Can Goats Eat Acorns? 5 Important Benefits

Can goats eat acorns? Yes, goats can eat acorns. In fact, they love them! Goats are curious creatures and will try to eat just about anything. It’s important to monitor your goats around acorns, as they can be poisonous to them if they eat too many.

Goats are good at foraging for food and often eat acorns falling from trees. They also tend to know what food is safe for them to eat and which isn’t, meaning that they’re unlikely to eat enough acorns to cause them harm.

This article will cover everything you need to know about feeding goats acorns, including whether or not they can eat them and, if so, how much.

can goats eat acorns

Can goats eat acorns?

The short answer is yes; goats can eat acorns. However, there are a few things you should know before you let your goat munch on acorns. First, acorns contain tannins, which can be toxic to goats in large quantities. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your goat has access to other food and water sources, so they don’t fill up on acorns and end up getting sick.

Second, certain acorns are more bitter than others and may not be more palatable to your goat. If your goat avoids the acorns you’ve given them, it’s best to try a different type or leave them off their menu altogether.

Lastly, remember that even though goats can eat acorns, they should not be the mainstay of their diet. Acorns should be considered a treat and fed in moderation.

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The benefits of eating acorns for goats

Acorns are a great source of nutrition for goats and can provide many benefits. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of feeding acorns to your goat.

Acorns are high in protein

Protein is essential for all animals, including goats. It helps with tissue repair, muscle growth, and immune function. Acorns are a great source of protein for goats, providing them with the nutrients they need to stay healthy and thrive.

Acorns are high in fat

Fat is an essential part of a goat’s diet as well. It provides energy and helps with the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Fat is also necessary for proper brain development in young goats and helps to ensure that your goat’s coat stays healthy and shiny.

Acorns are a great source of healthy fats for goats, making them a valuable addition to their diet.

Acorns are a good source of energy

One of the main benefits of feeding acorns to your goats is that they’re a great energy source. This is especially important if you have goats used for show or other physical activities, as they’ll need all the energy they can get.

Acorns can help with weight gain

Another benefit of feeding acorns to your goats is that they can help with weight gain. If your goat is underweight or has trouble gaining weight, adding acorns to its diet can give them the boost they need. Acorns are high in calories and nutrients, essential for proper growth and development.

Acorns can help with reproductive success

Another benefit of feeding acorns to goats is that they can help with reproductive success. Acorns contain vitamins A and E. These vitamins are essential for reproductive health. They will help your does produce healthy offspring.

Acorns will also help improve the quality of your doe’s milk. This is important because it will give your kids the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

Things to watch out for when feeding acorns to goats

acorn on oak leaves

Acorns are a great source of nutrition for goats. However, there are a few things you need to watch out for when feeding acorns to goats. Here we will discuss three points to remember when feeding your goats acorns.

Be aware of potential toxins

Oak trees contain tannins, which can be toxic to goats in large quantities. Tannins give acorns their bitter taste. They can also cause gastrointestinal upset in goats. If your goat consumes too many acorns, it may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite loss.

To avoid this, ensure that your goat has access to other food and water sources. This will help ensure they don’t fill up on acorns and get sick.

Choose the correct type of acorn

Not all acorns are created equal. Certain types of oak trees contain more tannins than others. The tannin content of acorns can also vary depending on their age and ripeness.

White oak trees have the highest concentration of tannins, and their acorns are also the most bitter. Red oaks have a moderate amount of tannins. Their acorns are less bitter than those of white oaks.

To avoid feeding your goats too many tannins, it’s best to stick with acorns from red oaks. These acorns are less likely to cause gastrointestinal upset in goats.

Feed acorns in moderation

Even though acorns are a great source of nutrition for goats, you should only feed them in moderation. This is because they are high in calories and can cause weight gain if goats consume too many.

When feeding acorns to goats, make sure to offer them in moderation. Start with a small amount and increase it gradually over time. This will help your goats get used to the new food and avoid digestive issues.

Make sure the acorns are fresh

Rotten or moldy acorns can make your goats sick, so it’s essential only to give them fresh acorns. You can tell if an acorn is fresh if it is brown or grey and relatively firm to the touch. If an acorn is soft or has any greenish or yellowish patches, it is not fresh and should not be given to your goats.

How often should goats eat acorns?

Acorns are a popular food for goats but should be eaten in moderation. While acorns are safe in small quantities, they can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. The high levels of tannins in acorns can cause kidney and liver damage and lead to gastrointestinal distress. For this reason, it is best to only feed goats acorns in moderation.

How to prepare acorns for feeding to goats

goat standing

Fall is in the air, so it’s time to start collecting acorns! If you have goats, you may wonder if you can feed them acorns. The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to do first. Here’s a quick guide on preparing acorns for feeding goats.

Step One: Collect the Acorns

This is the easy part. Keep an eye out for oak trees when you’re on your next hike. If you see acorns on the ground beneath the tree, chances are good that they’re ripe and ready to be collected. Just be sure to collect enough for your goats; a good rule of thumb is 1/2 acorns per goat per day.

Step Two: Shell the Acorns

Once you’ve collected enough acorns, it’s time to start shelling them. This can be a tedious process, but it’s worth it. To make things go a little faster, you can use a nutcracker. Once the acorns are shelled, you can move on to the next step.

Step Three: Soak the Acorns

Acorns contain tannins, which can be toxic to goats if consumed in large quantities. To remove the tannins and make the acorns safe for your goats to eat, soak them in water for 24 hours. You can drain and rinse the acorns before feeding them to your goats.

Acorns make a nutritious and tasty treat for goats, but it’s important to prepare them correctly before feeding them to your herd. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your goats enjoy their acorn treat safely.

Can baby goats eat acorns?

You should think twice if you’re thinking of feeding your baby goat acorns. While small quantities of acorns are safe for goats, baby goats can eat even less.

Baby goats have a delicate digestive system, and too many acorns can cause digestive problems. So, while a few acorns won’t hurt your baby goat, it’s best to feed them in moderation.

Can goats eat the leaves of oak trees?

Many people think of goats as animals that will eat anything, but there are some things that goats shouldn’t eat. For example, the leaves of oak trees contain high levels of tannins, which can be harmful to goats if they consume too much.

However, in small quantities, oak leaves are safe for goats. If the leaves are wilted or dried out, they can be more difficult to digest and may cause stomach upset. Similarly, goats should only eat fresh leaves in moderation.

Overall, oak leaves can be a part of a healthy diet for goats, but it’s important to feed them in moderation and make sure they are fresh.

What other tree seeds can goats eat?

feeding goat

As fall starts and acorns begin to fall from the trees, you may wonder if there are other tree seeds that your goat can eat. The answer is yes; there are a variety of other tree seeds that goats can eat with no problem. Here are some of the most popular options.

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are not only a favorite of goats but humans as well. These little nuts are packed with protein and essential oils, making them an excellent choice for a healthy snack. Just be sure to remove the shells before giving them to your goat, as they can be a choking hazard.


Chestnuts are another type of nut that goats enjoy. They are high in carbohydrates, which makes them a good choice for goats that need an energy boost. They are also a good source of vitamin C. Again, remove the shells before feeding them to your goat.


Hazelnuts are yet another type of nut that is safe for goats to eat. They are similar to chestnuts in that they are high in carbohydrates and a good source of vitamin C. Hazelnuts also contain magnesium, which is vital for bone development. The shells on hazelnuts can be tough to remove, so you may want to buy them already shelled.


Beechnuts are the fruits of the beech tree and are safe for goats to eat. They are high in fat and protein, making them a good choice for goats that need an energy boost. Beechnuts can also be difficult to find, as they usually fall early in the season before most people are out collecting acorns.

How to give goats a healthy and balanced diet

Like any other animal, goats need a balanced and healthy diet to live a long and happy life. But what does that diet look like? In this section, we’ll take a deep dive into goat nutrition and explore what goats eat, how much they eat, and the best ways to ensure your goats are getting all the nutrients they need.

What do goats eat?

Goat diets can vary depending on the age and breed of the goat, but all goats need a diet that includes hay, fresh vegetables, and a small amount of grains. Goats are browsers, not grazers like cows, which means they prefer to eat leaves, twigs, and other vegetation.

Hay should always be available for goats to nibble on, and their diet should also include fresh vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and spinach. A small amount of grain is also necessary for a balanced diet; however, too much grain can lead to health problems for goats.

One of the most important things to remember about goat nutrition is that goats need a constant supply of fresh water. Goats are susceptible to dehydration, so it’s important to check their water several times daily to ensure it’s clean and full. Automatic waterers are an excellent option for busy goat owners.

How Much Should Goats Eat?

The amount of food a goat needs will depend on its age, breed, and activity level. A general rule of thumb is that an adult goat should eat about 2% of its body weight in hay every day. For example, if you have a 50-pound Alpine goat, it will need about 1 pound of hay per day.

However, pregnant or lactating goats may need more hay since they have higher energy needs. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian or a livestock extension agent to determine the specific dietary needs of your goats.

Goat Nutrition Tips

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when feeding your goats:

  • Provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
  • Avoid overfeeding grain, as this can lead to obesity and health problems.
  • Make sure hay is dry and mold-free before feeding it to your goats.
  • Feed kids (baby goats) twice as much alfalfa as grass hay since they need extra calcium for proper growth.
  • Older goats may need their teeth trimmed periodically by a veterinarian to prevent them from having difficulty eating.
  • Bring new goats slowly into your herd by quarantining them for 30 days and gradually introducing them to the other members of the herd; this will help prevent the spread of disease.
  • Keep feeders clean and free from debris to prevent contamination.

Following these tips can ensure your goats stay healthy and happy!

Can goats eat acorns – final thoughts

So there you have it. Goats can eat acorns without problems as long as they’re given in moderation and alongside other food and water sources.

Large quantities of acorns can be toxic to goats, so ensure they have access to other food and water sources.

As long as you keep these things in mind, your goat can enjoy the occasional acorn treat without any problems.

Jill Taylor Happy Farmyard

Jill Taylor

Jill is a full-time homesteader who enjoys learning about sustainable living and practicing self-reliance. She'll most likely be found tending to her many animals including chickens, ducks, goats, and alpacas. You find out more about her on LinkedIn.