Goats are flexible when it comes to food choices, they eat grains, grasses, leaves from shrubs, some fruits, and vegetables; but can goats eat celery? Feeding goats seem like an easy task for many homesteaders as they can easily leave them in any pasture and they’ll find something they like to eat. However, most goats are not getting the adequate amount of nutrients to help them produce optimally.
Can goats eat celery? Yes, they can, and they enjoy doing so when they have it in a reasonable quantity. Goats derive nutrients, specifically minerals and vitamins from eating vegetables like celery and they help them improve their overall health and productivity, as most of them are medicinal. Celery is good for goats but they should have it as a treat, not as a replacement for their daily meals.
In this article, you will understand why your goats should have celery as a treat, and in what quantity you should feed them with it. You will also find out the safety of this vegetable for goats of all ages and the nutrients your goats will get from it.
Do Goats Enjoy Eating Celery?
Goats enjoy eating many food choices that are presented with, including celery. Although they are herbivores, they do not have the same feeding habit as other ruminants and herbivores, such as cattle and sheep. Goats will rather eat leaves from shrubs and browse trees than eat grasses. They can be picky eaters, but they also eat what is available.
Celery is strongly flavored and is a common vegetable in the human diet. The leaves and stalk are usually the most important parts of the culinary sphere. However, to goats, the leaves, stalk, and seeds are edible and enjoyable. The leaves are easy to chew, the stalk is crunchy, and the seeds are sweet and oily.
Although goats enjoy eating celery, they may waste them if they are served other vegetables and fruits, such as watermelon, carrots, and pumpkins. This is mainly because they are sweeter than celery. Therefore, you may want to serve celery as a sole treat for your goats.
Is Celery Good to Serve as a Treat?
The strong flavor of celery and the characteristic crunchiness of its stalk is not in question, goats will enjoy them. But, can celery be served to goats as a treat? Treats for goats are meant to meet the inadequate nutrients in their main diet. In other words, they are nutritional supplements.
Celery contains a respectable number of vitamins, but its abundant in water, low in fat, reasonably high in dietary fiber, contains low sugar, and rich in some minerals. The nutrients celery contains will help to improve the health and productivity of your herd, if they are fed with the vegetable consistently.
Here are the nutrients your goats have access to when they consistently eat 100 g of celery.
|Dietary fiber||1.6 g|
|Vitamin A||22 µg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.246 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.074 mg|
|Vitamin C||3.1 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.27 mg|
|Vitamin K||29.3 µg|
Since celery contains more minerals than other nutrients, in volume, it cannot be served as a major source of nutrients. This makes it an excellent treat choice for goats.
Benefits of Feeding your goats with Celery
The nutrients in celery are bound to cause some improvements in your goats’ health and productivity. Although some nutrients are insufficient, they can add up to the required amount when combined with other food materials or treats. Your goats may experience the following benefits from consistently eating celery.
- Improvement in the volume and quantity of milk production in dairy goats due to the presence of choline in celery.
- Easier digestion and controlled feeding due to the presence of dietary fiber in celery that helps to add bulk to food and help your goats feel fuller faster, consequently discouraging obesity and digestive problems.
- Vitamin C helps to improve the efficiency of the immune system in goats by acting as an antioxidant. This helps to strengthen the immune system of your goats.
- Your herd will improve in the number and quality of kids they produce as they will have an abundance of potassium and magnesium, especially if celery is combined with other treats.
- Your herd has a low chance of developing heart conditions and other goat diseases that are associated with the coronary as it is low in fat and sugars but high in magnesium and potassium.
Are Celery Seeds and Sticks Safe for Goats to Eat?
Celery is a vegetable, that is, its economically important part is the leaves. However, goats can eat the leaves, the seeds, and the stalk. The stalk comprises mainly roughages and contains little or no nutrients. However, it is a good source of fiber and will help to make your goats feel full faster. It is safe for goats as long as they eat them in moderation.
Celery seeds are small and they will hardly cause any issues to your goats when they eat them. Although they are slightly bitter, goats have no issues ingesting them. The seeds are safe for your goats to consume.
Celery may contain furocoumarins, depending on when they are harvested. Celery that has flowered usually contains this organic chemical compound but fresh ones that are yet to flower are free from them. They cause phytophotodermatitis – a condition of the skin that makes goats (or other consumers of the vegetable) sensitive to UV light.
Is Celery safe for baby goats?
Feeding adult goats with grains, hay, fruits, and vegetables is safe for them because they have a strong and fully-developed digestive system. However, baby goats have fragile digestive systems that are easily infected and can get upset easily, causing weight loss and in extreme cases, death.
To avoid causing distress to baby goats, it is best to keep them away from celery and other fruits and vegetables till they are weaned. At this time, their digestive system must have had some strength to withstand the digestion of other food items other than milk. Usually, baby goats are weaned at about 8 weeks old. You can introduce them to small portions of fruits and vegetables, to prepare them for the post-weaning diet.
While celery is mild and may not cause any issues in baby goats, it is preferable to give the vegetable to baby goats that are close to weaning age, that is, 6 weeks old and above. It is also important to note that they need a smaller portion compared to adult goats.
Preparing Celery for your goats
Feeding goats with celery is a simple activity that even your children can do. Despite its simplicity, it is important to note that the celery for your goats should be fresh and free from any pathogen or disease. To help your goats eat celery well, follow these steps.
- Wash the fresh vegetables (celery) and ensure that there is no pesticide residue on them.
- Cut the leaves from the stalk, so that your goats can eat one part at a time.
- Place the leaves or stalk in the feeding troughs and watch them eat. Observe how well they take to the leave or stalk.
- If they are more interested in the leaves, remove the stalks and feed them to the goats later.
- Ensure that you do not serve your goats with celery more than three times a week, as it should be a treat.
Feeding Celery to your Goats in Moderation
It is tempting to feed your goats with more vegetables and fruits than grains and grasses because they are easier for them to eat and enjoy. However, you will be depriving your goats of good nutrition if you do so. Therefore, as a general rule of thumb, give goats fruits and vegetables as treats. That is, serve them fruits and vegetables no more than five days a week and only once that day.
So, you can combine some fruits and vegetables and feed them to your goats, or have different fruits or vegetables for different days.
For celery, 100 g of celery is sufficient for two goats per day. When feeding baby goats that are 6 weeks and above, five baby goats or more can eat 100 g of the vegetable.
Can Celery Replace Goats’ Daily Diet?
Celery is a vegetable treat for goats and cannot replace their daily diet. It contains many nutrients in different quantities but is more abundant in micronutrients than macronutrients. This means that goats cannot survive for long while feeding on celery alone. They need food materials that supply massive quantities of carbohydrates, fats, and protein, while celery and other vegetables supplement other nutrients.
Alternative Vegetables to Feed your Goats
Goats will eat any food they are presented with but they have preferences. There are some vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, and poison ivy, among others, that goats will eat without any problems. Also, some fruits, such as grapes, apples, watermelon, and pumpkin, among others, are acceptable to goats.
Celery is a vegetable that is rich in minerals and is best used as a treat for goats. It is safe for goats as long as they are harvested and fed to them before they flower. Goats can eat the leaves, stalk, and seeds of celery but it is not advisable to feed baby goats younger than 6 weeks old with it.