There is some debate among livestock owners as to whether goats can eat cabbage. So, on this page, we are going to try and get to the bottom of things!
Can Goats Eat Cabbage?
As we said at the start, there is some debate as to whether goats can eat cabbage.
In theory, goats should be fine if they are eating a small amount of cabbage. Cabbage can be beneficial because it contains a few nutrients that your goats will love.
However, other livestock owners would never dream of giving their goats cabbage. In fact, they don’t even plant cabbage near their goats, just in case the goats eat the cabbage.
This is because goats are browsing animals, which means that they’re constantly on the lookout for new plants to eat. This natural curiosity means that goats will eat just about anything – including cabbage.
It is true to say that cabbage can be toxic, but it would have to be eaten in larger quantities for there to be any risk of any major toxicity.
We think the major issue with cabbage is that it is likely to cause bloating in goats.
This can cause them pain, and may even lead to loose stools.
There is also some evidence that cabbage may suppress the appetite of a goat. If this happens, then they are less likely to eat their feed, which you really don’t want to happen. This can lead to a nutritional imbalance.
If you want our opinion, then we would steer clear of cabbage. It isn’t that there is a major risk to your goats, but that there are better foods out there that they can assume.
How Much Cabbage Can You Feed Your Goats?
Not a lot. Cabbage is a brassica, which means it contains compounds that can be toxic to goats if they eat too much of it.
Cabbage is a good source of vitamins and minerals, however, it’s important to feed cabbage to your goats in very small quantities.
Too much brassica in a goat’s diet can cause liver damage and intestinal distress.
We would suggest that if you do feed your goats cabbage, you give each goat no more than a quarter of a cabbage per week.
You may be able to give them slightly more than this but, as we said, there is a small risk that it can cause issues with your goats.
As you can probably imagine, if you are feeding cabbage to your goats for the first time, you should keep an eye on them.
If you notice any sort of pain in the goats (particularly bloating and other stomach pain), then refrain from giving them cabbage in the future. There are other foods that they can eat anyway.
How to Prepare Cabbage for Your Goats
While goats can eat cabbage raw, we suggest that you prepare it for them. This means boiling the cabbage (you should not salt the water), to soften it up.
You can then shred the cabbage and add it to your goat’s feed.
This will encourage them to look for the cabbage and, in most cases, you will find that they eat the cabbage as a supplement rather than as a substitute for their normal feed, which helps to cut down on the risk of nutritional imbalance.
Also read: Can goats eat broccoli?
Goats can eat cabbage, but it isn’t the best vegetable to give them. While goats should be fine with a small amount of cabbage each week, there are better vegetables out there if you want to give your goats a treat.
If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your veterinarian for guidance.