Complete food list: What do goats eat and what not?

John Boyd

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goats favorite food

If you want to raise a goat, you must get concerned about its feeding at first! Goats have a complex digestive system compared to most other animals. And the complicated digestion makes the goat picky about the food.

So, you cannot feed any random food just to fill its stomach. Learn about the foods which give the goat proper nutrients and proteins. Also, think about the health issues and digestive system before providing them any food.

Verily, feeding the sugary and unusual foods might make the goat sick. The wrong food habit might even cause scours, bloat, and acidosis. So, what do goats eat?

Before making the goat your pet, you must know about the goat’s food habit specifically. Let’s disclose what do goats like to eat?

Stay in harmony with my article to know the complete goat food list.

What do goats eat?

what do goats eat

Goats like to eat small food frequently in a day instead of large foods. That’s because the hard particles of large foods upset their stomach.

Whether it is a baby or adult goat, the green grass is the favorite item to all. Regardless, there is a lot of food in nature that the grown-up goats must have. Curious about what goats can eat and what not? Let’s see!

Goat Eats Good Quality Hay

best hay for goats

Hay is the regular food on which the goat mainly lives. An adult goat likes to have a food minimum of 6 to 7 times a day. It is enriched with nutrition which is crucial for your goat’s health. Besides, their rumen can digest the hay better than the hard foods.

Like alfalfa pellets for goats, the good quality hay fulfills 90 to 100% of its diet. I feed alfalfa hay to my goats which are their favorite. Some modern farmers also prefer timothy hay for goats.

Regardless of these, you can feed the orchard grass, Bermuda, and different sorts of hay to your goat. But make sure you get the best hay for goats if you want to maintain its good health.

Goats Eat Chaffhaye

chaffhaye for goats

The hay lacks some useful vitamins and minerals. The Chaffhaye hits the point for fulfilling those necessary vitamins and minerals to the goat.

The combination of the chopped premature grass and molasses makes Chaffhaye. It is another favorite food of the goat. While making the Chaffhaye, you can also use the premature alfalfa instead of the grass.

Feeding the Chaffhaye to the goat increases the bacteria in its stomach. It consequently makes the consumed food easy to digest.

Goat eats Grains

grains for goats

Grains can fulfill 12-16% of the daily food requirements of a goat. Whereas the mature goats need 30%-40% of the grain in their daily food chart. That’s because the grains are filled with lots of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbons.

But, the grains are hard to digest for the baby goat. Even the pregnant goats also face difficulty in digesting the food. So, you must get the best grain for goats when keeping it in the adult’s food chart.

Goat Eats Kitchen and Garden Scraps

how much to feed goats

Some goats habituate eating the kitchen and garden scraps. So, these are called goat snacks. You can feed your garden compost to the goat if he likes it. Homemade goat treats, like bread, corn chips, raisins are also okay to feed the goat.

Goat Eats Pasture

Goat Eats Pasture

To get a well-functioning rumen, browse your goat herd to the pasture every day. Release them to an opened pasture which is filled with ardy shrubs, scrubby woods, green grass and weeds.

The goats will eat the hardy shrubs, scrubby woods when you’re pasturing them. So, the digestive system of this pet gradually improves without much effort.

What to feed your goats in winter?

Winter makes everything like grass, trees, weeds etcetera, dry and hard. It makes lots of food unavailable which is in the daily food chart of goats. Wherein, the pet needs additional care in winter, especially about its food. 

Perhaps that’s why the goat doesn’t like the winter and rainy seasons that much. Here are the guidelines for feeding and taking care of goats in winter.

  • Provide sufficient water for your goat to drink. Confirm that the water isn’t freezing. If the water is cold, then serve it to your pet after warming up.
  • Store an adequate amount of hay when it is summer. The goats mostly live on the hay; if you store the food, the goats can enjoy it even in winter.
  • If your goat likes grass and trees instead of hay, you must look for alternatives. As the green grasses aren’t available during the winter, the pet has to depend on supplements.

Feed the necessary supplements like proteins to your goat if they don’t eat the grains or hays.

What do the baby goats eat?

feeding baby goats

The infant goat needs special treatment and care. A balanced diet is the main course of an infant goat’s special treatment. An infant goat must eat the milk of its mother until it becomes 6 to 8 weeks.

You might have to do bottle feeding to the baby goat if its mother is sick or unwilling to feed. Get the best feed for goats when you’re feeding through the bottle to the infant. Increase the amount of milk in ounces each day after the second week.

Besides the milk, try to feed some grains or soft grasses to improve its rumen. When the infant reaches one month, decrease the amount of milk gradually. Instead, start by offering hay which is the main diet of the goats.

Goats favorite food

Grains are the most favorite food of the goat among lots of options. It includes many calories that come from the combination of corn, barley, oats, and soybeans.

So feeding an excess amount of grains may increase obesity and make the goat fat. They also love to eat corn, barley, oats, soybeans separately.

Another most favorite foods of the goat are hay or pasture. In the whole lifetime, a goat mostly depends on the hay and pasture. But a goat never should rely on only pasture. Depending on just pasture may upset the goat’s rumen.

Regardless, the goats are also very fond of Soybean, Carrots, Pumpkin Seeds, Tree bark, etcetera. But they cannot live on only these! 

What Nutrients Food Do Goats Need?

A healthy diet is crucial to maintain proper body growth, milk growth, reproduction of the goats. Malnutrition may cause your goat’s sickness, genetic problems, influence energy consumption, and quality of milk.

To maintain good health, a goat needs calcium, minerals, phosphorus, and salt in the proper amount. Conversely, this pet also needs multiple sorts of vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E.

These vitamins are necessary for getting a well-functioning immune system, preventing the different types of disease, etcetera.

What must I avoid to feed?

Sometimes we willingly or unwillingly give the goat many things which shouldn’t give him. As the goats are just animals, they cannot separate them from their regular foods; for example, the mixed-up Cigarette with the normal food.

Sometimes we also try to feed the goats some of our favorite foods. The goat doesn’t need to like the same thing that we like. The common foods that your dog or goat shouldn’t eat are:

  • Chocolate,
  • Avocado,
  • Wild cherries,
  • Milkweed,
  • Azaleas,
  • Lilacs,
  • Dairy and meat products,
  • Crotalaria,
  • Dog food,
  • Cat food,
  • Non-food ingredients,
  • Poisonous plants,
  • Plants with oxalates (Such as Kale),
  • Holy trees or bushes,
  • Rhubarb leaves,
  • Lily of the valley,
  • Any night shed vegetables,
  • Peach and palm leaves.

Food Supplement for Goats

Goats need supplements for digesting the consumed foods and boosting health. But feeding too many supplements might be injurious for its health. So, don’t overdo the feeding!

I give food supplements to my goat, who cannot eat adequate food because of sickness and all. Sometimes they also need supplements for improving their digestive system. Here are the food supplements I often give to my goats for different causes.

Loose Minerals

The loose minerals provide almost all the necessary vitamins and nutrients to the goat. Also, it reduces the digestive upset from the rumen of the pet.

Baking Soda

Recently I fed the baking soda to my goat, which was my first time. I noticed it is not only improving the goat’s digestion but also has reduced its bloating. So, I have decided to feed my goat the baking soda most frequently.

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Black oil of the sunflower seeds is essential for growing healthy and shiny skin. Regardless, it’s included Vitamin E develops the muscles and facilitates the production of the goats.

However, the sunflower seeds also comprise iron, zinc, selenium, etcetera. These are very helpful for the goat’s external health.

Apple Cider Vinegar solution

The apple cider vinegar mixture with the mineral makes a great solution. The solution helps the goat fight against the common problems and sickness.

It is highly essential to build a healthier immune system for goats, particularly pregnant ones.

Regardless of all these, some other essential supplements for the goats are:

  • Kelp Meal,
  • Beet Pulp,
  • Probios,
  • Vitamin E,
  • Nutri-Drench,
  • Copper,
  • Vitamin B complex/Thiamine,
  • Iron supplements and so on.


01. Can goats eat carrots?

Whether it is raw, boiled, or juiced, the goats can enjoy carrots. That’s because carrots are one of their favorite foods.

02. Can goats eat apples?

Apples are filled with multiple proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, etcetera. Regardless of human health, they also builds-up the good health of the goat. So, if you have leftover apples from your kitchen, you should feed them to the goat.

Here I need to mention that apples are one of their favorite foods due to their sweetness.

03. Can goats eat lettuce?

The goat loves to eat all types of green vegetables, grasses, trees. Lettuce is a type of green vegetables. So, nearly all types of goats enjoy the Lettuce leaves.

But you should never add this vegetable to the goat’s regular food chart. Feeding too much lettuce isn’t good for the goats.

04. Can goats eat strawberries?

Yes, the goats can eat the strawberries; in fact, they love strawberries. It is a healthy fruit with extreme sweetness. But strawberries aren’t affordable for everyone. So, you mightn’t feed it to your goat regularly.

So, you cannot keep it in the diet of your goat. Nevertheless, you can feed the leftover strawberries to your goat and ensure the fruit is sliced to avoid choking.

05. Can goats eat grapes?

The grape is a healthy and favorite snack for the goat. So, they eat the seeds, flash, and vines of the grapes. You can give a completely different taste to the hay by mixing this fruit.

06. Can goats eat broccoli?

Broccoli is another healthy vegetable. You can feed a moderate amount of broccoli to the goats often to bring variations in taste.

07. Can goats eat watermelon?

The watermelon fulfills the necessity of both water and food. Therefore, feed the watermelon sometimes to your goat. Indeed, the goat can eat all the watermelon parts like flesh, seeds, rinds, vines.

08. Do goats eat bamboo?

When there’s lack of grass or green foods, bamboo can be an amazing diet for the goats. The bamboo has a good potential value to improve the immune system of the goat.

So, in many southern countries, the bamboos are a regular diet of goats, cows, and sheep.

09. What vegetables can goats eat?

The goats eat nearly all the green veggies and fruits, for instance, lettuce, pumpkin, watermelon, spinach, etcetera. Regardless, they can also eat other types of fruits and veggies, such as carrots, bananas, grapes, squash, etc.

Whatever you feed to the goats among those items, make sure they’re not so hard but appropriately sliced.

10. What do pygmy goats eat?

Unlike others, the pygmy goats aren’t very picky about the food. They can live on grasses, weeds, different types of corn. Pasturing also fills the goat’s stomach with natural foods, which doesn’t cost at all.

11. What do mountain goats eat?

The mountain goats are grown-up and live on the hills. They had to eat different types of food, which are easily found on the mountain. Some of those foods are grasses, ferns, coniferous trees, different sorts of herbs, shrubs, etcetera.

12. How much hay does a goat eat?

The hay is considered the main food of the goats. A healthy and adult goat can eat 1 to 2 kg of hay or roughage in a day. Conversely, the milk-giving goats need up to 3.5 kg of hay every day.


In conclusion, a goat takes lots of natural things as food around us. Nevertheless, It doesn’t specify, the pet just eats whatever it finds! Frankly speaking, nearly all the goats are picky about their food. Although a healthy goat eats 2 to 4-pound food daily, feeding anything might upset his tummy.

Indeed, a healthy diet is important to make both the goat’s mood and tummy. But what do goats eat? Primarily, the goat loves to eat green vegetables, grasses, trees, etcetera.

Regardless, most of the goats depend on hay, which fulfills both their tummy and mind.

More Related Topic:

01. How Much Does A Goat Cost?

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