Watermelons are a tasty treat – not just for us but for some animals as well. After all, watermelons are sweet, juicy, and incredibly refreshing, and that makes them a summertime favorite.
Now that summer’s here, you may be wondering if it’s safe for your goats to eat a whole watermelon.
Can goats eat a whole watermelon? Goats can eat watermelon, including its rind, skin, seeds, leaves, and vines. Goats have no problem digesting this fruit, so it’s safe as long as it’s given in moderation. Also, watermelons are a rich source of vitamins and nutrients, and that makes them a healthy yet tasty treat for your goats.
But we’ve barely scratched the surface. While watermelons are perfectly safe to consume, there are several points we want you to remember before feeding them to your goats. We’ll lay out everything you need to know in the article.
Is Watermelon Healthy for Goats to Eat?
Watermelons are healthy for goats. It primarily contains vitamins C and A, which helps boost your goat’s immune system. These vitamins also play a part in a goat’s metabolic process, so other nutrients can be easily absorbed by its body.
It’s also interesting to note that watermelons get their reddish color from lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant that can help prevent certain conditions and fight certain diseases.
But most importantly, watermelons will help keep your goat hydrated. Experts reveal that on average, goats need around three gallons of water per day, especially during the summer. Fortunately, around 92% of a watermelon’s composition is water, making it a tasty source of refreshment.
Being mostly made up of water, this fruit is also fat and cholesterol-free. That keeps your goats safe from developing potential heart disease.
How to Prepare Watermelon for Goats to Eat?
Since goats are usually drawn to eating the juicy flesh, it’s best to serve them sliced into cubes for easier munching. It’s also advised to take the seeds out since goats can only eat a limited amount of watermelon seeds.
Alternatively, you can serve them in wedges. This will allow them to eat the rind and skin as well. But before serving the watermelon, make sure to thoroughly clean it with water first.
This process will eliminate any dirt, pesticide, and other harmful chemicals that were used in growing the fruit.
Can You Feed Goats Watermelon-Flavored Foods?
You cannot feed your goats with watermelon-flavored foods. Only feed them with fresh watermelon.
With today’s technology, manufacturers can easily produce food with artificial flavoring – watermelon included. This includes candies, jellies, and bread, among others.
Now, while these are marketed as safe for human consumption, the same is not the case for goats.
These watermelon-flavored treats are all artificially produced, and they may contain ingredients that can be harmful to your goat. Thus, we strongly advise against feeding these to your goat.
Watermelon Treat Ideas for Your Goats
If you think simply feeding your goat with sliced watermelon is boring, you can take it up a notch with these fun watermelon treat ideas.
Mixed With Its Regular Diet
One of the easiest treat ideas we recommend is to mix watermelon chunks with your goat’s current diet. Whether it’s hay, grass, or grains, adding a little bit of watermelon will surely be a surprising treat.
This is also a great way to introduce your goat to watermelon so it can get accustomed to the new flavor.
Frozen Watermelon Bites
When it’s incredibly hot outside, we recommend giving your goat some frozen watermelon bites. To prepare this treat, simply cut the watermelon flesh into bite-sized cubes and leave them inside the freezer overnight.
Once frozen, give them to your goats as a refreshing snack to keep them cool and hydrated despite the rising temperatures.
By watermelon salad, we mean adding slices of watermelon into an interesting mix containing goat-safe food like carrots, grains, pumpkin, and spinach.
You can serve this treat from time to time, especially when it seems like your goats are growing tired of eating grass and hay.
Can Goats Eat the Whole Watermelon?
Goats can eat the whole watermelon. They can safely digest all of its parts, including the rind, stalks, leaves, and seeds. While goats also prefer the sweet and juicy part of the watermelon, it’s interesting to note that no part of it goes to waste.
How Many Watermelons Can a Goat Have?
Too much of something, even if it’s good, can still be bad for you. And the same is true if your goat eats more than the recommended serving of watermelon.
While watermelons are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, it also contains a good amount of sugar, a source of energy.
Since goats don’t usually get their needed energy value just from eating hay, that can be supplemented by feeding them watermelons.
But while sugar helps keep goats energized, too much of it can lead to conditions such as bloating. Thus, it is advised to feed your goat a few slices of watermelon per day and only two or three times per week.
What Parts of the Watermelon Can Goats Eat?
When we think of watermelons, we instantly think that the only edible part is the red, juicy flesh.
After all, it’s sweet, juicy, and incredibly hydrating, making it the perfect treat for the scorching summer days. It’s also rich in lycopene and other nutrients, which are great for your goats.
Can Goats Eat the Watermelon Skin?
Goats can eat watermelon skin. The watermelon skin or peel is the outermost layer of the fruit, and it’s the part that’s often discarded. However, studies reveal that the skin contains protein, fiber, calcium, and other similar nutrients, making it perfectly safe for goats to consume.
But since it’s also the layer that’s most exposed to pesticides, you have to clean it out thoroughly with water before feeding it to your goats.
Can Goats Eat the Watermelon Rind?
Goats can eat watermelon rind. The watermelon rind is another part that often gets discarded. It has a reputation for being harder and less tasty, so we tend to throw it away.
But watermelon rinds are a potent source of fiber, and that helps keep goats within the recommended weight.
To serve watermelon rinds, make sure to chop them into small pieces to make it easier for goats to munch on.
Can Goats Eat the Watermelon Seeds?
Goats can eat watermelon seeds, but only in limited quantities. Watermelon seeds are a rich source of protein, fats, B vitamins, and minerals. As small as they are, these seeds are surprisingly packed with nutrients that will keep your goats strong and healthy.
However, remember that goats have to follow a specific nutritional requirement, and eating watermelon seeds in excess could do them more harm than good. These seeds can also be hard to digest, so remember to only give them a few pieces at a time.
Can Goats Eat the Watermelon Stalks and Leaves?
Goats can eat watermelon stalks and leaves. But while these are safe for goats to consume, you have to make sure that they are free from pesticides and other chemicals used while growing the fruit.
To be safe, we recommend cleaning it with water before giving it to your goats. Better yet, only feed watermelon stalks and leaves that you have planted yourself.
What Can Goats Not Eat?
Goats can eat a whole watermelon. This makes it seem like goats have incredible stomachs that can eat just about anything. But that’s not the case at all. Here are some food items that you should never feed your goat:
- Chocolate. Chocolates are known to contain theobromine, an alkaloid that’s poisonous to a variety of animals, including goats.
- Avocados. Surprisingly, avocados contain a fungicidal toxin called persin, which is highly toxic to goats.
- Potatoes. Although seemingly harmless, the green part of the potato contains solanine, another poisonous alkaloid that can cause diarrhea and similar conditions.
- Onions. You’d be surprised that a tiny bulb of onion contains multiple toxins that could easily poison your goats, as well as a few other farm animals.
- Cherry pits and leaves. By itself, a cherry is safe for goats. It’s the pit and leaves that you should be worried about. Cherry pits and leaves contain cyanide that can also poison your goats.
To be on the safe side, we strongly recommend avoiding feeding these to your goat. Also, remember that goats are herbivores. Do not feed them meat since their teeth are not capable of chewing on it.
All things considered, watermelons are perfectly safe for goats to consume. They’re a great source of nutrients while also keeping your goat hydrated in the process.
They’re also easy to prepare, and the fact that goats can eat every part of it makes it economical. Nevertheless, always remember that watermelons should be consumed in moderation, and only as a supplement to your goat’s regular diet.
List of Sources
Watermelon Lycopene and Allied Health Claims
Versatile Nutraceutical Potentials of Watermelon—A Modest Fruit Loaded With Pharmaceutically Valuable Phytochemicals