What do goats eat?
Goats are ruminant animals that belong to the subfamily of Bovidae.
They are native to warmer climates and can be found on every continent except for Antarctica.
What Goats Eat
Their natural diet consists mostly of grasses.
However, they also feed on brush or woody vegetation, tree leaves, tree bark, herbs, twigs, and fruit.
Goats don’t stop there, though.
They are also known to eat berries, the leaves of seedlings, pumice, saltbush, and sagebrush.
Occasionally, they would also eat other plants that many other animals would not consider edible.
While they eat vegetation from different sources throughout the day, goats are more selective about what they eat at night.
It has been reported that both male and female goats are more likely to eat brush when they are in estrus.
Goats require a diet high in fiber for proper digestion and to prevent health problems such as enterotoxemia (also known as “overeating disease”).
They also require a variety of vegetation to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need.
If their diet lacks the proper vitamins and minerals, goats may become anemic or weakened.
Goats can eat up to 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms) of food per 100 pounds (45.5 kilograms) of body weight per day.
This can be in the form of hay, grass, brush, leaves, trees, and other forage. An average goat eats around 2-3% of its body weight per day.
How Do Goats Eat?
Goats eat by using their lips to tear off pieces of vegetation or woody brush.
After that, they then place it in their mouth and break it down with side-to-side jaw movements.
They also graze when eating grasses and other plants like clover and alfalfa that grow close to the ground.
Goats have a digestive system that allows them to digest foods which would typically be considered too harsh for other animals.
They have four-chambered stomachs, which means they chew their cud, regurgitate food from one stomach, and then re-chew it.
This allows them to extract the maximum amount of nutrients from tough, fibrous plant material such as small tree branches and bark.
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