Potatoes are one of the most common vegetables in the world. In fact, they are considered a staple in most countries because they’re easy to grow, highly available in the market, can be incorporated into many dishes, and of course, they are very nutritious.
If you have goats and are wondering if you can feed them potatoes, the answer is yes. Goats can eat potatoes, but they should be only given as a treat. In other words, these vegetables should not be given as part of their regular food.
When feeding goats with potatoes, there are many things to keep in mind, aside from feeding them in moderation, and we’re going to discuss them later in this article.
How safe are potatoes for goats?
Goats have excellent instincts when it comes to determining which plants are toxic to them. Therefore, if they eat potatoes by themselves, it only means they are safe for them to eat.
However, although goats eat potatoes, you should know it is a fine line of when it is safe to feed them, and when it can be dangerous.
Potatoes, especially when the skin is greenish colored, contain toxins called solanine and chaconine, which are dangerous if ingested by goats.
Therefore, be mindful when feeding them potatoes. Make sure that there are no green skins and the amount is just enough to be called a treat.
What are the health benefits of potatoes to goats?
We’ve broken down the health benefits of potatoes to help you understand that they indeed provide nutrients for your goats.
- Potatoes are packed with carbohydrates that can provide a huge amount of energy for your goats, as well as maintain the right amount of glucose levels in the blood. This helps provide them with enough energy to roam their grazing area.
- They have more potassium than bananas.
- Potatoes contain vitamin B6, which helps in maintaining neurological health, which, we know, is just as essential as physical health. The same vitamin assists in creating dopamine, serotonin, and other brain chemicals that are essential in preventing stress and depression for the goats.
- Potatoes also have vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage, as well as aids in digestion and maintaining blood pressure.
- Proteins that are found in potatoes can help goats in strengthening, growth, and regeneration of tissues, collagen, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
While potatoes can provide your goat with such benefits, always keep in mind that they should be fed in moderation as too much of it can cause an increase in blood sugar, as well as obesity.
Can goats eat potato peels?
It is common for livestock to be offered potato peels. However, as mentioned earlier, the green parts are considered toxic to goats.
Even if you try to cook the green peels, it would still not be safe for the goats to consume them since it still contains solanine and chaconine.
Therefore, even if your goats opt to eat potato peels, it would still be safer to not include them as part of their treats.
Ways to feed potatoes to goats
There are three ways goats can enjoy their potatoes. Just remember not to feed them too much and avoid green potatoes, too!
Goats can eat raw/uncooked potatoes as long as the skin is removed.
Boiled potatoes are softer compared to uncooked ones. Add a little bit of salt and give them to your goats in small amounts.
Mix with their meals
Usually, goats eat hay and grains. To make it more palatable, you can sometimes add potatoes to their meal.
Things to remember when feeding goats with potatoes:
- Not all goats will eat potatoes. The best way to know is to try it out. Offer them a small amount first and if they willingly eat it and there are no adverse effects, then you can give them more next time. Just make sure to give potatoes in moderation. If they do not like them, however, they won’t even touch them.
- It is important to know the nutritional feed of a goat. This way, you’ll be able to decide how many potatoes you can give them. As you know already, the main part of a goat’s diet is hay and pasture.
- If you let your goats eat potatoes all day, they tend to lose out on other nutrients, which results in malnourishment.
- As we’ve repeatedly mentioned in this article, watch out for the green peels of the potatoes. They contain toxins that are hazardous for your goat’s health.
- Overfeeding will result in your goat refusing to eat other meals, which is not good since they need to take nutrients from their regular diet.
- Goats have higher protein requirements compared to other animals, and potatoes are not enough to provide them the right amount of protein that they need. For this reason, potatoes should only be given as a snack or treat.
- Never force your goat to eat potatoes. If they don’t like it, so be it. You can give them other treats that they like instead.
- Remember that only 5% of the goat’s overall diet should be snacks or treats. This will give you an idea on how many potatoes to offer them.
To wrap it up, goats can eat potatoes provided that:
- they like it
- the green skin is removed
- there are no adverse effects after they eat them
- they are given in moderate amounts.
And that ends our article for today. If you found it helpful or you might know someone who also needs to read this article, please feel free to share it with them!