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If you have goats and are looking for a good summer treat for them, you might consider feeding them some watermelon. But, can goats eat watermelon safely?
It’s no secret that watermelons aren’t a part of a goat’s natural diet. But they are a delicious and refreshing summer treat. If you have a bit of watermelon during a hot summer day, then you may be wondering if it’s safe to share a bit with your goat.
Keep reading to find out all the details about feeding your goats watermelon.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon
Yes, goats can eat watermelon. In fact, goats can eat all parts of the watermelon: flesh, rind, seeds, vine and leaves. It makes a wonderful and hydrating treat for your goats. Do be sure not to overfeed it though, as it is a fruit with a high sugar content.
Watermelon is not a fruit that will harm your goat in any way. You should still limit how much watermelon they eat though, as it should never make up the largest part of their diet. This is simply due to the sugar content as well as wanting your goats to keep a well balanced diet.
You may even be surprised to learn that some goat owners actually use watermelons to help keep their goats better hydrated during the summer months. This is because around 90% of a watermelon is made up of water.
Since the fruit still has a treat-like taste though, you can tempt goats into consuming it which will keep their bodies full of water on hot days. Just make sure that you keep their water bowls full as well, just to ensure they have access to all the water they need.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon Rind?
Yes, goats can eat watermelon rind. The rind is the outer shell of the watermelon and it’s surprisingly rich in nutrients. Rind is a great treat for your goat but some owners have pointed out that their goat will just pluck off the flesh and leave the rind alone.
If you are worried about the toughness of the rind, your goat should be able to chew through it with ease. Just make sure to give them smaller chunks so that they don’t try to down it all at once.
Keep in mind that the rind likely has pesticides sprayed on it as it’s the outer protective shell of the fruit. Be sure to thoroughly wash it off before letting your goat consume it. The best way to encourage them to eat the rind is by leaving the flesh on it and letting them naturally take some extra bites.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon Vines?
Yes, unlike some other plants (like tomatoes and potatoes), the watermelon vine is completely safe to eat. In fact, they may even enjoy munching on them.
Like the rind, the vine is likely to have pesticides so you will want to wash them off. If your goat ends up loving watermelon vines, then the safest thing to do would be to grow some melons of your own.
If your goat accidentally breaks into your watermelon patch then there isn’t much to worry about aside from an upset stomach from consuming too much of a treat.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Yes, goats can eat watermelon seeds. You don’t need to scoop all of the seeds out of the watermelon’s flesh before giving them to your goat.
Feel free to give your goat chopped-up watermelon as is, no need to waste your time trying to get every little seed out. Keep in mind that watermelon seeds aren’t going to help your goat keep hydrated or even be an incredibly nutritious snack.
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How to Feed Your Goats Watermelon
While you may just want to place a watermelon down and let your goat go to town, you should chop up the fruit and portion it. Be sure to thoroughly wash off the outer layer of the watermelon and then begin cutting it up with a clean knife.
Bite-sized chunks are best and if your goat is picky, then you can even go the extra mile and just make chunks of the flesh.
While your goat isn’t likely to choke themselves on large chunks, some animals do get overzealous while eating and a watermelon is a larger plant in general. Even some of the mini watermelons can be a choking hazard especially if you are feeding it to a kid.
You should make sure that the watermelon you have chosen is ripe and doesn’t have any signs of rot or mold. If you see anything that makes you question whether the watermelon may have gone bad or not, you probably shouldn’t feed it to your goat.
Try not to feed your goat any more than 20% of its diet in watermelon. No matter how healthy this fruit may seem, it should never become a huge part of your goat’s diet. It will not provide their bodies with the nutrients they need and will eventually lead to an upset stomach and a deficiency in vitamins.
Watermelons, in general, are a healthy treat and has fiber in it, a vitamin that should make up a large portion of a goat’s diet. There is also Vitamin A that can help with the immune system and Vitamin C that helps with tissue repair.
Potassium is also present, which can help with the operation of tissues in your goat’s body. These benefits can all stack on top of the fact that the watermelon can help keep your goat hydrated, as mentioned above.
The flesh and vines aren’t going to be that stacked with nutrients, especially due to the flesh’s high water content but the rind is a great snack if your goat will eat it. If this is your first time feeding your goat watermelon, then be sure to observe them.
It’s always best to start out feeding your goat a small amount of a new treat to see how they like it before giving them a large portion.
How much watermelon do goats eat?
Try not to give your goat more than 20% of its daily diet in treats. Of course, if it’s an extremely hot day and watermelon can help keep your goat hydrated, there can be a small bit of wiggle room until you figure out how to get them to drink more water.
Can Goats Eat Watermelon candy?
No, you should not give your goat any watermelon candy. For starters, the watermelon flavoring used in many popular candies is artificial and the candies themselves are made of tons of ingredients that aren’t healthy for goats to consume. A candy can even cause a goat to get sick if it contains the wrong type of ingredients.
Even if it says it’s made with natural watermelon, check the label 99% of the time. It’s going to have a list of other ingredients mixed in.
Can goats eat other watermelon-flavored food?
Like with candy, you should never trust flavored foods. They tend to have a whole slew of added ingredients most of which aren’t healthy for your goats. This is especially true for watermelon flavored drinks which have high amounts of unhealthy ingredients like sugar and sodium.
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