Goats are herbivores and many people assume that they eat anything and everything green, but this is not the case. They are picky eaters, choosing only what gives them the most nutrients. So, can goats eat watermelon rinds safely?
Many people who keep goats as pets or for commercial reasons always wonder what is safe to give to the goats and most ask about watermelon rinds. These are perfectly safe for your goat and contain plenty of nutrients and roughage.
There are other things you will have to consider when feeding watermelon to your goat. In this article, you will read all about them together with additional tips on your goat’s diet.
Is it okay to feed my goat watermelon rinds?
The short answer is yes, rinds are perfectly safe for your goat. The rind is packed with fibers and potassium. Fibers help the digestion process in goats to move more smoothly and prevent gastrointestinal issues. Potassium, on the other hand, is important for the goat’s metabolic processes and maintaining their fluid balances.
The flesh is juicier and easier to chew, so the goats might prefer that even though the rind has more nutrients.
When you feed watermelon to your goat, ensure you cut it into smaller bite-sized pieces. They are thick and hard compared to the flesh so the goats might have a hard time chewing. Large pieces of the rind can also get lodged in your goat’s throat, causing choking so you should be extra careful.
Before giving the rind to your goat, you should also wash it thoroughly. They are sometimes covered in dirt, dust, and pesticides from the farm they came from. Eating them unwashed might cause digestive issues for the goat.
What other parts of a watermelon can goats eat?
There are other parts of the melon and the plant that the goat can eat. Take a look at them together with points you should note:
You can feed the nutritious watermelon leaves to your goat individually or combined with treats you want to give them.
Before you give the goats the leaves, ensure they have been properly cleaned to get rid of any pesticides that may have been sprayed on the plant. If they are from your garden and you do not use chemicals on the plants, you can let your goats do the clearing for you.
The seeds are an excellent way of adding some fiber to the goat’s diet. They should, however, only be given to adult goats. When given to the kids, they cause a build-up of stones in their stomachs and can cause later health complications. They should also be fed to the adults in moderation because they can cause kidney stones.
If you already ate the watermelon, do not give the seeds to the goats as these may be too much. Consider giving these to the poultry. The seeds that are in the flesh of the melon are enough. If you think the melon is too seedy, though, you can take some of the seeds out.
The vines are also perfectly fine for the goat when fed in moderation. Just like the leaves and rind, these should also be properly washed in case of pesticides.
If your melons have not matured yet, though, you should not allow the goats to eat the rind. This will cause your watermelons to mature slower and delay your harvest.
Watermelon treats goats can eat
You don’t always have to give watermelons to your goat as chopped pieces. There are many forms you can serve them up in that your goats will enjoy and surely want more:
you will need to serve your goats this treat in a feeding tray. Serve them some watermelon chunks and pretty soon, they’ll turn that into a soupy mess that they will slurp right up. You might need to do some cleanup but seeing your happy bleating buddies will be worth it.
Watermelon ice cubes
On a hot summer afternoon, your goats will need something to cool them off, just like we do. You can put a couple of watermelon chunks in the freezer and serve them up to your goats.
They will thaw pretty quick but it’ll be a hoot to see them experience the cool watermelon.
Watermelon mixed treat
For this treat, you can combine chunks of watermelon with a bunch of other treats that are healthy and safe for your goat. In the mix, you can throw in some oats, carrots, zucchini, and other treats your goats enjoy.
You should remember, however, that just like any other treat, it should be served in moderation.
Can goats eat watermelon-flavored snacks?
Processed snacks are usually full of processed sugars, calories, additives, artificial flavors, and chemicals. This makes them the unhealthiest option for humans and the same applies to goats.
These would be unhealthy for the goat since they can cause digestive illnesses and also cause more complex health issues in the long run by causing malnutrition and obesity, all while providing no nutritional value.
If once in a while, your goat gobbles up a piece of a snack you were eating, that should be fine. You should, however, avoid as much as you can to feed them human snacks.
How Can Goats Eat Watermelon Safely?
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you chop up watermelon for your goat:
- Do everything in moderation. Whether you are giving your goat leaves, rinds, or flesh, you should give minimal quantities. They do not provide all the nutrients a goat needs so if you are primarily feeding the goat watermelon, this will cause malnutrition.
- Give only fresh fruit. If you have some melon in your house and it starts to go bad, this is not the go-ahead to give it to your goat. It might cause them to develop digestive issues. The goats might also refuse to eat the melon, letting it rot. This will give you more clean-up duty.
Watermelon is a refreshing treat for both you and your goat with its high water content. Your goat will surely enjoy the fruit if you feed it to them when it is well washed and prepared. I hope this article has shown you how to do just that!
If you want to learn more about goats, you can read our post on Mini Nubian Goats: Everything you need to know.