Can Goats Eat Potatoes? 5 Excellent Benefits

Written By Jill Taylor

One of my favorite tasks when growing up was feeding the goats we kept on our property. Through this experience, I became fascinated with their dietary habits, leading me to a lifelong passion for animal nutrition. Can goats eat potatoes? This is a question I’ve encountered numerous times throughout my career, and the short answer is yes, but with caution.

Goats, known for their voracious appetite and ability to consume a wide variety of foods, can technically eat potatoes. However, these starchy vegetables need to be fed sparingly and with certain precautions in mind. Raw potatoes and potato plants, especially green parts, can be toxic to goats due to the presence of solanine, a natural toxin found in potatoes and other plants in the nightshade family.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the health benefits of potato consumption for goats and provide tips on how to feed them this tuber safely. Keep reading to learn more!

can goats eat potatoes

The benefits of eating potatoes for goats

Like most goat owners, you want to do everything you can to keep your animals healthy and happy. One easy way to do this is by feeding them a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. And one vegetable that is particularly good for goats is the potato. Here are some reasons potatoes should be a part of your goat’s diet.

Good source of fiber

One of the benefits of feeding potatoes to goats is that they provide a good source of fiber. Fiber is essential to a goat’s diet, and potatoes can help them meet their daily fiber needs.

This is especially important for older goats, as fiber can help keep their digestive system functioning correctly.

Relatively low in sugar

Another benefit of potatoes for goats is that they are relatively low in sugar. This is important because too much sugar can harm goats, leading to problems like obesity and diabetes.

Potatoes can help give your goats the energy they need without giving them too much sugar.

Contain vitamins and minerals

One of the main benefits of potatoes for goats is that they are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Goats need a variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, and potatoes can help provide them with those nutrients.

Potatoes are high in Vitamin C, which is vital for immunity and joint health. So, if you’re looking for a way to boost your goat’s health, adding potatoes to their diet is a great option.

Help goats stay hydrated

Another reason to feed your goat potatoes is that they can help them stay hydrated. Goats need to consume a lot of water each day, and eating dry hay can make it difficult for them to stay hydrated.

However, potatoes are about 80% water, so they can help keep goats hydrated and help offset the dehydration caused by hay.

Can be a part of a healthy, balanced diet

Finally, potatoes can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet for goats. Goats need various foods to stay healthy, and potatoes can help provide them with the nutrients they need.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add more variety to your goat’s diet, potatoes are a great option.


Things to watch out for when feeding potatoes to goats

Potatoes are a nutritious and delicious treat for goats, but there are a few things you need to watch out for when feeding them to your four-legged friends. Read on to learn more about three potential potato-related problems and how to avoid them.

Green potatoes can be toxic

If you’re feeding your goats potatoes that you’ve grown yourself, make sure to give them the fully ripe ones. Green potatoes contain solanine, which can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities.

Even a small amount of solanine can cause stomach upset in goats, so it’s best to be safe and only offer fully ripe potatoes. If you need to figure out whether or not a potato is ripe, cut it open; if it’s green inside, don’t feed it to your goat.

Don’t overdo it

Like all good things, you should give potatoes to goats in moderation. Too many potatoes can lead to scours (diarrhea), so start by giving your goat just a few slices or chunks at a time.

If they seem to enjoy them and have no adverse reaction, you can slowly increase the amount you give them over time.

Avoid feeding raw potatoes

Finally, it’s important to avoid feeding raw potatoes to goats. Raw potatoes can be hard for goats to digest, and they may cause gastrointestinal upset.

If you want to feed your goat potatoes, cook them to make them easier to digest. You can bake or boil the potatoes; make sure they’re cooked all the way through before giving them to your goat.

How often should goats eat potatoes?


Potatoes are a good source of nutrients for goats, but they should only be given a few times per week. Too much potato can lead to digestive problems and cause the goat’s coat to become dry and dull. In addition, goats typically don’t enjoy eating potatoes as much as other foods, so it’s important to do it sparingly.

If you’re looking for a way to add variety to your goat’s diet, consider mixing in some potatoes a few times per week. They’ll get the nutrients they need without becoming sick or unhappy.

How to prepare potatoes for feeding to goats

goat and kid

When it comes to feeding potatoes to your goats, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you’ll need to wash and peel the potatoes. Then, you’ll need to cook them before feeding them to your goats – either on their own or mixed in with their regular feed.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you should only feed your goats potatoes in moderation. With that said, let’s go into a bit more detail about each of these steps.

Wash and Peel the Potatoes

The first step is to wash and peel the potatoes. This will help remove any dirt or pesticides that may be on the skin of the potato. It’s also important to remove the skin because it contains solanine – a compound that can be poisonous to animals if consumed in large quantities.

Once you’ve washed and peeled the potatoes, you can move on to cooking them.

Cook the Potatoes Before Feeding Them to Your Goats

It’s important to cook the potatoes before feeding them to your goats. First, cooked potatoes are easier for goats to digest than raw potatoes.

Second, cooking helps reduce the levels of solanine present in the potato, making them safer for your goats to consume. You can boil or bake the potatoes before feeding them to your goats.

Feed Your Goats Potatoes in Moderation

Goats can safely eat potatoes in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, they should not be fed an exclusive diet of potatoes or any one type of food, for that matter. An unbalanced diet can lead to health problems for your goat, so it’s essential to ensure they’re getting various nutrients from different sources.

That said, feel free to mix some boiled or baked potatoes with your goat’s regular feed. They’ll love them.

Can baby goats eat potatoes?

baby goats eating

As any goat owner knows, these creatures are curious and will try to nibble on just about anything. So, it’s unsurprising that some people wonder if baby goats can eat potatoes. The short answer is yes, but only after they are at least 2 months old. Before that, their stomachs are still too sensitive to digest this food.

It’s also important to note that baby goats should only eat cooked potatoes. Raw potatoes can be harmful to their health. If you need to know whether or not your baby goat is ready for solid food, it’s best to err on the side of caution and only give them some once they are a bit older.

Can goats eat potato leaves and stems?

Gardeners often find themselves with an abundance of potato leaves and stems after a harvest. While people do not typically eat these plant parts, you may wonder if goats can eat them.

Unfortunately, potato leaves and stems are toxic to goats. They contain solanine and chaconine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even death in goats. If you have leftover potato leaves and stems, it is best to compost them or throw them away rather than feed them to your goats.

Can goats eat green potatoes?

Green potatoes contain a toxin called solanine, which can harm goats. While some goats are resistant to this toxin, it is best to play it safe and avoid feeding green potatoes to your herd.

If they eat green potatoes, monitor them closely for signs of illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. In most cases, goats will be fine if they consume a small amount of green potato peel. However, it is still best to avoid feeding green potatoes to your goats altogether.

Can goats eat raw potatoes?

Goats are browsers rather than grazers, meaning they prefer to nibble on various plants rather than eat large quantities of one type of food. This diet helps them to obtain the nutrients they need to stay healthy. However, it also means that they can be easily upset if they eat something that doesn’t agree with them.

For example, raw potatoes can be problematic for goats because of their high starch content. If consumed in large quantities, starch can cause digestive issues in goats. Additionally, raw potatoes contain solanine, a toxic compound that can make goats sick.

For these reasons, it’s best to cook potatoes before feeding them to your goat. By taking this simple precaution, you can help to ensure that your goat stays healthy and happy.

Can goats eat potato peels?

Potato peels contain a higher concentration of solanine, which can be toxic to goats in large quantities. In addition, green potato peels should be avoided, as they can also be poisonous.

As a result, it is best to avoid feeding goats potato peels altogether. While a small amount of peel may not harm your goat, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to their diet.

Can goats eat sweet potatoes?

fresh sweet potatoes

While sweet potatoes contain the same nutrients as regular potatoes, they also contain the same toxins. As a result, it is crucial to cook sweet potatoes before feeding them to goats. When cooked properly, sweet potatoes can be a tasty treat for goats.

In addition to being a good source of nutrients, sweet potatoes can also help to control weight gain. As a result, they are an excellent food for goats of all ages.

Can goats eat mashed potatoes?

Goats are creatures of habit, and they like their food to be simple. So, it’s best to keep things plain when it comes to mashed potatoes. That means no butter, salt, or other flavorings. Goats can eat mashed potatoes in moderation, but they shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet.

Potatoes are high in carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and digestive problems. So, while your goat may enjoy the occasional helping of mashed potatoes, it’s best to stick to its usual diet of hay, pellets, and fresh vegetables.

Can goats eat potato chips?

While goats are known for being able to eat just about anything, that doesn’t mean that they should. One food that you may be wondering about is potato chips. They are often cooked in oil and contain salt and other flavorings, so they are not the best treat for goats.

Goats need a diet high in fiber and low in sugar, and potato chips do not meet these requirements. In addition, oil and salt can be hard on a goat’s digestive system. So, while your goat may be interested in eating potato chips, giving them something else as a treat is best.

Can goats eat french fries?

Most goats enjoy a good treat, and french fries are no exception. While they are often cooked in oil and may contain salt and other flavorings, goats generally find them just as delicious as we do. However, french fries are not the best treat for goats. Like all animals, goats need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and french fries are high in fat and salt.

In addition, cooking oil can cause digestive problems for sensitive goats. So while your goat may enjoy a few french fries from time to time, it’s essential to limit their intake and ensure they’re getting plenty of other healthy foods.

What other vegetables can goats eat?

carrots chopped and whole

One of the incredible characteristics of goats is their ability to consume and extract nutrition from a wide variety of plant materials. In addition to potatoes, a host of other vegetables can be integrated into a goat’s diet, each with their own unique set of benefits and precautions. Let’s delve into five such vegetables to understand their impact on a goat’s health.


Carrots are an excellent addition to a goat’s diet. High in vitamins and minerals, notably beta carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A), these vegetables are not just safe but also beneficial for goats. They’re a great source of dietary fiber as well, promoting healthy digestion. Remember to feed them in moderation and ensure that the carrots are clean and free from mold or rot.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Carrots? 5 Fantastic Benefits

Sweet Potatoes

Just like regular potatoes, sweet potatoes should be fed to goats with caution. While they are a good source of vitamins A, C, and B6, and fiber, the green parts of the plant are toxic to goats. The tubers should be cooked and properly cooled before being fed to goats, as raw sweet potatoes can be difficult to digest and may cause bloating.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Sweet Potatoes? Simple Answer & Feeding Tips


Turnips are another safe and nutritious vegetable that goats can consume. They provide a good amount of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium, which are essential for a goat’s health. Both the bulb and the leafy tops can be fed to goats, offering a nice variety in texture and nutrients. As always, moderation is key.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Turnips? 4 Great Health Benefits


Unlike the previous vegetables, onions are not recommended for goats. They contain a compound called N-propyl disulfide, which can cause a condition called hemolytic anemia, leading to the destruction of red blood cells. The consumption of onions by goats should be strictly avoided to ensure their health and well-being.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Onions? Unveiling The Surprising Truth


Parsnips can be a nutritious part of a goat’s diet, providing a good amount of dietary fiber, vitamin C, folate, and manganese. They are safe for goats to eat as long as they are clean and free from any signs of decay. Too much can cause bloating, so be sure to feed them in moderation and preferably mixed with other feeds.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Parsnips? Discover The Surprising Answer

Can goats eat potatoes – final thoughts

As we’ve seen, goats can eat potatoes, but there are some things you need to keep in mind. Feeding them raw potatoes is not recommended, as this could cause digestive problems. It is always best to play it safe and cook the potatoes before feeding them to your goats.

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