So, Can Goats Eat Rice?

Goats, being herbivores, can eat all sorts of plant matter, including grasses, hay, leaves, silage, vegetables, and more.

a goat eating rice
a goat eating rice

Grains also fall into the category of plant matter, but goats generally don’t want to eat too many of those. But how about rice? Can goats eat rice?

Yes, goats can eat rice safely. Rice is not nutritionally complete for goats, however, and is best used as a supplemental food or treat. It contains plenty of carbohydrates and decent amounts of protein a minerals. It is notably lacking in vitamins, however.

So, contrary to popular belief, rice is a safe if somewhat lackluster food for goats, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a little bit as a treat every now and again.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about giving rice to your goats.

Health Benefits of Rice for Goats

Rice is a food that has been enjoyed and cultures around the world for countless ages, and is also sometimes used as a supplemental feed for livestock. Goats can eat rice, too, but it isn’t the best choice for them.

However, rice contains plenty of carbohydrates for energy, a decent amount of protein to help goats grow and heal and a pretty good selection of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium.

Together those minerals will help goats grow strong bones and connective tissue, maintain their fluid and electrolyte balances and it keeps cells functioning smoothly and healthily.

Also, most goats tend to quite enjoy rice, and will definitely like to see you bringing them a cup of it when they are ready for a snack.

Can Goats Eat Rice Raw?

Yes, they can. Goats may safely eat raw, uncooked rice though they generally don’t prefer it this way. It also makes it harder for them to digest, and might hamper the absorption of nutrients.

Wait, Won’t Raw Rice Make Their Stomachs Explode?

Oh, here we go again. I have no doubt you have already heard the old wives tale that says you should not feed uncooked rice to birds or other animals, and goats in particular.

There are a couple of variations on the story, but it generally asserts that uncooked rice will swell up in the stomach of animals that eat it, rupturing or even bursting their stomach entirely and killing the unfortunate creature that ate it.

I’m beyond happy to report that this is patently, 100% false. Anyone who has cooked rice has in fact seen it absorb moisture and swell up somewhat.

But what the rumor mongers that spread and repeat this urban legend forget is that rice starts to break down immediately once it reaches the stomach.

It will not have time to swell up enough to cause danger, even if the animal in question was absolutely pigging out on it.

So, to put this to bed once and for all, no, uncooked rice will not hurt your goats. However, you still shouldn’t feed them uncooked rice if you have a chance because they generally don’t like it and they won’t get as much nutrition from it.

Can Goats Eat White Rice?

Yes, white rice is safe for goats to eat.

Can Goats Eat Brown Rice?

It sure is. Brown rice is also safe for consumption by goats.

Can Goats Eat Wild Rice?

Yep. Wild rice is safe and tasty for your goats.

Can Goats Eat Sprouted Rice?

Indeed they can. Sprouted rice is also edible for your goats.

Can Goats Eat Rice Cooked?

Yes. And you are advised to cook rice prior to giving it to them. Cooking rice makes it tastier, more palatable and easier to digest.

Though it will lose some of its nutritional value, it balances out in the end because goats will be able to absorb what nutrition there is easier once the rice has been cooked.

Never Feed Rice to Goats that Has Been Prepared with Harmful Ingredients

Rice is a staple in all sorts of cuisines in many cultures around the world. Because of this, it is used in countless dishes, both savory and sweet.

However, you must be cautious to never feed your goats rice that has been prepared with or used as an ingredient in some kind of food that they cannot have.

This could be something like meat, too much salt, too much sugar, oils, seasonings, spices and so forth. These things range from bad to completely indigestible and harmful for goats.

At best, extra calories in the form of sugar or oil can give your goats ripping bad indigestion or just cause them to gain weight, which has its own problems.

But at worst, it could cause severe digestive problems, including inflammation of the intestines, hypertension, blooms of harmful bacteria and more. Any of them might be fatal for a goat.

I know you don’t want that to happen to your beloved herd, so never feed them rice that is anything but plain cooked.

How Often Can Goats Have Rice?

Goats should have rice very sparingly. It isn’t even really a supplemental food for their usual diet, but more of a treat.

You can give an adult goat a half cup of rice once or twice a week as a treat and not expect any ill effects.

The worst thing that can happen to a goat from eating rice is that they fill up on it, meaning they won’t have any room left for a meal made up of more nutritional food that they should be eating instead.

Make an appointment to strictly limit their quantities when you do feed them rice.

Preparing Rice for Your Herd

As described above, the best way to serve rice to your goats is to cook it. All you need to do is boil it up until it is tender, let it cool a little bit and then you can give it to your goats.

You can clump it up into balls for them, feed them a little handful, or place it in bowls or trays for them to eat at their leisure.

Can Baby Goats Have Rice, Too?

Yes, baby goats can eat rice without any ill effects so long as they’re old enough to be eating solid food all the time.

Baby goats that are still on milk or eating only some solid foods and the milk the rest of the time should not be fed rice as a treat.

Also, keep that quantity very small if you plan on giving it to kids. Kids have serious nutritional requirements because they are still growing and developing, and they will happily fill up on rice, missing out on that nutrition that they badly need from other foods.

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