If you take a look at the eating habits of goats, you may find that they eat most fruits and vegetables. Now, cantaloupe is a variety of muskmelon species. So, can goats eat cantaloupe, and do they like this fruit?
Although cantaloupes are generally safe for goats, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we will talk about everything related to goats and cantaloupe. Read on!
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is a delicious and fleshy fruit that is full of nutrients. It doesn’t contain any specific toxic ingredients. Therefore, goats can eat cantaloupe in moderation.
Moreover, when it comes to goats, you may know that they are not exactly picky eaters. So, if you give them a new food item to try, such as cantaloupe, most goats will definitely try it. However, keep in mind that not all goats like to eat cantaloupe. They may prefer their ordinary meals over this fruit.
Also, bear in mind that if you are feeding cantaloupe to your goat for the first time, you need to take precautions. Try to give your goat a little cantaloupe first, and see if it suits its stomach well.
Is Cantaloupe Good for Goats?
Cantaloupe is good for goats if consumed in limited quantities. This summer fruit contains high levels of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Additionally, it also has high water content, that can keep your goat well-hydrated.
But, one thing to note here is that cantaloupe does contain a lot of sugar (around 13 grams) as compared to most other fruits. So, if you feed your goat too many cantaloupes, it may ingest excess sugar. High levels of sugar in any form aren’t desirable for goats.
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe to the Goats
Cantaloupe fruit is full of nutrients. These nutrients can provide several health benefits to goats. So, let’s take a look at the various nutrients present in cantaloupe, and how they can benefit goats.
- Vitamin A
Cantaloupe contains 3382 IU of Vitamin A. Therefore, it is quite rich in Vitamin A and can provide several benefits to goats.
For instance, Vitamin A is responsible for promoting better eyesight and can also improve your goat’s skin health. Additionally, it can also protect the respiratory tracts of goats and can fight any infections.
Hence, your goat can get great amounts of Vitamin A if it consumes cantaloupes.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an important factor for blood clotting and coagulation. If goats have Vitamin K deficiency, they may bleed out from minute injuries too.
Thankfully, cantaloupes offer Vitamin K, which can keep your goat safe from bleeding excessively if there’s an injury.
- Vitamin C and E
If you’re looking for a fruit that can help increase your goat’s immunity, then cantaloupes may help.
Cantaloupes contain both Vitamin C and E. These vitamins are responsible for improving the body’s immunity by fighting off the free radicals. Specifically, Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and protects a goat’s organs.
Cantaloupes are full of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc. Each of these minerals has its own health benefits to goats. For instance, calcium can help in strengthening their bones whereas magnesium helps with a better metabolism.
So, you can expect several health benefits if you feed cantaloupes to your goats!
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe Rinds?
Goats can eat cantaloupe rinds, but they may not be willing to do so.
Cantaloupe rind or the outer skin is slightly orange in color, with several net-like ridges. Most people remove it due to its hard and unpalatable taste. Similarly, most goats may not like to eat cantaloupe rinds. However, you can try feeding your goat cantaloupe rinds, if you want to.
Before you give your goat cantaloupe rinds, you need to keep one thing in mind. The ridges on the cantaloupe’s rind have indentations, where dirt and bacteria can get stuck. So, you should always wash it thoroughly to prevent your goat from getting sick.
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe Skin?
Cantaloupe skin is the same as the rind. Therefore, goats can eat cantaloupe skin but they may not like it due to its weird texture and flavor.
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe Seeds?
Cantaloupe seeds are pale orange in color. They contain abundant nutrients, such as antioxidants, proteins, and fibers. Moreover, they have a lovely mild and crunchy taste, that may suit goats well.
But, the real question is can goats eat cantaloupe seeds? The answer is yes, they can as cantaloupe seeds are free of toxins. They are also too small to cause any choking-related issues.
Yet, it is best to not feed just the seeds to your goat. Instead, give them the entire fruit, along with the seeds in it.
You should also refrain from giving cooked seeds to your goat. This is because your goat’s body may take a longer time to digest cooked seeds, instead of raw ones.
Can Goats Eat Cantaloupe Leaves?
If you grow cantaloupe in your garden, you may wonder if you can feed its leaves to your goat. Well, the answer is yes, you can.
Just like the cantaloupe fruit, cantaloupe leaves are non-toxic in nature. Hence, your goat can chew on it and consume it without facing any problem later on.
Note that you should fence the region containing the cantaloupe plant if your goat loves to eat cantaloupe leaves. It may keep on eating the leaves and cause damage to the plant.
How to Serve Cantaloupe to the Goats?
You can serve cantaloupe to goats in several ways. However, before giving them a full cantaloupe, it is best to give them two to three cut pieces. This way, you can monitor if your goat can stomach cantaloupe properly or not.
Now, let’s take a look at the different ways to serve cantaloupe to your goat.
- Plain Cantaloupe
If you don’t want to put in much effort, simply wash the cantaloupe and remove the rind. Then, cut it into small pieces to avoid choking hazards in your goat.
- Frozen Cantaloupe
Some goats may prefer cool treats during the hot summer months. Therefore, try to scoop out balls of cantaloupe. Then, put them on a tray and freeze them.
You can take out the frozen cantaloupe and serve them as treats to your goat whenever you want.
- Cantaloupe Juice
Do you not want your goat to chew cantaloupe? Well, how about preparing them a cantaloupe juice.
All you need to do is mix cut pieces of cantaloupe in a blender and serve the juice to your goat. You may also add other fruits to the juice, such as watermelon, peaches, pears, and many more. Ensure that you don’t add extra sugar to the juice.
- Honey-Covered Cantaloupe Balls
Finally, you can scoop out bite-sized cantaloupe balls. Then, consider dipping them in honey if you wish to mask the original taste of cantaloupe if your goat doesn’t like it.
How Much Cantaloupe Can Goats Eat?
You should feed cantaloupes to your goat only twice or thrice weekly. This fruit is high in sugar and may pose minor risks in the long run.
Moreover, it is recommended to give only one to two pieces of cantaloupe initially to your goat. After all, you’re feeding something new to your goat and its digestive system might not be used to it.
Giving excess cantaloupe pieces to goats may lead to a condition known as bloating. This can adversely affect your goat. So, try to limit the quantity always.
Things to Remember Before Feeding Cantaloupe to Goats
If you’re feeding cantaloupes to your goat, you don’t need to worry about much. However, there are still a few points to remember before you cantaloupes to your goat. These include:
- Start Slow
As mentioned above, you shouldn’t start feeding cantaloupes in large quantities to your goats. This abrupt change can lead to stomach issues, as your goat’s body isn’t used to a new item.
We suggest giving one to two pieces of cantaloupe to your goat. Then, slowly increase the quantity if you feel like your goat is asking for more.
- Opt for Fresh and Organic Cantaloupe
You should never feed your goats stale cantaloupes. They are a storehouse of bacteria that can cause health issues in your goat.
Also, always buy fresh and organic cantaloupes instead of the chemically-treated ones, if you’re buying cantaloupes for your goat.
- Go For Raw Cantaloupes Only
Goats may have difficulty digesting cooked foods. So, you should always give them raw cantaloupes only. Moreover, raw fruits are always more nutritious than their cooked counterparts.
- Keep The Goat’s Diet Diverse
You should never just rely on cantaloupe to cover your goat’s entire meal. Instead, try to keep their meal plan diverse by offering various fruits and vegetables.
Goats love their greens, but some of them absolutely love fruits too! Yet, cantaloupe is a fruit that may have an acquired taste. So, some goats may love it, whereas some won’t. Regardless of this fact, goats can still eat cantaloupe in a limited quantity.