Can Goats Eat Brussel Sprouts? Simple Answer & Feeding Tips

When I was growing up on a small farm, my family and I always enjoyed the sight of our goats enthusiastically gobbling up the various vegetables and plants that we gave them. Among these, Brussel sprouts were a particular favorite. These miniature cabbages always brought an extra sparkle to their eyes, and I often wondered if they were as good for our goats as they were for us.

The short answer to the question, can goats eat Brussel sprouts? is yes. Most goats adore Brussel sprouts and will eagerly consume any variety you offer them. However, as with any treat or supplement to their regular diet, it’s essential to consider a few important factors when preparing and feeding these vegetables to your goats.

It’s not just about the goats’ enjoyment, though. The nutritional value of Brussel sprouts, the health benefits they provide, and the potential risks associated with feeding them to goats all need to be taken into account. Fortunately, we have gathered all the information you need to know about feeding Brussel sprouts to your goats in this article. Whether you’re a seasoned goat farmer or a beginner, you’ll find valuable insights here that will help you keep your goats happy, healthy, and well-fed.

can goats eat brussel sprouts

What are Brussel Sprouts?

Brussel sprouts are a member of the cabbage family. They appear in green, purple, or white and grow clustered in large, leafy heads similar to broccoli. Brussel sprouts have a slightly nutty flavor and are often boiled in water.

Nutritional Value

Though Brussel sprouts don’t contain much vitamin A or C they do provide some amount of calcium, phosphorus potassium, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), folate (B9), and pantothenic acid (B5).

There is no fat or cholesterol. Risks for congenital defects in infants can occur due to the presence of goitrogens in Brussel spouts which decreases iodine function and affects thyroid hormones.  Iodine is an important mineral for a healthy thyroid and can be found in goat’s milk, cod liver oil, eggs, strawberries, apples, carrots, brown rice, fish oils from salmon or tuna fish. The goitrogens are easily destroyed by cooking.

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Can Goats Eat Brussel Sprouts?

Goats love Brussel sprouts, however, large amounts of Brussel sprouts can lead to loose stool or diarrhea. A couple of ounces of Brussel sprouts per head is sufficient for a treat every now and then.

If goats are fed too many Brussel sprouts on a regular basis their rumen won’t be able to properly digest them which could result in stomach upset, bloating, and possibly cause grass tetany.

Remember that most food items have some amount of risk when fed in large quantities. It’s important to know your goats and how they react to certain foods. Always make sure there is fresh water available along with quality hay.

Are Brussel Sprouts Safe for Goats?

Yes, Brussel sprouts are safe for goats to eat if fed in moderation. Goats love them and they provide some nutritional value. Just be careful not to feed too many or your goats might get loose stools.

There have been some reports of goats becoming bloated after consuming Brussel sprouts. The cause of this has not been confirmed, however, it is believed to be caused by the goitrogenic nutrients in Brussel sprouts.

Goats should always have access to fresh water and quality hay when grazing or eating any edible plants. Always monitor goats while they are consuming new plants to make sure there aren’t any adverse side effects.

Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts for Goats

kid goat eating plant

The leaves of the Brussel sprout plant are hardy, making them ideal for urban foraging goats. Not only will they provide an extra nutritional boost but it also gives your goats something to do while protecting your garden from late-season nibbles.

Brussel sprouts also contain many health benefits for goats. Brussel sprouts are high in antioxidants, vitamin K, lutein, fiber, protein, small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, and iron.

Are there any Risks in Feeding Brussel Sprouts to Goats?

Yes, Brussel sprouts contain goitrogens which can cause health problems when fed in large quantities such as an entire meal’s worth.

Goitrogens are substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland and changes in diets can bring about goiter formation. This is not a huge risk with goats because only a small amount of Brussel sprouts would be given in one feeding and too much iodine (the opposite problem) will give them hyperthyroidism.

Goitrogenic foods should not make up more than 10% of a goat’s diet for this reason. Goitrogenic foods include:

Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Mustard greens, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Radishes, Soybeans.

Most Brussel sprouts are harvested after the first frost has occurred. Store them in a dry area that is between 32-42 degrees F to ensure they last as long as possible.

How to Prepare Brussel Sprouts for Goats?

Just like human beings, goats do not need to eat Brussel sprouts raw. They can be steamed or boiled and served with a little bit of salt and pepper for flavor.

Cut them in half or leave them whole, depending on the size. Feed only what the goat will eat in one sitting because leftovers can become tough and indigestible if kept for too long.

Can Goats Eat Cooked Brussel Sprouts?

goats eating

Yes, goats can eat cooked Brussel sprouts. You should still follow the general rule of only feeding what they will eat in one sitting because leftovers can become tough and indigestible if kept for too long.

You should also check how the Brussel sprouts were cooked. Garlic and onion are not safe for goats to eat so if the sprouts were cooked with these ingredients you should avoid giving them to your goats.

Can Goats Eat Raw Brussel Sprouts?

Yes, goats can eat raw Brussel sprouts. It is generally better for them to eat cooked Brussel sprouts because they contain goitrogens that could affect the health of a goat’s thyroid gland.

Goats who have been fed too many raw Brussel sprouts could develop diarrhea, bloating, and possible grass tetany. Most diets high in raw Brussel sprouts should be avoided as they are goitrogenic.

How Often Should I Feed my Goats Brussel Sprouts?

The suggested amount of Brussel sprouts to feed your goats are as follows:

Small goat – No more than 1 serving per day. Medium-sized goat – No more than 2 servings per day. Large goat – No more than 3 servings per day.

As with most food, it is best to feed your goat Brussel sprouts in moderation. If fed excessively, you could see negative health effects.

What Other Vegetables Can Goats Eat Apart from Brussel Sprouts?

While goats are known for their ability to eat a wide variety of plants, it’s important to ensure that the foods we provide are both safe and nutritionally beneficial for them. Aside from Brussel sprouts, there are many other vegetables that can be a healthy addition to a goat’s diet. Let’s explore five common vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, and arugula – and find out whether they are good for goats to eat.

Broccoli

Yes, goats can eat broccoli. It is packed with nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and dietary fiber. However, like Brussel sprouts, broccoli contains goitrogens, which can affect the thyroid gland if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it’s best to feed broccoli to goats in moderation and as a small part of their overall diet.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Broccoli? 5 Important Benefits

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is another vegetable that is safe for goats to eat. It is low in calories and high in vitamins C and K, as well as a good source of antioxidants and fiber. As with other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower contains goitrogens, so it should be fed in moderation. Chopping it into smaller pieces can make it easier for the goats to consume and digest.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Cauliflower? 6 Awesome Benefits

Cabbage

Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable that goats can safely consume. It is a good source of vitamins K and C, folate, and dietary fiber. However, cabbage can cause bloating and gas in goats if fed in large quantities, so it’s best to introduce it gradually and observe how your goats react. Limit the portion size and always ensure that your goats have access to plenty of fresh water and quality hay.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Cabbage? 5 Amazing Benefits

Radishes

Radishes can be a healthy and tasty treat for goats. They are low in calories and high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. Radishes can also help improve digestion and boost the immune system. However, since radishes can be spicy, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount and see if your goats enjoy the taste. Be cautious with the leaves, as they can be more pungent and might not be as well-received.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Radishes? 5 Great Health Benefits

Arugula

Arugula, also known as rocket, is a leafy green vegetable that goats can enjoy. It is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, calcium, and potassium. Arugula can be a healthy addition to a goat’s diet, but it should be fed in moderation due to its strong flavor and potential for causing digestive upset if consumed in excess.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Arugula? Uncover The Surprising Answer

Can Goats Eat Brussel Sprouts – Final Thoughts

If you are wondering “can my goat eat Brussel sprouts?” or “are Brussel sprouts safe for goats?”, you now have the answer! Make sure to feed them sparingly as a treat every now and then, but remember that too many could lead to loose stools or diarrhea.

Brussel sprouts are healthy vegetables that can be fed to goats. They provide many nutritional benefits and are a good source of fiber.

When preparing Brussel sprouts for your goats, make sure to remove the stems and leaves and cut them into small pieces. Feed your goats fresh Brussel sprouts every day for best results.

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.