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Potatoes are known for being a healthy dish when eaten in moderation by humans. In fact, the potato is one of the most common vegetables to be made into human snack food. Goats, with their ravenous hunger, would surely enjoy potatoes too right? But can goats eat potatoes safely?
As with many food items, you can’t just start feeding your goat potatoes without a bit of research to ensure they are safe and how to prepare them. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about goats and potatoes.
Can Goats Eat Potatoes
Yes, goats can safely eat potatoes as long as you cook them first. While they are able to stand a small bit of raw potato, this isn’t recommended as it can easily upset their stomach.
This means that your goat can enjoy a serving of plain mashed potatoes without a problem. You should also never feed your goat a green potato as they contain Solanine, a toxin.
Can Goats Eat Potato Plants?
No, goats cannot eat potato plants. Potato plants are toxic and should never be in an area where your goat can reach them. If you grow potatoes make sure they are in a safe or fenced-in area. Goats can be sneaky eaters and will munch down on the plants if they are not kept out.
If you suspect that your goat has gotten into your potato plants monitor them closely for toxicity signs and get into contact with your local vet.
Can Goats Eat Potato Leaves?
No, goats cannot eat potato leaves. Potato leaves (just like the rest of the plant) are toxic to goats. Goats can’t tell that potato leaves are toxic, and if they have access to a garden with potato leaves, there is a decent chance that they will eventually make their way over to them.
Can Goats Eat Potato Skins or Peels?
Goats can eat potato skins and peels if the skins are cooked. There’s no guarantee that a goat will want to eat cooked potato peels that don’t contain the fleshy part of the vegetable, so it may not be easy to feed them any leftover scraps.
We have found these to be hit or miss with our herd. But it's always worth a try to get your goats an extra treat.
Signs Your Goat Has Eaten Potato Plants?
If your goat has gotten into a potato plant, then there are probably going to be some signs of poisoning these are:
- Lethargic Behavior
- Breathing issues
- Death in rare cases
If you suspect your goat has consumed a potato plant, contact your vet immediately. Be sure to keep them well hydrated, especially if they are vomiting, and provide a quiet place for them to rest.
It’s best to choose a place that is warm, dry, and where they can easily reach the water. If they aren’t able to move around easily, use a bowl to give them easy and constant access to a water source. You should also check their mouths and remove any leftover parts of the plants that you see.
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How to Feed Your Goats Potatoes
If you want to feed your goat potatoes, you will want to start by thoroughly washing off the vegetable to ensure that there are no pesticides left over. Once it’s washed, you will want to cook the potato by either baking or boiling it until it is no longer raw. You can choose to leave the peel on or remove it depending on the preference of your goat.
If you cook the potato whole, make sure to chop it up into small bite-sized chunks before serving it to your goat to avoid a choking hazard. Make sure to avoid giving your goat any cooked potato dishes that you’ve made for your family unless they are butter and salt-free. You will also want to be careful to ensure that you aren’t using canned potatoes or store-bought potatoes as a treat, as they usually contain extra ingredients.
Potatoes should never make up more than 20% of your goat's diet. Potatoes contain several vitamins that can be beneficial to your goat's body.
Vitamin C is present, which can help to boosts your goat’s immune system. Vitamin B6 is a lesser-known vitamin that is a pyridoxine. It helps with metabolism and the creation of red blood cells. Potassium is also present, which helps a goat's tissues, and potatoes also contain fiber.
If this is your first time feeding your goats, give them a small bit of cooked potato and monitor them closely. Once you verify that it’s safe, you can continue to feed your goat more cooked potatoes.
What should goats not eat?
Goats should not eat any plants that make Solaine, like potato and tomato plants. You should also avoid feeding your goat any crops that aren’t ripe, as they are likely to contain toxins or make your goat sick.
Keep in mind that goats are herbivores and shouldn’t be eating anything outside of the plant family. Meats and sweets should be avoided. Before feeding your goat any new food, be sure to ask a vet or do research to verify that it is safe.
What vegetables can goats eat?
Goats can eat several different types of vegetables like celery, corn, pumpkin, broccoli, asparagus, squash, and lettuce. Make sure that these veggies are always ripe, as raw vegetables can hurt your goat and upset their stomach.
Can goats eat mashed potatoes?
Yes, as long as you make the mashed potatoes yourself and don’t add in any additional ingredients. Canned mashed potatoes should be avoided as they often contain butter and other extra ingredients that can be harmful to goats. You may also notice that there is a high amount of salt present in many store-bought mashed potato dishes.
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