Can Goats Eat Cheese: 5 Reasons It’s Not a Good Idea

Can goats eat cheese? It’s a common misconception that goats can eat cheese. In fact, it can be very harmful to their digestive system. While goats will nibble on cheese occasionally, it should not make up a significant part of their diet. Let’s take a closer look at why cheese is not good for goats and some of the potential consequences.

can goats eat cheese

The Misconception that Goats Can Eat Cheese

One of the most persistent myths about goats is that they will eat anything, including cheese. In fact, goats are very selective eaters and have a highly developed sense of taste. They will only eat plants that they know to be nutritious and safe.

This means that they will generally avoid eating cheese, as it is not part of their natural diet. Cheese is also difficult for goats to digest, and can cause them to become sick.

For these reasons, it is important to avoid feeding goats cheese or any other dairy products. Goats should only be given food that is specifically designed for them, as this will help to ensure their health and wellbeing.

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The Dangers of Giving Goats Cheese as Part of Their Diet

fresh block of cheese

While goats cheese can be a nutritious and delicious part of a human diet, it can be dangerous for goats. There are a few reasons why goats shouldn’t eat cheese.

They can Suffer from Listeriosis

Goats are susceptible to a condition known as listeriosis, which is caused by bacteria that can be found in unpasteurized dairy products. If a goat consumes contaminated cheese, the bacteria can multiply in their digestive tract and cause severe illness.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, diarrhea, and vomiting, and the disease can be fatal if not treated promptly. For this reason, it is important to only give goats cheese that has been pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria.

They can Develop Gastrointestinal Issues

Another reason why goats shouldn’t eat cheese is that it can cause them to develop gastrointestinal issues. Cheese is high in fat and lactose, which can be difficult for goats to digest.

If a goat consumes too much cheese, it can experience stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can even lead to death. For this reason, it is important to only give goats small amounts of cheese as a treat and not make it a part of their regular diet.

Potential Consequences of Goats Eating Cheese

goats eating

Goats are notoriously curious creatures, and they will often eat anything they can get their mouths on. This can be a problem if there’s cheese within their reach, as goats love nothing more than a good nibble of this dairy product.

While eating cheese won’t do goats any serious harm, it can lead to some potential consequences. For example, goats can develop issues with their teeth if they eat too much hard cheese. In addition, goats that consume large amounts of cheese may become obese and suffer from health problems as a result.

Finally, goats that eat cheese may produce less milk, as the calcium in the cheese can interfere with milk production. As such, it’s best to keep cheese out of reach of curious goats.

Can Goats Eat Cottage Cheese?

Goats are inquisitive creatures and will often put their mouths on anything to see if it’s edible. So, the short answer to whether or not goats can eat cottage cheese is yes, they can.

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you’re considering feeding your goat cottage cheese. First, because goats are lactose-intolerant, they may have difficulty digesting cottage cheese. So, it’s best to give them only a small amount at first to see how they react.

Secondly, cottage cheese (like all dairy products) is high in fat and calories, so it should be fed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. And finally, make sure the cottage cheese you’re giving your goat is pasteurized, as unpasteurized dairy can contain harmful bacteria.

How to Properly Feed your Goat a Balanced Diet

goat eating from hand

Goats are browsers, not grazers like cows. This means that they prefer to eat the leaves off of bushes and trees rather than grass. In the wild, goats will often climb trees to get to the tastiest leaves.

However, when domestic goats are kept on a farm, they usually don’t have access to trees. This is why it’s important to provide them with a diet that mimics their natural diet as closely as possible. The best way to do this is by feeding them hay, which is dried grass or other plants.

You can also give them fresh grass, but it should be limited since too much of it can cause digestive problems. In addition to hay and grass, goats also need a source of protein, such as soybean meal or alfalfa pellets.

Finally, goats also need access to fresh water at all times.

Can Goats Eat Cheese – Final Thoughts

When it comes to cheese, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid feeding it to goats altogether. Cheese can be difficult for them to digest, and it may even make them sick. So, stick to goat-specific food that is designed to meet their nutritional needs. Your goats will thank you for it!

As you can see, there are a few reasons why goats shouldn’t eat cheese. Cheese can be difficult for them to digest and can cause them to develop gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, cheese can interfere with milk production in goats.

For these reasons, it is best to keep cheese out of reach of curious goats. However, if you do give your goat cheese, make sure it is pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria.

Finally, remember to provide your goat with a diet that mimics their natural diet as closely as possible by feeding them hay, grass, and a source of protein.

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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.