As anyone with goats can tell you, goats want to die.
It’s basically common knowledge for any goat farmer.
One of the most common ways that goats can die, or at least get sick, is from internal parasites, specifically worms.
I’ve previously done an article on treating goats for worms and other parasites that goats are susceptible for, so I’m not going to bore you by repeating those same details. Instead, I’m going to focus this article on pumpkins and their benefits for our caprine friends.
With the fall holidays coming to a close soon, it’s important to know how you can repurpose the pumpkins and gourds that you may have leftover from Halloween and Thanksgiving. Good news is that they can easily be reused for goats.
The important thing to keep in mind that they have to be pumpkins that have not been painted or coated with a sealant, as the chemicals in sealants and most paints are harmful to goats just as they would be to us. It can not be assumed that the goats will not eat the rinds of the pumpkins, even though that is a great possibility based on our herd here at Bales Goats. It is not worth the risk.
The same goes for pesticides that may have been used on the pumpkins.
That being said, pumpkins have many benefits for your goats. As I’ve already stated, pumpkins are said to be a natural dewormer for the species. While some say that goats can’t eat enough pumpkin to actually be an effective wormer, many claim they work quite well.
Regardless of which side of that fence you stand on, there is no debate that pumpkins are very healthy for goats as both a treat and a nutritional supplement.
Pumpkins contain significant levels of Vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, fiber, and protein. All of these are good for the goats.
Vitamin A is important for the goats’ vision and immune system, potassium plays an important role in metabolism, phosphorus aids in milk production and fat reserves, fiber aids in digestion, and protein is required for almost all normal functions of the goats’ body.
Pumpkins can be fed to the goats raw or roasted as long as they were roasted without sugar, salt, or other additives. Goats can also eat seeds raw or roasted under the same restriction, as the seeds are particularly high in protein. Pumpkin leaves are also good for the goats, as they carry lots of fiber in them.
When feeding goats pumpkin, be cautious how much you give them. When fed in excess, pumpkin, like any treat or other change in diet can lead to short-term sickness in your goats. Studies show that goats can eat around 3 pounds of pumpkin per day per goats, though to be safe it is advised that you feed the goats by hand unless you have a large herd.
If you have pumpkins but no goats, Bales Goats is currently taking up donations of pumpkins to feed our herd. We thank anyone that chooses to donate in advance.