Goats are herbivores, but they need more than just grass and leaves in their diet to thrive. Goats need a variety of produce, including veggies and fruit.
Surprisingly, goats can eat a wide variety of tropical fruits that may surprise you. How about kiwi, for instance? Can goats eat kiwi?
Yes, goats can eat kiwi, and they are highly nutritious and hydrating for them. Goats can safely eat all parts of a kiwi, including the skin and the seeds, and will benefit from the wide variety of vitamins and minerals, in particular the B vitamin complex.
Interesting stuff. Whether you love or love these fuzzy little fruits, your goats are all but certain to enjoy them.
Even better, they can benefit from having kiwis as a periodic part of their diet. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about feeding kiwis to goats.
Health Benefits of Kiwi for Goats
Kiwis are most renowned for their sweet but unique flavor, and their adaptability to all sorts of desserts. However, kiwis also happen to be surprisingly nutritious, with a great, varied complement of vitamins and minerals.
Your typical kiwi will contain a good selection of the B vitamins, including a little bit of vitamins B1, B2 and B3, and a decent amount of B5 and B6.
Kiwis also have a surprising amount of folate, a tremendous amount of vitamin C and a good amount of vitamins E and K.
But, for a tropical fruit, it is probably the mineral content of kiwis that is most interesting and compelling for goat owners.
Kiwis have abundant calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium along with a little bit of zinc.
All of these vitamins and minerals together do wonders for a goat’s organs, circulatory health and digestion.
Kiwis also happen to be 83% water by weight, meaning they are a great choice for a hydrating snack during hot weather.
Together with the potassium and carbohydrates, they contain they are wonderful for helping goats beat the heat.
Can Goats Eat Kiwi Raw?
Yes, goats can eat kiwis raw and this is certainly the best way to serve them to your herd. Kiwis are soft and easy for goats to eat, and raw kiwis will contain the most nutrition possible.
Can Goats Eat Kiwi Skin?
Yes, surprisingly goats can eat the skin of a kiwi. Kiwis are famous for their fuzzy, hairy skin, and though it is safe for humans to eat it is pretty revolting because of its texture.
Most goats seem to possess no hang-ups whatsoever concerning this factor, but on the offhand chance, you have a goat that doesn’t want to deal with the skin you can just peel the kiwi.
Can Goats Eat Kiwi Seeds?
Yes. Goats may eat the tiny, black seeds of a kiwi with absolutely no ill effects.
Can Goats Eat Kiwi Cooked?
Yes, they can. Goats may eat cooked kiwis although they will rarely need it cooked in order to convince them to eat it. However, cooking a kiwi, though it will concentrate the sugars and make it taste sweeter, will also significantly reduce the number of vitamins and minerals it contains.
Never Feed Kiwi to Goats that Has Been Prepared with Harmful Ingredients
Since we’re on the subject of cooking kiwis, now’s a good time to remind you that you should never feed kiwis to your goats that have been prepared with harmful ingredients, or the kiwi itself used as an ingredient in a dessert or some other dish.
Things like sugar, salt, butter, and so forth are all bad for goats, and these are things that you will see used time and time again in various desserts along with kiwi fruit.
In the best-case scenario, your goats could be facing some pretty substantial weight gain, but worst-case scenario the consequences could be far deadlier.
Things like sodium poisoning, hypertension, inflammation of the bowels, diarrhea, and more could all result from feeding your goats a delicious dessert made with kiwi.
You might think it is funny, and they might even love it, but you’re not going to think it’s very funny when they are in agony and possibly dying.
Only give your goats cooked kiwi that has been prepared plain with no other ingredients.
Beware of Pesticide on Grocery-bought Kiwi
Another thing to keep in mind when serving kiwi to your goats is the likely presence of pesticide residues on a store-bought fruit.
Pretty much all fruits available at retail today are heavily treated with pesticides prior to harvesting, and these pesticides can be seriously harmful to your goats if ingested.
Despite assurances of safety, these chemicals have been linked with reproductive harm, neurological damage, metabolic issues, and even cancer.
That could be devastating to your goats, and even more worryingly these chemicals have a tendency to build up in body tissues slowly over time.
To avoid this, your best bet is to purchase organic and certified pesticide-free kiwis.
Alternately, simply peel any kiwis or wash them very thoroughly before giving them to your goats, though you should know a certain fraction of these chemical residues is absorbed directly into the flesh of the fruit.
How Often Can Goats Have Kiwi?
So, we spent a lot of time talking up how good kiwis are for goats, but how often can they have them?
Kiwis are wholesome and healthy, no doubt about it, but they still shouldn’t be a majority item in a goat’s diet. Instead, they are better off treated as a treat or as supplemental food.
Your goats should be living on grass, silage, hay, and so forth for about 75% of their total calorie intake.
The remaining 25% of their calories should be made up of healthy supplemental food items like produce, including kiwis.
Now, to be clear, this does not mean that 25% of their calorie intake can be made up of just kiwis! But it can be made up of various fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome snacks.
Preparing Kiwi for Your Herd
Preparing kiwi for your herd is easy. If you have larger goats, they might be able to handle whole kiwis or halved kiwis easily, skin and all.
But if you have smaller goats or fussy eaters you are advised to remove that fuzzy skin and then cut the fruit into quarters or even into smaller chunks so they have an easier time eating.
Can Baby Goats Have Kiwi, Too?
Yes, baby goats can have kiwis with just a couple of reservations. Most importantly, make sure any kids are old enough to be eating solid food all the time.
If they are still on milk, or if they periodically reject solid food, they aren’t old enough to be eating kiwi.
Next, you should keep in mind that kiwis are quite sugary, and though they are nutritious they don’t have everything a rapidly growing kid needs to thrive.
Yes, they will probably love the taste, but if they fill up on moist, sugary fruit they could wind up with diarrhea or miss out on a later meal that has the nutrition they need.
In short, wait until they are big enough to be eating solid food and then keep that quantity small, but other than that you can relax knowing the kids can eat kiwi safely.
Make Sure You Clean Up after Giving Your Goats Kiwi
there’s one more thing you’ll have to do if you want to serve kiwi to your goats, and that is making sure you clean up after them.
Although they might not leave any trace of the kiwi behind, it rarely fails that there will be a piece here and there or a chunk that gets missed.
Kiwi is packed with sugar and highly fragrant, and those two things together mean that it will attract pests to the area.
Rats, mice, possums, raccoons, and all sorts of insects will happily show up looking for a piece, and that can spell trouble for your goats and for you.
You can avoid having to deal with any potential problems by picking up the scraps once your goats are done with the kiwi and disposing of them.
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.