When you think of pumpkin, what comes to mind? Halloween. Jack-o’-lanterns. Low carb diets. You probably don’t think of pumpkins as a food source for your pet goat, right? It turns out that pumpkins are a wonderful addition to most animals’ diets.
When fed in moderation, pumpkins are an excellent treat for goats. Feeding pumpkins to goats is particularly helpful in boosting the count of minerals and B-complex vitamins in their body. The flesh of the pumpkin contains a number of proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients that your pet will benefit from. Moreover, Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of copper, manganese, and zinc.
Many people out there mistake the goats’ curious nature to mean that they can eat anything. However, that’s far from the truth. Just because goats put everything in their mouths doesn’t necessarily mean they’re eating it.
When it comes to their diet, goats, like every other animal, need a balanced and nutritious diet to live a long, healthy life. But how would you figure out which vegetables are safe and healthy for them? What about pumpkins?
In this article, we are going to explore all aspects of feeding pumpkins to goats: their nutritional value, health benefits, safety for the kids, and more.
Why feed pumpkins to goats?
Before we move on to talk about feeding pumpkins to the goats, let us ask ourselves this first: why do we need to add pumpkins to their diet? All the goat owners purchase goat feeds that are specifically designed to meet t
their pet ruminants’ dietary needsWhy would we feed them pumpkins on top of it?
The answer to this is: pumpkins can work as both tasty and healthy snacks that can be fed to them occasionally, in order to add variety to their diet. But can pumpkins add more to your pet’s diet than variety?
Before we talk about that, we must have a basic understanding of the nutritional breakdown of pumpkins.
The nutritional value of pumpkins
To evaluate the usefulness of pumpkins for your goats, you must take a quick peek at the table given below, which contains information about the nutritional composition of pumpkins:
|Vitamin A||7384 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.11 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.298 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.061 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||16 mcg|
|Vitamin C||9 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.06 mg|
|Vitamin K||1.1 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||21 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.8 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.127 mg|
|Potassium, K||340 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.125 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||44 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.32 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.3 mcg|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can see for yourself, pumpkins are indeed nutrient-dense vegetables that can greatly enhance the health of goats. But aren’t you curious about what roles the aforementioned nutrients would play in your pet’s diet?
You needn’t worry, for we have already researched about it. In the next section, you can learn all about these vegetables’ health benefits for your pet ruminants.
Health benefits of pumpkins for goats
In the following pointers, we will describe the benefits of the nutrients present in pumpkins for your goats:
- If you want your goat to have healthy eyesight and skin, adding sufficient amounts of Vitamin A to their diet is essential. This vitamin supports their epithelial development and aids them in fighting against all kinds of infections (particularly the respiratory ones). Additionally, Vitamin A can also boost their reproductive health.
- Vitamin C serves the same purpose in almost all animals and birds, including your goats; it strengthens their immune health.
- Vitamin E adds healthy antioxidants to your pet’s diet. This vitamin is even more essential for the kids, as it promotes their healthy muscle growth.
- Vitamin K plays a key role in your goat’s blood clotting processes. If they lack this vitamin in their diet, they could potentially bleed to death even from a small cut.
- Because Calcium serves several important functions in your goat’s body, it is the most important mineral for them. It is indispensable in their enzyme activities, muscle contraction, nervous as well as cardiovascular functions.
- Goats need Magnesium in their body because it helps them in breaking down the carbs and fats from the food they consume.
- Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen in your pet’s blood and, therefore, maintains cell respiration in their body.
- Zinc serves two purposes for your pets: it can be effective in stress management and is also essential in protein synthesis.
- Finally, it is also believed that the flesh of pumpkins is rich in anti-parasitic properties, which means these veggies can keep your goats safe from all kinds of parasitic infections.
Raw or cooked pumpkin: which one is better for goats?
While we would never eat pumpkins raw, most animals are used to munching on fruits and vegetables in their raw form. Is that how you should be feeding pumpkins to your goats as well? Fortunately, goats can eat both raw as well as cooked pumpkins. However, we would recommend you to feed them cooked pumpkins instead of raw ones, and here’s why.
Contrary to the popular belief that cooking veggies can reduce their nutritional richness, cooked pumpkins are just as healthy for your goats as raw ones. Moreover, cooking these veggies makes both their flesh and rind softer and, therefore, easier for them to chew and digest.
If you are about to feed cooked pumpkins to your pets, here are a few things you must keep in mind:
- Once the pumpkins are cooked, let them cool down properly for about 20-30 minutes before serving them to your pets. This way, your goats will not be at the risk of burning the inside of their mouth.
- Try to avoid adding any seasoning (even salt) to the cooked pumpkins to make them taste better for the goats. Your pets are not used to digesting these spices and could end up with an upset stomach if they consume them. This should also apply to the raw pumpkins.
Can goats eat the rind of pumpkins?
Did you know that the rind of the pumpkin is where its nutrients are most concentrated? But if that’s true, why don’t we eat the rind? Simply because it is unpalatable as well as too tough to eat. But what about your pet goats?
Can they eat pumpkin rind? Well, although goats can safely eat them, they can be picky with their food at times and might not like eating it. If your pets don’t like the rind either, it’s no big deal. But if they do, it’s good news!
If you’re willing to feed your goats pumpkins with their rind, you must purchase organic pumpkins that have no risk of added toxic chemicals like pesticides and insecticides.
What about pumpkin seeds? Are they safe for the goats?
Whenever we talk about feeding a fruit or a vegetable to our pets, the seeds are always the trickiest parts. Some seeds contain toxic compounds, while others can pose a choking hazard for them. What about pumpkin seeds? Are they safe or harmful to your goats?
Well, the seeds of these vegetables contain no toxins and are completely safe for your goats. Moreover, they are also rich in Cucurbitacin, an amino acid that can paralyze the worms in their body, preventing your pets from their infestation. In other words, they are natural de-wormers for your goats.
While the pumpkin seeds are healthy for your pets, whether or not will they eat these seeds is completely dependent on their individual taste. Some goats might not mind eating them, while others will ignore it completely.
Can you feed butternut pumpkins to goats?
The butternut pumpkins are a squash species that grows in winters and has a nutty taste, just like the regular pumpkins. These pumpkins are completely safe for your goats to eat in moderation. However, it would be best not to feed these fruits to your pets too frequently because of their sugar content
Are canned pumpkins safe for goats to eat?
Because pumpkins are seasonal vegetables that are not cultivated all year round, they are processed and canned so that our beloved pumpkin pies (along with other pumpkin dishes) can be enjoyed in every season.
While we don’t even think twice before purchasing canned pumpkins for ourselves, what about our pet ruminants?
Can they enjoy canned pumpkins as well? No, goats must not eat canned pumpkins. Because canned pumpkins are manufactured solely for human consumption, they can possibly contain a number of additives and preservatives which might not harm us but can be lethal to our pet ruminants. Thus, only fresh pumpkins are suitable for your goats to eat.
Conclusion: Can goats eat pumpkins?
Rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, pumpkins are healthy not only for us but also for our pet ruminants. When fed occasionally, they can enhance your goat’s health in many ways.
Along with the regular pumpkins, goats can also eat butternut pumpkins safely. There’s only one thing that you should keep in mind: do not feed them too many pumpkins, or they might refuse to eat their feed, which will ultimately result in their malnourishment.