Most people think goats can eat just about anything. Who hasn’t seen those cartoons of goats chomping on tin cans? But, in real life, beside the thing they randomly eat they need to have a balanced diet, and its owner’s responsibility to make sure they are properly fed.
Goats are herbivores – or, plant eaters. When goats are out in the wild, their diet is primarily centered on grass, leaves, herbs, and trees.
Goats eat these plants on a daily basis, so it makes sense for them to choose them as their source of food. If you’re keeping and feeding a goat as either a pet or as a farm animal, you probably already know goats need food made from plants.
There are many plants that goats can eat.Let’s look into one specific food as an example.
Can goats eat turnips? So if you’re wondering whether goats can eat turnips: Yes! Turnips are a safe choice for goats, and they are good for goats to eat. Turnips contain lots of vitamins and minerals. Here I share some of those vitamins and minerals, and why it’s essential for them to eat.
Are Turnips Good for Goats?
These are some of the vitamins and minerals turnips contain:
Vitamin A – It is found in carotene, which is found in the green colors of turnip leaves. Vitamin A is important to goats because their bodies can’t make enough of it on their own. Vitamin A is essential for the development of goats’ healthy skin, and to support good eyesight.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C boosts the immune systems of both humans and goats. It is also essential for skin growth and repair.
Vitamin D – Goats can get quite a lot of their necessary Vitamin D from sunshine, but eating turnips can help them get Vitamin D, This gives goats more bone support. If goats don’t get enough Vitamin D, they may develop a form of lameness called rickets.
Vitamin K – This vitamin helps blood clot in both humans and goats. If your goat gets hurt and starts to bleed, they will need enough Vitamin K to form a scab over the wound.
Folate – This nutrient is important in the formation of red blood cells. This is important for the goats’ energy level.
Calcium – Just as it does for humans, calcium helps goats form healthy bones. Getting a boost of calcium from turnips can help your goats’ bones to be as sturdy as possible.
Turnips are cruciferous: which means they are part of the same plant family as kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbages.
Turnips are a good source of roughage, which is important to keep goats’ digestive systems in good order.
Turnips taste great to goats, but they are better as a treat rather than as the main part of their diets.
It’s important to know turnips are part of the Brassicaceae family of plants.
This family of plants contains chemicals called glucosinolates. Meaning eating large amounts of those chemicals can be toxic to animals.
Another reason to limit the number of turnips is their high water content. That higher water content means fewer vitamins for the goats.
Turnips also contain a chemical that can dangerously increase the goats’ thyroid levels.
Can Goats Eat Turnip Peel? ( Tops, Leaves or Roots)
Turnip leaves are a favorite for goats. Turnip leaves are not poisonous, goats can also safely and happily eat turnip roots. The roots are a good source of Vitamins A and K. Most parts of the turnip are safe for goats to eat.
However, it’s important to note that turnip flowers are not a safe choice for goats, since they contain a large amount of mustard oil.
This is toxic to goats. Turnip flowers are also high in nitrates, which can also be harmful to goats.
Another thing to keep in mind is if your goat is eating turnip leaves or roots, you should not give them an iodine supplement. The turnip greens will provide enough of that nutrient for your goat.
Cooking Up Some Turnips
If you are preparing turnips to feed a pet goat or farm goat, you should keep the preparation simple.
Goats don’t care if you are using the latest sauce or cooking style. Goats’ tastes are basic, and they will enjoy their food best when it’s left raw.
If you want to make turnips a bit fancier, goats will also enjoy mashed turnips and if you want to try roasting turnips, that’s another way goats will enjoy it.
But if you do roast them, be sure you don’t cook the turnips too long. Too much heat will cause the turnips to become too bitter for the goat to enjoy.
Are Turnips Good for Kid?
If you’re using “kid” which refers to baby goats, the answer is “no.” Baby goats need to nurse until they are old enough for their stomachs to process vegetables.
Once baby goats finish breastfeeding, pet or farm goats are given special foods to help them grow quickly. Goats shouldn’t eat turnips until they are 3-5 months old.
Be aware that the roughage in turnips can lead to diarrhea in baby goats if they eat too many of them.
Can Dwarf Goats Eat Turnips?
Smaller types of goats, like Nigerian, pygmy, and dwarf goats, can also eat and enjoy turnips in the same ways adult goats enjoy them.
What If Your Goat Has an Upset Stomach
The fiber content in turnips becomes an issue if your goat has an upset stomach. Goats should not be fed turnips at those times.
Conclusion: Can Goats Eat Turnips?
Yes! Goats enjoy eating fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Turnips when eaten as a treat and not as the bulk of their diets are almost always safe and delicious food for your goat. And, just in case you want to know, no matter what foods a goat enjoys, it’s also very important for them to stay well-hydrated with water.
But also make sure to provide all the nutrients and minerals each goat needs in order to survive.