Goats are known for their adventurous eating habits, often munching on a variety of plants and fruits. However, when it comes to citrus fruits like tangerines, goat owners and hobby farmers often wonder if these fruits are safe for their hooved companions.
In this informative post, we’ll share our experience based information on tangerines for goats, what precautions you should take, and how to offer these fruits responsibly to your herd.
Can Goats Eat Citrus Fruits
Yes, goats can eat citrus fruits, including tangerines. However, citrus fruits contain a natural compound called psoralen, which can be phototoxic in large quantities.
And let’s be real, the amount of tangerines your goats would have to eat to react to the psoralen in them would first cause serious digestive distress due to the sugars and acidic properties of the fruit.
So all in all, while goats can enjoy tangerines in moderation, it’s crucial to offer them sparingly and monitor their intake. Feeding goats excessive amounts of citrus fruits will quickly lead to bloating and/or diarrhea!
Before Offering Your Goat Tangerines
Before introducing tangerines into your goat’s diet, ensure they are ripe and free from any mold or spoilage.
We also always wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any residual pesticides or contaminants. Additionally, we are big believers in observing your goat’s reaction after consuming a small amount of a new food; this is the best way to pick up on adverse effects.
If your goat does show signs of discomfort or digestive problems, refrain from giving them citrus fruits in the future – some goats just can’t digest certain fruits!
Our Tips On A Goat’s Best Diet
Goats are efficient eaters, they forage and browse for the tastiest plant bits and intake a large quantity of coarse, fibrous plant material if it is available to them.
For this reason, we offer our goats unlimited amounts of high quality hay in addition to a rotating outdoor foraging area. We feel that this ensures any sweet treats like tangerines or cantaloupe are balanced out by the high fiber available to them!
And Remember: Goats Synthesize Vitamin C
While some goat owners may think tangerines are a great treat because of the 25.7mg of Vitamin C per serving, an average adult goat can synthesize over 13,000 mg of Vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) daily!
This synthesization of Vitamin C occurs in the liver of the goats and also involves their rumen.
13,000mg is a ton of vitamin C, especially when you understand that the usual recommendation of daily vitamin C intake for an adult human is just 90mg.
Producing such high amounts of ascorbic acid ensures that goats never face a vitamin C deficit; it also means that goats do NOT require dietary Vitamin C (i.e. lots of citrus fruit treats) to remain healthy and happy.
How To Offer Goats Tangerines
If your goat tolerates tangerines well, you can offer them as an occasional treat.
Remove the seeds and peel the tangerine, as the seeds can be a choking hazard and the peel can be tough to digest.
Then, we suggest sectioning the fruit into its small, individual bits to prevent choking.
Our best tip: mix tangerines in with other goat-friendly treats such as zucchini, or even mix them in with a bit of hay!
Can Goats Eat Citrus Leaves
While goats can consume small amounts of citrus fruits, citrus leaves are not recommended for goats.
Citrus leaves, like those from lemon or orange trees, are pretty bitter and can upset your goats sensitive digestive system. We truly think it is best to keep goats away from citrus trees and avoid feeding them citrus leaves altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions Related To Can Goats Have Tangerines
Do Goats Eat Oranges?
Yes, goats can eat oranges as they are a nontoxic fruit, just like tangerines. However, there are some caveats to offering this citrus to your goats, read more about this in our post on Oranges For Goats.
Can Goats Eat Tangerine Peels?
No, it’s not recommended to feed goats tangerine peels. The peel can be tough to digest and may cause digestive issues in goats. Remove the peel and offer only the pulp in small, bite-sized pieces as a treat.
Learn more about “the Vitamin C gene” in this awesome video!
Final Thoughts On Can Goats Eat Tangerines
In summary, goats can eat tangerines, but it should be done in moderation and these citrus fruits shouldn’t ever be more than a treat!
Remember to remove seeds and peels, and observe your goat for any adverse reactions. While goats enjoy a diverse diet, responsible feeding practices are essential to keeping them healthy and happy.