For anyone who has goats, it won’t come as a surprise when we say they enjoy treats. Treats are an effective way of keeping goats busy while conducting health checks or moving them to a new paddock.
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and are a popular fruit to feed goats, but they should be given in moderation.
Unlike most fruits, bananas also contain an enzyme called protease that can cause gas and diarrhea if fed too often. Other foods with protease include avocado, beans, cabbage, kale, and potatoes.
If you want your goat to eat bananas on occasion without any digestive issues then give them one banana for every 10 pounds of body weight once per week or less often as needed.
Can goats consume bananas?
When eaten as treats and in moderation, it is alright for your goats to consume bananas. They can serve as a healthy treat option and can also be used as a reward for your goats without them having to gain weight.
When feeding your goats bananas, it is pertinent to monitor them and heed a handful of tips to ensure that they stay happy and safe.
Goats can be picky eaters when they want to be and this doesn’t exclude bananas. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not healthy for goats or that your goats can’t consume them.
What a goat eats is a matter of choice. If they don’t like the taste of bananas, they won’t eat them. However, if you want to give your goats this fruit as a treat or as part of their meal, it’s alright as long as you keep the following in mind:
- The size and weight of your goats will determine how much banana they can eat in a given day.
- How often your goats consume bananas will depend on the size and weight of your animals, as well as individual preferences.
- Bananas should not be used as an alternative to hay or feed. Some pet owners use them when their goat’s diet is short on fiber or roughage and/
Are bananas healthy for goats?
As far as the bananas are consumed in moderate amounts, then there will be no need to worry.
As with almost everything, moderation is key here. Even with this, bananas still have a lot of health benefits.
They provide important nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B, and fiber to your goats. In case you want your goats to consume healthy fruits, bananas are a great choice for them. However, make sure that you give it to them in small quantities.
If you’re looking for a simple, tasty treat that your goats will love, then this is a perfect choice.
Bananas can be offered to your goats either raw or cooked – it all depends on what you prefer and what your goats like more.
Are goats able to eat banana peels?
Technically, goats are able to feed on banana peels. However, a lot of them don’t like to – maybe due to the fact that it isn’t the choicest part of the fruit.
If you decide to give banana peels to your goats, make sure you chop them to make chewing easier. This might make the banana peels look more appealing.
You should not cut them too small, though, so that your goats don’t end up choking.
It’s important to remember that bananas are also high in sugar content which can lead to diarrhea or stomach cramps if fed too often.
If there is a lot of potassium in the diet then it might cause an imbalance with sodium which could result in heart problems such as hyperkalemia (too much potassium).
Bananas also contain oxalic
Are banana leaves edible for goats?
It is a known fact that goats like to eat banana leaves – often preferring to eat rough forage and leaves instead of simple grass.
Once they can reach the banana leaves, there’s every likelihood that they will eat them.
It’s not advisable to have these leaves lying around when there are no fences present since goats are curious animals that will try their best to reach it if they like the look.
If you do not want your goats to eat the banana leaves, try fencing off the tree. You can also decide to move the goats to another location.
This is because if they love eating the leaves, they will not stop until they are content.
How many bananas should your goats eat?
No matter the kind of treat, it is important that they’re moderately served to your goats. This also includes bananas – even though it contains a lot of nutrients.
What this means is that you have to reduce the number of treats you give to your goats on a daily basis so as not to disrupt their regular diet.
The most important thing is ensuring that you give them an appropriate amount for their size. The most advisable amount of bananas you should give your goats is one each day per goat.
You can decide to split it into two servings, but it’s still advisable that you give them a much smaller amount.
It’s also important to make sure that your goats do not eat any other food before they have been fed their share of banana – this includes hay and pellets.
If you will be feeding bananas as a treat or as a supplement to your goat’s diet, then a one-inch slice should be enough for each of them.
Can goats eat unripe bananas?
Green or unripe bananas are actually not dangerous to goats. However, they are a bit harder to chew than ripe bananas. If you want to offer green bananas to your goats, then you have to slice them into 1-inch slices.
To prevent the goats from choking on the unripe bananas, ensure that you cut them.
After a while, they will be acquainted with unripe bananas and how to eat them. By then, you won’t have to keep cutting it for them.
Unripe bananas also taste a lot like ripe ones and most goats will not even notice if it is slightly sour.
If you do happen to have green bananas, consider them as a good source of roughage. This means that they should be fed in addition to hay so your goat’s diet remains nutritionally complete.
Risks of feeding bananas without moderation
Earlier on, we mentioned how healthy bananas are for goats.
Does this then mean that they can eat bananas as their regular meal? The answer is no. Regardless of how healthy bananas are, they should only be offered to livestock as treats.
If you decide to feed bananas to your goats too often, it might lead to them suffering health issues. Due to goats being ruminants, they digest their food with the help of fermentation.
This process can be accelerated by excess sugar that can result in bloating. This can be painful and quite uncomfortable for the goat.
Another disadvantage is that too much sugar can lead to gastrointestinal issues like loose stool and diarrhea.
Moderation is key
Close to 90% of the daily diet of a goat should constitute pasture and 5% from grains. What this means is that fruits such as bananas can then make up the 5% remainder.
So that your goats can remain healthy, you ought to give them different fruits to keep their diet varied.
As mentioned earlier, a whole banana is enough for one goat.
How to feed your goats bananas
First of all, peel the bananas to make things easier for your goats. After this, chop the bananas into little pieces that are easy to chew – not too little though.
If you don’t plan to hand feed them the bananas, ensure that you put them in a feeding pan or trough to prevent debris and dirt from coming in contact with the bananas. If you have a feeding trough, then it is ideal to let your goats in one at a time. This way they will not fight over the delicacy and no one goat will be able to eat more than their share.
You also need to make sure that any apples or other kinds of fruits are removed from the area before you feed your goats their share of bananas. The reason for this is that the apples and other fruits can be potentially dangerous to your goats if they eat them together with the bananas, especially if you’re feeding them unripe bananas.
Bananas should not be fed to lactating dairy goats as they might cause diarrhea.
Things to consider when feeding goats bananas
Even though feeding goats bananas is not a complicated process, these are some things that you have to keep in mind when doing it.
- Where possible, buy organic bananas instead of the commercially grown ones. This is because the organic ones are likely to have been grown in safer environments.
- In the event that you can’t buy organic bananas, make sure you don’t give your goats the peels of bananas that have been grown commercially. This is because these bananas could contain dangerous chemicals. Even though most of them will be removed after being washed, some might remain. All in all, it’s not a safe venture to embark on.
- If the bananas are very ripe, just mash them instead of chopping them into small pieces.
- You don’t have to feed bananas separately any time you decide to give your goats this treat. You can even add some slices in their hay or grains just to incorporate a little variety.
So to answer the question: can goats eat bananas? Yes, they definitely should. Bananas are healthy and nutritious snacks for your livestock.
However, make sure that you pay attention to how ripe the bananas are before feeding them to your goats. Also, ensure that you feed only one banana per goat and no other fruits will be allowed near their feeding area while they’re eating the bananas.
Bananas should not be given to pregnant goats or lactating mothers, and a whole banana is enough for a goat in a single serving.
From now on, consider feeding your livestock bananas occasionally as a treat. You’ll make them happy and you’ll feel satisfied knowing that your livestock is receiving healthy snacks that they can enjoy.