Have you ever heard the old saying that goats will eat anything, even a tin can?
This is only - partially - true.
Goats eat many different things, and can eat a LOT of what they do find tasty. Part of the fun of owning a goat is trying out different treats and watching your goats nibble on everything in their own foodie journey to discovering new and tasty dishes.
However, goats can be oddly picky about what kinds of things they end up devouring in full. It can be surprising what they like and do not!
Here are 5 tired and true treats goats love to eat.
1. Cracked corn
Cracked corn is a go to staple for our goats. It's a great addition of grain for their diets outside of their regular grain pellets.
The goats go crazy over cracked corn, and will nibble it up out of your hand quickly.
You can get cracked corn in large 50 pound bags at most feed stores, so there's plenty to go around.
I use it to help train goats and to lure them onto the milking stand.
Goats love fresh fruit. Bananas have just the right texture and are easy to chew.
Most goats may need fruit to be chopped into smaller portions to eat. Bananas can just be peeled and the goats will go to town.
Some fruit, like watermelons are best served by holding the fruit so they can easily bite into the melon. It can be tricky to hold a watermelon for the goats! Bananas, however, are really easy to hold and feed the goats.
They'll love the flavor and eat the entire banana in a minute flat.
Our goats get an apple a day. The fresh fruit is a sweet treat and healthy addition to their diet of veg and grain. Yaara, the goat pictured here, especially loves apples, and has come to expect her treat every morning with her hay.
As mentioned above, hard fruit is best served cut into bite sized pieces. It makes it easier for the goat to eat, and assures that none of the food will go to waste. It also allows you to have some bonding time with the goats, and can be used as a lure for getting goats back into their pens/shelters/etc.
The goats seem to enjoy any kind of apple - green, red, yellow - it's the sugar and juice they seem to love.
While goats may not eat cardboard for sustenance, they'll love chewing on cardboard for fun.
I find my goats ripping cardboard boxes and bags apart all the time. They love to play with the cardboard, and chew it almost like a bubble gum.
It's a fun treat for goats and the cheapest of the treats on this list.
Make sure your cardboard is not bleached (white colored cardboard), and is clean of any stickers/glue before you hand it over.
The goats will be too cute to watch once you do!
5. Animal Crackers
The last treat on the list is also the goats favorite.
Plain ol' animal crackers seem to be our goats favorite snack. As soon as they know you have animal crackers, the goats are bound to jump all over you and follow you just about anywhere.
Our goats get a few crackers every evening when they are put into their shelter for bed. Whenever the sun goes down and I come into the pen, my older goats come running and chase me around until they know it's bed time. Bed time = crackers.
Pick up the cheaper animal crackers at your local store and you're bound to have some happy goats. I use the crackers to help train the goats for milking and walking on a leash as well. It must be the combination of grain and sugar that they love so much.
You'll know fellow goat owners by the leftover animal crackers that tend to be left in coat pockets, kitchen cabinets, and tool sheds. It seems to be a favorite no matter the breed.
So there you have it - 5 treats goats are bound to love.
Goat treats are invaluable. Many goats will need some amount of training, and many more will escape their pens and need some kind of lure to be tempted to return.
Here are 5 that are guaranteed to work with most any breed of goat, boy or girl.
Experiment with different kinds of fruit, grain, and veg to find out other great snacks that your goat prefers - I promise there are probably 100s of other tasty treats to have fun with.