Can Goats Eat Pecans? Surprising Nut Treats Your Goat Will Love

Written By Jill Taylor

When I first got my pair of lively goats, one thing that stumped me was their insatiable curiosity towards every little thing in their vicinity. Can goats eat pecans? That was a question that played on my mind as they nibbled on almost everything in sight, including the fallen pecans from the tree in their pasture. The answer is yes, goats can indeed savor pecans, much to their delight.

Living in an area abundant with pecan trees, it became quite a spectacle watching these mischievous creatures hustling around, trying to get their next tasty treat. However, as with many things in life, moderation is key. Even though they relish these nuts and the associated leaves, feeding them too much might not be the best idea.

In this article, we delve deeper into the relationship between goats and pecans. From the nutritional aspects to the correct quantities, we’ll cover it all. So, if you’re curious like my goats or simply want to provide them with a new treat, read on!

can goats eat pecans

What are pecans and where do they come from?

Pecans, often celebrated for their rich, buttery taste, are the edible seeds of the pecan tree, a native to southern North America. These trees share a kinship with hickory and oak but stand out due to the softer shells encasing their delectable nuts.

While they have now spread to various parts of the world due to their popularity in culinary uses, their roots remain deeply tied to North America. It’s here, beneath the sprawling canopies, that the pecan trees yield their treasured bounty, much loved by both humans and animals alike.


How Can I Give My Goats Pecans?

Smash them up with a hammer or nutcracker, then feed them whole or broken into pieces. Goats will also eat the leaves, which contain more nutrients than the pecans themselves.

Caution: Don’t feed your goats too many leaves at once; leafy greens like pecan leaves contain tannin that can upset your goat’s stomach if eaten in excess.

How Many Pecans Should I Feed My Goat?


A little bit! One or two pecan leaves and a few smashed pecans make a good treat, but that’s about it. Pecan trees can be found all over North America; check your local garden stores for the best deals.

Pecans are easy to find in most places, and goats love them! Go out and gather up some leaves and nuts if you want to reward your goats with a delicious little snack.

Can Goats Eat Pecan Leaves?

Yes! Goats love all parts of pecan trees and will happily munch on the leaves in addition to the nuts. Just make sure your goats don’t eat too many at once. Pecan leaves, for example, have a high amount of tannin and can cause digestive problems in goats if consumed in quantity.

Where Can I Find Pecan Leaves?

Pecan leaves are most readily available from live or cut-back pecan trees, but you might also find them chopped up and sold as mulch by garden stores. Of course, if you have a tree in your yard, you can always go pick some leaves yourself.

Can Goats Eat Pecan Shells?

Yes! Goats love roasted nuts and seeds. You can either roast all your pecans before giving them to your goats or give them broken pieces with the shell still on.

Pecan shells are one of the least nutritious parts of pecans, but goats should not be fed whole or unbroken pieces. Goats will eat pecan shells in small quantities without any problems.

Feeding Your Goats Pecans

goat eating grass

Goats enjoy eating both pecans and pecan leaves. You can feed your goats a tiny bit of pecans or leaves as a treat, but remember to avoid feeding them large amounts of either because they contain tannin which is not good for their digestive systems.

Feeding Your Goats Pecan Leaves

Goats will eat all parts of the pecan tree and love the leaves in particular. Make sure that you don’t give your goats too much at once though; these leafy greens have an abundance of tannin and if consumed in high quantity can upset your goat’s stomachs.

Can Goats Survive on a Diet of Pecans?

Goats famously love to eat almost anything, but that doesn’t mean they should. Goats can’t survive on a diet of pecans alone, as they will miss out on much-needed nutrients. It’s important for a goat to have a varied and balanced diet.

Pecans are delicious for goats, but they should never consist of more than a tiny part of their diet. Remember to feed your goat ample hay and grain as well as fresh vegetables and fruit.

What are the Health Benefits of Pecans?

goat standing

Pecans are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They have high antioxidant content and may also prevent heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels.

Are Pecans Addictive?

Pecans contain trace amounts of morphine which means they can be mildly addictive for goats. This doesn’t mean you should never feed your goats pecans again. Just don’t feed them too many because they have an opiate effect on the goat’s brain.

Are Pecans Toxic to Goats?

goats eating

Anything is toxic in a large enough dose. Pecans are not generally poisonous to goats but you should feed them only a small amount at a time as they contain trace amounts of morphine that can make the goat high if consumed in quantity.

Goats will eat pecans and pecan leaves; just remember that they don’t contain all the nutrients of other foods and shouldn’t be fed more than a tiny portion on occasion. Don’t let your goats choke on pieces of pecan shell, and watch out for overconsumption of tannin-heavy leaves like pecan trees’ own.

Can Goats Eat Green Pecans?

Goats will eat green pecans and love them. Green pecans are unripened fruit that can be harvested from the tree as soon as they start to fall off, or you can wait until the pecan fully matures and turns brown. The green ones are smaller but taste just as delicious; your goats will enjoy munching on these little treats either way.

What other nuts and seeds can goats eat apart from pecans?

sunflower seeds

Goats, with their innate curiosity and zest for variety, are known to graze on a multitude of greens and often show interest in various nuts and seeds available in their environment. But not every nut or seed is suitable for their diet. Let’s delve into some commonly available options and discern whether they are goat-approved or best kept out of their reach.


These legumes, often mistaken for nuts, are a favorite of many animals, and goats are no exception. They can safely eat peanuts, including the shells. However, like all treats, it’s essential to provide them in moderation to ensure a balanced diet.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Peanuts? Great Benefits In Moderation


While acorns are a staple for some woodland creatures, they’re not particularly suitable for goats. Acorns contain tannins that can be toxic to goats if consumed in large amounts. It’s best to limit their intake or avoid them altogether.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Acorns? 5 Important Benefits

Sunflower Seeds

A nutritious treat, sunflower seeds are a fantastic choice for goats. They’re packed with essential fatty acids and other nutrients. When given in moderation, they can be a healthful addition to your goat’s diet.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Sunflower Seeds? 6 Awesome Benefits


Goats can eat walnuts, but with caution. The shells can be hard and might pose a choking hazard. Furthermore, moldy walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which are harmful. Always ensure the walnuts are fresh and preferably shelled before giving them to your goats.

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


Almonds are safe for goats to consume and are often enjoyed by them. However, it’s essential to ensure they’re unsalted and not coated with any additives. Like other nuts, almonds are calorie-dense, so they should be fed sparingly.

Read More: Can Goats Eat Almonds? Yes, In Moderation

Can Goats Eat Pecan Pie?

Pecan pie is delicious and made from the nutritious nuts we just discussed. Goats will eat pecan pie if you give it to them and it’s a good source of calcium and healthy fats, but again they should never be fed too much.

Desserts such as pecan pie contain a lot of sugar which is bad for health if consumed in excess. This goes for humans and goats alike; make sure you feed your goat a balanced diet of hay, grains, vegetables, and fruit before adding pecans or other sweet treats.

Can Goats Eat Pecans – Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while it’s generally safe to give your goats some pecans as an occasional snack, make sure you monitor their intake so they don’t get sick from eating too many. Your goats will thank you for the extra treat.