Goats are herbivores, but that doesn’t mean they limit themselves to a boring diet of grass and hay.
Goats eat all kinds of plant matter, including fruits and vegetables, and even the plants that the fruits and vegetables grow on! Take grape vines, for instance. Can goats eat grapevines?
Yes, goats may eat grape vines safely and all parts of the plant are edible. Although not particularly nutritious, goats will still get calories, vitamins, and minerals from grapevines.
However, you should not let goats eat too many in one sitting as they will miss out on nutritious foods that they should be eating instead.
If you have owned goats for any length of time you probably have already had an encounter where your goats ate some of your prized produce, and then ate the whole plant in its entirety!
It’s pretty funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you, right? Anyway, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about giving grapevines to your goats.
Health Benefits of Grape Vines for Goats
Reliable nutritional data for grapevines themselves are pretty hard to come by. Nonetheless, we know that goats can and will eat them and seem generally to enjoy them.
It is certain that goats will get vitamins, minerals, fiber and some calories from grapevines. They are not harmful to goats in any way so long as they don’t eat way too many.
If your goats seem to enjoy eating grape vines, and you don’t mind giving them over to them, you can let your goats snack on them when they want.
Can Goats Eat Grape Vines Raw?
Yes, and this is the best way for goats to eat grape vines. Raw grapevines are easy for goats to eat and digest, and we’ll have the best possible nutrition.
Can Goats Eat Grape Vine Leaves?
Yes, goats may safely eat grape vine leaves. The leaves are among the tenderest parts of the plant, nutritious and tasty.
Your goats will likely start with these right after they get done eating the grapes if they are present, and then move on to the rest of the vine.
Can Goats Eat Grape Vine Roots?
Yes, they can. Goats can eat all parts of a grapevine with no ill effects.
Can Goats Eat the Grapes Themselves?
They sure can. This article is about grape vines, not the grapes themselves, but in the interest of completeness, yes, goats may safely eat grapes, including the seeds.
Can Goats Eat Grape Vines Cooked?
Goats could eat cooked grapevine, but there is no real reason to cook it prior to giving it to them.
Cooking will significantly degrade what nutritional content the grapevine has, and they are already tender enough that goats will chew and swallow them with little problem.
Beware of Pesticide and Herbicide on Unknown Grape Vines
You should be cautious before you allow your goats to dine on any unknown or wild grapevine.
Depending on where it is growing, and by whom, the grapevine could be treated with pesticide or herbicide.
Folks who are growing grapes or just enjoying grapevine as a decorative plant are likely to treat it with pesticides to protect it from insects.
Those who think it is a pest plant and want to get rid of it might hit it with herbicide to kill it off.
Neither of these chemicals is safe for your goats. Ingestion and subsequent buildup of both of these chemical groups have been linked with all sorts of long-term health problems in mammals, including cancer, metabolic system problems, reproductive harm, and even nerve damage.
That’s pretty serious stuff. If you grow your own grapevines, you know what you have treated with and to what extent, but you can’t say the same thing about any other plant and it can be impossible to tell visually.
If you have any doubts, don’t let your goats eat unknown grapevine, or at the very least harvest it and thoroughly wash it prior to serving it to them.
How Often Can Goats Have Grape Vines?
Grapevines are healthy enough and offer a little bit of nutrition to goats, but that doesn’t mean that they can eat them all the time or whenever they want.
Goats that fill up on grapevines are going to miss out on other, more nutritious foods that they could be eating instead.
In a way, you might think of grapevines as something of junk food for goats; filling, but not nutritious enough!
You can let your goats eat grape vines once or twice a week at a single serving, but generally no more than that.
Preparing Grape Vines for Your Herd
You won’t need to do too much in order to serve grapevines to your goats, and that is if you need to serve them at all.
If you have growing grape vines on your property, you can just let your goats get at them and they will do the rest, trust me.
Ultimately, you can harvest the grapevines and roughly chop up the stems into small bunches that will be easier for goats to nibble on.
They shouldn’t struggle to tear bites off of grapevine, but if you have any concerns just chop it up into small pieces and then let them have it.
Can Baby Goats Have Grape Vines, Too?
Yes, kids can have grapevine so long as they are old enough to be eating solid food all the time and they are getting enough nutrition from other, more healthful options in their diet.
If baby goats are young enough to still be subsisting on milk, or they’re drinking some milk and occasionally trying solid food, they aren’t old enough to be eating grapevine.
Also, keep in mind that kids have pretty strict nutritional requirements and underdeveloped digestive systems.
They need to be getting maximum nutrition at every meal in order to grow up healthy and strong, and it’s not hard for kids to overeat and wind up with indigestion, constipation, or other stomach trouble.
Kids will try to eat grapevine when they see adults doing it, especially when they are of age, but make it a point to keep an eye on them and prevent them from overdoing it.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.