Can Goats Eat Broccoli? (And Broccoli Stems and Leaves?)

Imagine devouring some delicious Broccoli salad, but also seeing your goat eyeing you! You may start wondering, if this vegetable, which is extremely healthy for you, can actually be served to your goat too or not?

Well, the great news here is that Broccoli is healthy not just for you, but for your goat too.  So, let’s discuss in detail the nutritional benefits of broccoli for your goat, and the best ways to serve this nutrient-pack vegetable to them.

Can Goats Eat Broccoli?    

A simple answer to this question is a big yes. Goats can eat broccoli. However, it is essential to understand that this vegetable should only be given in limited quantities, or as a treat to your goat.

If you have an adult goat, you should give a cup of broccoli to your goat approximately, in addition to the daily regular diet that it consumes. This way, your goat will be content with the variety of vegetables that you are feeding them, along with its routine food intake.

Do Goats Like Broccoli?

If you can be a picky eater, even your goat can be one!  While most of the goats usually relish and like broccoli, exceptions are always there.  

Your goat may simply chomp on the broccoli bits similar to how it does with pears, bananas, grapes, or any of its favorite treats. Or, on the contrary, it may totally despise broccoli.  

So, whether or not your goat likes broccoli can only be determined by trying it out. Therefore, start out by serving a small portion of broccoli to your goat and check their reaction.    

Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli for Goats

Broccoli can serve as a great treat or additional supplement to your goat’s diet. The main reason is that goats are herbivores, and their systems are designed in a manner that they can digest green vegetables easily.

Apart from this, broccoli is packed with some essential nutrients that will benefit your goat. Below are a few of the key nutrients that broccoli has to offer:

1. Proteins

Protein is an essential nutrient for growth and tissue repair in goats. Moreover, it can also help in better weight and metabolism, reproductive, and lactating functions. If your goat doesn’t have enough protein in its meal, it may suffer from malnutrition. 

Therefore, broccoli contains a significant amount of proteins that can keep your goat healthy!

2. Iron

Most goats don’t face iron deficiency. Still, there is one goat out of ten that might face it. 

Iron has a big role to play when it comes to oxygen transportation. However, if there’s a lack of iron content in goats, it may lead to deadly diseases, such as Anemia. 

Did you know that just one cup (156 grams) of broccoli can provide 1 mg iron? So, including broccoli in your goat’s diet is an excellent idea. 

3. Fiber

Fiber is an extremely important nutrient to keep your goat’s digestive system well working. This nutrient can increase the speed of digestion and facilitate egestion. 

Broccoli is also rich in fiber, which makes it an ideal vegetable to improve your goat’s gut health. 

4. Calcium

We all know the importance of calcium for our bodies. It is responsible for strengthening our bones and providing a strong structure. Its role remains the same in goats too.

Just like humans, goats require calcium for stronger bones and a more agile body. Thankfully, broccoli contains good amounts of highly-absorbable calcium to keep your goat strong. 

5. Potassium

Goats require certain minerals – one of them being potassium. Potassium can improve your goat’s muscular activity, along with nerve functions. It can also reduce the possibility of cardiovascular diseases in goats.

However, note that since broccoli contains high amounts of potassium, it is not suitable for goats with kidney diseases. 

6. Vitamins

Finally, broccoli also contains important vitamins such as A, C, E, K, and B. These vitamins may work on the overall health of a goat’s body. 

Vitamin A can improve your goat’s gaze whereas Vitamin C can help your goat fight off diseases easily. 

Therefore, broccoli contains several nutrients, which makes its nutritional value high. 

Can Broccoli Be Harmful or Poisonous to Goats?   

Just like any other treat, when given in large quantities, broccoli can prove to be dangerous to your goat. 

Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables. These vegetables contain glucosinolates, which can have adverse effects on animals. And your goat is no different.

As per research, glucosinolates can act as antithyroid agents. This, in the long run, can prove to be toxic for goats. So, it is always the best practice to feed broccoli in the limit to your goat.

Can Goats Eat Raw Broccoli?

You can give your goats raw broccoli. It is also much better than cooked or boiled broccoli as cooked food takes more to digest in goats. 

Additionally, you can prepare broccoli in various ways if you wish to feed new varieties to your goat. 

Can Goats Eat Broccoli Stems and Leaves?

Goats can feed on both broccoli leaves and stems. Both of these plant parts don’t contain any lethal compound that may harm goats. However, just like broccoli, you shouldn’t feed too many stems or leaves, as it may lead to adverse effects. 

Also, you need to take care while giving broccoli stems to your goat. Ensure that you cut them into small pieces, and then serve them. If you give your goat uncut stems, there is a risk of choking. 

Can Baby Goats Eat Broccoli?

You shouldn’t give broccoli to baby goats. One of the primary reasons is that baby goats rely on their mother’s milk for as long as 5 to 6 months at times. During their feeding period, they may not require outside food, such as broccoli. 

Moreover, once baby goats do start eating, you should feed them staple food items such as hay and grass. Then, you can try feeding them broccoli after a few months. 

Ensure that you introduce only small quantities of broccoli to your goat. Then, if your goat gets used to it, you may increase the quantity. 

Ways to Feed Broccoli to Your Goat

If you are planning to feed broccoli to your goat, then you can do it in two different ways. 

1. Raw Broccoli 

The best way to feed broccoli to your goat is to give it raw and plain. This way, you can incorporate broccoli into your goat’s meal plan effortlessly. 

All you need to do is wash the broccoli properly. Then, cut it into small pieces to avoid your goat from choking. Finally, just serve it to your goat. 

2. Semi-Boiled Broccoli

If you have tried feeding your goat raw broccoli, and it doesn’t like it, you may try semi-boiled broccoli. After all, some goats may like the soft texture of food more than the crunchy one. 

You just need to boil the broccoli slightly. Then, let it cool down. Once it is cooled completely, you can give it to your goat. 

Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to give plain vegetables or fruits if you’re feeding your goat something for the first time. Once it gets accustomed, you can combine it with other stuff for more variety. 

What Should a Goat Never Eat?

Goats love to graze around! Therefore, they may end up eating things that they shouldn’t. In this situation, you need to stay alert and know which items are fatal for goats. These items include:

1. Chocolate 

Chocolates contain theobromine, a compound that is toxic to most animals, including goats. This compound may not get metabolized in your goat’s body and can cause chocolate poisoning. 

So, prevent your goat from eating chocolate even in small quantities. 

2. Milkweed

Milkweed contains a substance, cardiac glycoside, that can get toxic to goats. This substance may cause fluctuations in a goat’s heart rate. 

3. Avocado

Avocado may be your favorite, but it is certainly not your goat’s. It contains an element, persin, that can cause vomiting and diarrhea in goats. 

4. Wild Cherries

Wild cherries are one of the most dangerous items for goats as they contain a high level of cyanide. So, when your goat ingests it, the cyanide is released into its bloodstream. This causes cyanide poisoning, which can get extremely fatal.

5. Kale

Your goat can eat kale in limited quantities. But, if they eat it in an abundant amount, then it may lead to adversities.

Kale contains compounds such as oxalates and glucosinolates – both of which are toxic to goats.

6. Rhubarb Leaves

Rhubarb leaves contain a high amount of oxalic acid. This acid can destroy your goat’s kidneys. So, it is best to keep your goat away from a rhubarb plant itself. 

Apart from these vegetables and fruits, there are also several other things that are poisonous to goats. 

Final Thoughts

Broccoli makes for a perfect supplement and treat for your goat. It is rich in essential nutrients like protein and vitamins. It’s also easy to obtain and prepare. Moreover, most goats can eat broccoli in limited amounts, with no significant side effects.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.