Brussel sprouts are bitter, cabbage-shaped vegetables that people generally hate. There is only a few percent of people who genuinely like this vegetable. Otherwise, the rest want to steer clear of it. But is it the same with animals such as goats? Can goats eat Brussel sprouts?
In this article, we will see if goats can eat Brussel sprouts and if there are any health benefits for them. Read on to know more!
Are Brussel Sprouts Good For Goats?
There is a common misconception about goats that they eat literally anything. However, this is not the case because they are extremely picky eaters. Moreover, they love to eat fresh and clean food, that’s why they feed on grass.
They won’t feed on the hay which has been lying for quite a while or if someone has walked over it. On the other hand, Brussel sprouts are fresh and contain vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber that are essential for a goat.
Additionally, goats drink around 1-2 gallons of water per day and Brussel sprouts contain 86% water. This is an add-on and will only help the goat to keep them hydrated.
In addition to this, Brussel sprouts belong to the Brassica family of vegetables which help in the growth of the goats. Brassica family consists of veggies such as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts.
All these veggies are extremely good for their health but they should all be eaten in moderation. As the saying goes, excess of anything is bad, the same goes for the whole Brassica family for goats.
It will remain good for them as long as you serve in moderation. Treat Brussel sprouts as a treat and give them only 1 once a day. You can also feed them Brussel sprouts on alternate days but always keep the quantity low.
Do Goats Like Brussel Sprouts?
Well, this is where things get complicated because every goat is unique just like humans. The behavior of goats towards Brussel sprouts is exactly like humans and that is mixed.
As we mentioned before, some people rave about Brussel sprouts and how much they love them. Whereas, others even hate to touch it. Goats behave in the same manner.
Numerous goats find it delicious and would love to eat it regularly. However, there are others, who would just turn around at the mere smell of it.
So, you can make your goat taste it by giving them half a piece. If they eat it, then give them 2-3 Brussel sprouts. But if they don’t come back to eat for more, then it’s probably for the best that they didn’t like it.
Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts for Goats
There are numerous health benefits of Brussel sprouts for goats. We have enumerated some for you below:
1. Rich in Antioxidants
If any of the dishes contain antioxidants, then it is healthy not only for the goats but also for humans. It reduces the chance of chronic disease. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation and help you fight diseases.
Goats are foragers and they love to roam around and gather food for themselves. They don’t like to be tied in one place and be bound in the same environment. It’s by roaming around a large field that they come across the food that they’ll potentially like.
In the process of foraging, they end up eating a lot of stuff that causes inflammation. So if you feed them a couple of Brussel sprouts, then it helps release the inflammation.
2. Rich in Fiber
Fiber is extremely essential for the body because it helps maintain gut health. If the goat is not consuming enough fiber then, it will remain constipated and even irritated. Brussel sprouts are high in fiber and maintain and regulate gut health. By consuming Brussel sprouts, the digestion process speeds up.
Additionally, fiber helps in maintaining the sugar level in the blood. It may be surprising for you but animals also suffer from sugar problems and if the sugar level is high then it can cause some serious health-related issues.
Fiber slowly moves through the body and slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood.
3. Rich in Vitamin K
Vitamin K specifically targets bones and bone growth. It helps prevent bone loss among goats and rather promotes bone strength.
Moreover, it helps in coagulation and forms blood clots quickly to stop the bleeding in injuries. It also helps in healing quickly.
4. Rich in Vitamin C
Brussel sprouts provide such important vitamins and minerals to a goat without which there can be many health issues. Brussel sprouts also contain Vitamin C that acts as an antioxidant. Additionally, it helps repair the tissues of the body
Brussel sprouts are organic and rich in many other vitamins and minerals. A half-cup of Brussel sprouts contains 2 grams of protein and fiber, and hardly 5 grams of carbs. It may look that the protein and fiber are low but even this quantity is sufficient for the goats.
Most importantly, Brussel sprouts are rich in potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Can Goats Eat Cooked Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, goats can eat cooked Brussel sprouts but the raw ones are always a better choice. Cooked Brussel sprouts are soft and goats can easily eat them. But the issue is regarding how you cook them.
If you give them Brussel sprouts that you’ve made for yourself with garlic and salt, then it’ll get difficult during digestion. Brussel sprouts also contain a good quantity of oil so that is also problematic.
If you want to treat them, then giving them 2 or 3 Brussel sprouts will never harm but you shouldn’t make it a daily thing. The liquid fat in cooked Brussel sprouts is not healthy for both humans and goats, so always feed them in moderation.
Moreover, try to go for raw Brussel sprouts, it will not only save your time but will also keep the goat’s stomach happy. Almost 80% of a goat’s diet is hay and it’s definitely not cooked. So raw food is better for them.
Additionally, goats like to eat Brussel sprouts stem too. Sometimes, they will avoid the sprouts but eat the stem. So if you have a Brussel sprouts plant in the backyard, then you can also try and feed the stem. Maybe they’ll like it!
Can Pygmy Goat Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, pygmy goats can easily eat and digest Brussel sprouts. In fact, any type of goat breed can eat Brussel sprouts. What matters is, if they like it or not since every goat has a unique flavor profile. Sometimes, they simply reject the Brussel sprouts given to them.
Are Brussel Sprouts Bad For Goats in Any Way?
Unfortunately, yes. If you feed goats several Brussel sprouts in one go or have been feeding them a good amount of Brussel sprouts daily, then this can backfire.
Brussel sprouts consist of glucosinolate which can cause bloating and excess gas. Some goat owners have complained that even consuming 2-3 Brussel sprouts caused them bloating whereas others said that it works perfectly well. They even give the veggies as treats.
Can Goats Eat Sprouts?
Yes, goats can eat lentil sprouts as well. In fact, you can make a mixture and include lentils, barley, oats, and peas and feed it to them. Lentils provide good nutrients to the body and are a great source of protein. Moreover, it is high in iron and copper which a goat requires.
On the other hand, peas are high in protein, healthy fats, and iron. Hence, overall, the mixture is beneficial for them in terms of their growth and development.
Additionally, you can also feed them broccoli sprouts as it is rich in protein. However, you’ll have to take care of the quantity because excess protein can also cause issues.
Moreover, broccoli and Brussel sprouts belong to the same family, so goats can also suffer from bloating, the same way they react to Brussel sprouts.
What Vegetables Can Goats Eat?
As contrary to popular belief that goats can eat literally anything, this is not the case. They are very picky eaters and tend to eat only things that they like. The rest of the things, they’ll completely ignore.
There are a couple of vegetables that a goat can eat. They include celery, carrots, lettuce, spinach, and squash. They can also eat cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and broccoli.
What Goats Cannot Eat?
There are certain food products that goats cannot digest. Neither will it suit them and they include meat, avocados, potatoes, chocolate, cherry pits, garlic, and grain.
Numerous people may suggest that goats can easily eat kitchen scraps but there is a lot of stuff in the scraps that are harmful to them. Potato peels, avocado shells, meat packets, etc. can create serious trouble for the goat.
Can Goats Eat Potatoes?
Yes, goats can eat potatoes but not if they have green skin. If such type of potato is in the kitchen scrap then don’t keep it in front of the goat. Make sure that you thoroughly wash the potatoes and then give them.
Remember that this should also be given to them in moderation.
Goats are the most precious of all animals and if you have one on your farm, then let them roam around free as they’ll be happy this way. Since we usually believe that goats like to eat everything, we don’t feed things in moderation which can create a problem.
There are loads of vegetables and fruits that you can feed to a goat but always feed them in limited quantity. Additionally, reserve food like Brussel sprouts as treats only.