Can Goats Eat Oats? Simple Answer & Feeding Tips

Can goats eat oats? This is a question that many goat owners, myself included, often ponder. The answer is a resounding yes! Goats can not only eat oats, but they actually thrive on them when fed as part of a balanced diet. Oats are a nutritious and energy-boosting food source that most goats love to munch on, making them an excellent addition to their diet.

As a goat owner, I’ve seen firsthand the positive effects of incorporating oats into my goats’ feeding routine. Oats are not only a great source of fiber and nutrients but also help improve their digestive health, support healthy cholesterol levels, and provide a much-needed energy boost. Just like us, goats enjoy a change in their diet and appreciate the variety that oats bring to their meals. But, as with any food, moderation is key to ensure that your goats remain healthy and happy.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the benefits of feeding oats to your goats and how to do so properly. We will also discuss potential risks and precautions to consider when incorporating oats into your goats’ diet. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision about including oats in your goat’s diet and how to do so safely.

can goats eat oats

What are Oats?

Oats are a cereal grain that is in the same family as grasses. There are three main types of oats- white, rolled, and steel-cut. When buying oats for your goats you will want to purchase whole oats instead of processed oaks such as rolled or instant oats. Whole oats will have a longer shelf life and more of the natural nutrients that come from the grain itself.

So if your goats love oats and you want them to be happy then give them some whole oats on occasion.

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Can Goats Eat Oats?

Goats will eat oats as part of a balanced diet. In addition to feeding your goats whole oats, you will also want to consider mixing grass hay and other pasture weeds into their feeding routine.

Oats are a great source of nutrients for your goat but they can’t have too much of a good thing. Goats need access to clean water at all times and should never be fed moldy or dirty oats as they may become sick and possibly die if they eat the mold and/or dirt that is on the oats.

So make sure you keep their feed fresh and don’t overfeed them with oats.

Are Oats Safe for Goats?

Yes, oats are completely safe for goats to eat. As long as the goat has access to clean water and is fed fresh oats they should be just fine.

If you notice your goat acting lethargic after eating their oat supply then it may be time to cut back on feeding them oats. Always listen to your animal’s body language when it comes to feeding time, if they don’t want the food then don’t push them into eating what you give them.

Health Benefits of Oats for Goats

oats in jar

Oats are a great source of fiber and nutrients for your goat. Feeding your goats oats can help to improve their digestive health, support healthy cholesterol levels, and even give them more energy.

Feeding oats to your animals will also reduce stress levels in the long run. If you have ever owned an animal that is easily spooked or shows high levels of stress when eating or being handled at the vet then try giving them some oats before trying any other methods to calm them down.

The type of starch found in oats has been known to reduce cortisol levels which is good news for both the animal’s owner and the goat itself.

Are there any Risks in Feeding Oats to Goats?

As long as you follow proper feeding procedures with your goats then there is no risk of giving them oats.

There are a few things to be aware of when it comes to feeding oats, though. Goats can’t have too many oats otherwise they may become obese and/or develop certain health problems such as laminitis.

It is best to limit the number of oats a goat gets in a day and make sure that there is always fresh water for them to drink from.

How to Prepare Oats for Goats?

goat and kid

It is best to prepare oats for your goats in a food processor, blender, or grinder.

Allowing the oats to be ground up before they are fed to your goats will allow them to digest faster and easier as well as ensure that the goat gets all of the nutrients that it needs from its daily serving of oats.

Can Goats Eat Cooked Oats?

Goats can eat cooked oats but, as with most foods for your animals, they are fine to have raw.

It is easier to give them their daily serving of oats by mixing it in with the water that you already use to mix up their food.

To prepare their oat supply simply put enough oats into a blender or small food processor until it is ground into a flour-like consistency then add some of their normal drinking water and blend until mixed.

Once blended together you can pour this mixture over your goat’s regular feed and they will love having something new to try!

Can Goats Eat Raw Oats?

Yes, as long as the oats are fed in moderation your goats will be just fine.

Just like most foods for your animals, they can eat raw oats without any discomfort or health issues. It is best to keep a close eye on their eating habits and make sure that they don’t eat too many oats at one time or they may become sick from it.

If your goat shows any signs of illness such as diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, loss of appetite, constipation, seizures, difficulty breathing/swallowing, skin irritations such as hives and hotspots, or lethargic behavior then they may have eaten too many oats and need to see a vet.

How Often Should I Feed my Goats Oats?

goats eating

You should only give your animals oats once a day.

For small animals, you can simply mix their daily serving of oats into their feed but for larger animals, it is best to keep them in individual containers or bins marked with the goat’s name and how many times per day they should have access to the oat bin.

This will prevent them from eating too much at once if they are hungry enough for more than one serving throughout the course of the day.

Can Kids Eat Oats?

When baby goats are first born they have a well-developed digestive system that allows them to eat the same food as adults. If your goat is under four months old then there’s no problem feeding it whole oats along with its mother’s milk.

Just remember that if you give your baby goat oats that aren’t whole then the little one will need to spend more time chewing which can cause an upset stomach or maybe even cause it to choke.

What Other Grains Can Goats Eat Apart from Oats?

types of fresh bread

Apart from oats, goats can eat a variety of grains, each offering unique benefits and considerations for their health. Grains are a valuable source of carbohydrates and energy, which are essential for the proper growth and maintenance of goats. However, it is important to remember that not all grains are equally suitable for goats, and the quantity and preparation of these grains can play a significant role in their nutritional value. Let’s explore some common grains that goats can eat, and how they can be included in their diet.

Bread

Goats can eat bread, but it should be given in moderation and as a treat rather than a regular part of their diet. Bread, especially whole grain or multigrain varieties, can provide some nutritional benefits. However, it is low in essential nutrients compared to forage, hay, or commercial goat feeds. 

Avoid feeding goats moldy bread or bread with added sugar, salt, or unhealthy fats. Also, ensure that the bread does not contain toxic ingredients like raisins or chocolate.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Bread? Yes, But Moderation Is Key

Corn

Corn is a staple grain that many goat owners use to supplement their goats’ diet. It is high in energy and can help goats gain weight, making it especially beneficial during colder months when goats need more energy to maintain their body temperature. 

However, corn should not be the sole grain in a goat’s diet, as it lacks certain essential nutrients and can cause digestive problems if fed in excess. Whole corn is preferred over cracked corn, as it is less likely to mold and provides better nutrition.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Corn? Uncover The Facts And Best Practices

Popcorn

Popcorn is essentially popped corn kernels, and goats can enjoy them as an occasional treat. However, it’s essential to feed plain, unsalted, and unbuttered popcorn to your goats. Avoid giving them flavored or microwave popcorn, as these often contain additives that are not suitable for goats. 

Popcorn should only be a small part of their diet, as it doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients that goats need for optimal health.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Popcorn? 5 Reasons It’s Not A Good Idea

Rice

Rice can be fed to goats in small quantities, but it is not the most nutritious grain option. If you choose to give your goats rice, opt for brown rice over white rice, as it retains more of its natural nutrients and fiber. Cook the rice thoroughly before feeding it to your goats to make it easier for them to digest. 

However, rice should not be a primary source of nutrition for your goats, as it lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals that other grains and forage can provide.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Rice? 5 Amazing Benefits

Wheat

Wheat is another grain that goats can consume as part of their diet. It is high in energy and can be a good source of protein. However, like other grains, it should not be the primary food source for your goats. When feeding wheat to your goats, make sure it is clean and free from mold or other contaminants. 

It can be fed as whole grains or ground into flour and mixed with other feed. Be cautious about feeding large quantities of wheat, as it can cause bloating and digestive issues in goats.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Wheat? 5 Great Benefits

Can Goats Eat Oats – Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that oats are not a substitute for hay or pasture and should only be fed as part of a balanced diet. When combined with good quality hay, fresh water, and grazing on green pastures, oats can provide your goats with the nutrition they need.

If you’re interested in getting more information about feeding oats to your goat herd, have a read of similar articles on this site.

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 can find out more about her on LinkedIn.