The humble cabbage is a versatile and nutritious vegetable that we’ve grown to love as a side dish, salad ingredient, or even as the star of our favorite coleslaw. But what does it mean for your goat? The answer might surprise you.
Recent research has shown that goats are able to consume cabbage without it having an adverse effect on their well-being.
Cabbage is very nutritious and is also rich in Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and a handful of more nutrients that are beneficial to goats. All in all, goats actually like a lot of leafy vegetables, and cabbages aren’t different.
Goats will enjoy eating these vegetables but if they indulge too much then it can cause some adverse effects on the quality of your milk production, which is why you should limit their intake.
You should also be aware that this means goats shouldn’t be fed cabbages as their staple diet.
This should also apply to all the other leafy vegetables that you have decided to give your goats. Instead, they should eat them as occasional treats. In an ideal diet, it should constitute just below 10% of the entire diet.
Since the digestive system of goats is incredibly superior to most mammals’, they are able to consume a wide variety of food.
One major misconception among people is that they believe pasture is enough to provide goats with all the nutrients they need. However, research has indicated that goats can consume cabbage and other supplementary foods in order to gain the nutrients that are lacking in their regular diet.
Cabbages are rich in minerals and nutrients that include Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, protein, carbohydrates, and trace elements. A lot of these are essential for daily sustenance.
Cabbages have a higher protein value than corn silage, meaning you can replace it with cabbages. However, you should never feed it to your goats for long stretches of time.
This would have a negative effect on the quality of their milk.
Goats often experience bloating when cabbage is given to them in excess amounts. Cabbages should never be used as the regular diet of your goats due to the fact that it doesn’t have some nutrients.
When compared to regular goat feed like hay, cabbages are not as easy to digest.
You should also not feed your goats stale cabbage because it might lead to some health problems.
As for the matured goats, they still have to be given nutrients sufficient enough to conduct their regular bodily functions. Therefore, adult and young goats can consume cabbage as a way of supplementing their regular dietary intake.
As protein supplementary feeding for hay, cabbages are ideal. They can also be used to replace corn due to them having higher nutrients than corn silage.
So to ensure that the teeth and bone formation of goats go as planned, farmers have to ensure that the diet they give to their goats is rich in protein. Cabbage supplements can also be eaten by goats so they can obtain enough energy to grow.
The trace elements that are contained in cabbages are essential for goats to achieve their complete potential in the larger scheme of things.
Over time, the effects of this trace element deficiency may start to show and hinder the production and development of the said animal.
One important thing worth remembering is that a baby goat should never be fed cabbage. This is because their digestive systems are too weak to handle these types of foods
If young goats are given cabbage at this early stage, it may cause some serious problems for them.
You can gradually incorporate cabbage into the diets of your young goats preventing digestive problems along the way. Due to cabbages being low on dry matter, it is advisable that they’re paired with staple foods.
Feeding goats cabbage as a regular diet?
You should never make cabbage a staple diet of your goats. Hay is the best staple food for your goats. You can give them grains on an irregular basis which will serve as a supplement.
However, you should never feed your goats cabbage as a replacement for their hay or grain
You should also not use cabbage as the only source of food for your goats over extended periods of time. This is because cabbages are high in water content and low in dry matter.
The reason hay is most ideal is that it has enough fiber that is absolutely vital for the fermentation process that occurs in the stomach chambers. In addition to this, hay is a great source of important nutrients.
Even though they are packed with nutrients, fresh vegetables like cabbage – unlike hay – are harder to digest for goats.
Giving them too much might lead to problems and might even result in bloating. This is because a goat’s stomach cannot handle vegetables and fresh fruits as staple diets.
What other fruits or vegetables can I give my goats?
Goats relish fresh fruits and even vegetables. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as they tend to prefer eating fresh and delicious foods. We will now mention a handful of vegetables and fruits that are okay to give your goats once in a while.
Due to goats being ruminants, a lot of worms and bacteria will certainly be in their guts. That’s why it is absolutely important that you deworm them occasionally.
When they’re not domesticated, goats can find ways to eat plants that will help to deworm them, but this cannot happen when they’re domesticated.
As well as being nutrient supplements and tasty snacks, melons, zucchini, squash, and pumpkins are also ideal natural deformers. You can mix these up along with their regular diet and your goats will continue to gain the vital nutrients.
As protein supplements, you can decide to occasionally give your baby goats peas and beans once they have been weaned.
These will help to improve strengthening and muscle growth. Just ensure that you don’t give them too much of any of these foods.
Goats do not have a problem with digesting fresh vegetables and fruits as long as they’re part of their balanced diet.
Just ensure that you never give them cabbage as their only food source.
Also, hay is vital for ensuring that your goats have sufficient fiber in their stomach chambers so they can ferment the food properly.
This will lead to healthy digestion and prevent bloating and digestive problems
Lastly, make sure that the vegetables and fruits you give your goats are packed with nutrients as well as have a low water content.