon chunks during hot sunny days of summer in the refrigerator for your goats. Although watermelon chunks will thaw quickly once they are out of the refrigerator, but will prove to be a cold treat for your goats. Just keep in mind that if your goats are sneezing or are feeling under the weather, then this might not be the best idea for you. That is why Jimmy recommends feeding small chunks of Watermelon that aren’t frozen or cooled.
· Mix watermelon with other treats
Well, if you are thinking about being creative with the treats for goats, then here is your chance. Create a mix of flaky barn or oats of some kind and mix carrots and Watermelon while adding zucchini and any other goat-safe ingredient to provide your goat a better experience. Keep all the ingredients in a moderate amount, as this will serve as a treat and isn’t meant to replace the whole diet.
Things to remember while feeding Watermelon to goats
Although Watermelon is a goat-safe treat, there are numerous things to consider while feeding your goat’s watermelons.
· Use Watermelon in moderate amounts.
It would be best if you always gave your goats Watermelon in moderate amounts. This is especially true when these juicy watermelons are super-sweet. The chances are that your goats might switch from eating their true diet to eating watermelons, and the chances are that they will avoid eating their normal food. You might be familiar with the term “excess of everything is bad.”
· Use only fresh watermelons.
If you aren’t going to eat watermelons, you shouldn’t feed those to your goats. Watermelons are best if they are served to your goats fresh. On the off chance, if the watermelons are in excess, you should consider freezing those rather than giving all of the excess watermelons to your goats. Keep the watermelons in a secure place, and ensure that they are kept fresh.
· Wash the rind
It is always recommended that you must wash the rind because farmers try to protect their crops from pests with the help of pesticides. Even if Watermelon is homegrown, clean it and then feed it to your goats. Washing the rind is quick, and this will ensure that there is no harm being done to your goats.
Goats love eating, and they will eat anything that they will get their hands on; that is why it is recommended that you must check and ensure that the food is safe for them to eat. You need to check with your vet in case of any issues. Always consult with your vet before trying anything new with your goats. Goats are prone to allergies, and that is why you must ensure that the food you are giving them will not give them any reaction. Watermelons will keep your goats healthy, and that is why we personally recommend you to give them juicy food as a treat after they are done with their meals.