Tomatoes are used in several foods, including soups, sauces, chutneys, purees, and ketchup, enhancing flavor. Whether you like tomatoes, it is difficult to avoid them in your meals. What about goats, you might wonder? Is it possible for them to consume tomatoes? Can goats eat tomatoes, is often asked? Tomatoes are safe plants and can be eaten by goats but in moderation.
Many gastrointestinal problems in goats can be caused by eating too many tomatoes. Also, monitor what parts of the tomato plant your goat eat and how much of it they eat. The leaves and stems of the tomato plant are toxic to goats, so avoid feeding them with or letting your goat eat them.
In our guide, you can learn more about how goats eat tomatoes and how they can be affected. By the end, you’ll have enough information about what goats can eat and feed on from your vegetable garden and what you shouldn’t. (Read Can Pigs Eat Watermelon Rind)
What Vegetables Can Goats Not Eat?
There are plenty of vegetables goats can eat, but a handful should be avoided as feed as these pose health risks.
Here is a list of the ones that you shouldn’t be fed to goats or other animals most times:
- Alfalfa: Alfalfa has vitamins and minerals that should not be oversupplied in dairy goats, affecting milk production.
- Kohlrabi plants: Kohlrabi plants contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are harmful to goats and poisonous to humans.
- Avocado: Avocado contains persin, a toxic substance that causes heart issues in goats, in its leaves, seeds, and bark. If the fruit is ripe, it can be fed to goats, but it should not account for more than 10% of their overall diet.
- Beans: Beans produce hemagglutinin, a protein that can cause red blood cells to clump together.
- Dandelion greens: Dandelion greens are the leaves and flowers of the dandelion plant containing nitrates.
- Potatoes: Potatoes contain cyanogenic glycosides in their stems, vines, and leaves.
- Rhubarb Leaves: If goats eat leaves of Rhubarb, these are harmful as they contain oxalic acid. The stalks, however, are nutritious, and a moderate amount can be fed to goats.
What Can Goats Not Eat?
There are several things you should avoid feeding your goats. Here are the most common and would be accessible if your goats are not in a fenced area or they have been fed by hand, and such food should be avoided.
These items should never be fed to your goats:
- Plants with oxalates, such as kale
- Any nightshade vegetable – Tomatoes are nightshade plants
- Holly trees or bushes
- Lily of the Valley
- Wild cherries
Can Goats Eat Lettuce and Tomatoes?
When goats are breastfeeding or pregnant, lettuce is fine to feed them, but tomatoes should be avoided as treats. (Learn How Often To Feed Rabbits)
Although tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family, are tomatoes poisonous? When you have ripe tomatoes, you’ll find these are healthy for goats when eaten in moderate amounts. The high water content of tomatoes benefits your goats’ digestive systems, especially if they are constipated. Tomatoes are also high in vitamins such as Vitamin C and minerals, so helpful for their immune system and offer good health.
Although, don’t overfeed goats tomatoes as it can cause stomach distress and other gastrointestinal problems. Most often, most goats will develop diarrhea if you feed tomatoes too often and with too many. Too many tomatoes lead goats to lose their appetite and leave little space in their digestive system for other vegetables. Because of this, if they frequent your tomato patch too often, they could become malnourished because of a poor diet.
As a result, ripe tomatoes should not be considered a regular part of one’s diet but a delightful treat now and again. In other areas, you may ask, can goats eat tomato plants?
Can my goats eat tomato vines?
Tomato vines aren’t suitable for goats because they contain alkaloids, poisonous to goats and other animals. Also, you probably don’t want goats ruining your tomato garden. Goats don’t know what is good and what is bad and will eat everything they come across. Monitor your curious goats to protect your tomato garden and maintain control, or you could pull tomato vines out of the goat’s mouth to prevent tomato poisoning.
Can my goats eat tomato leaves?
If you ask, are tomato plant leaves poisonous, you’ll the leaves, like tomato vines, are not palatable to goats because they contain high levels of alkaloids. Even a tiny bit of tomato can make your goats sick. The leaves are thought to produce a pungent smell that makes goats uncomfortable and produces specific symptoms. As a result, while they’re hunting for food, they’ll typically avoid eating tomato leaves.
However, not all the goats know this, and baby goats with limited life experience could bend up munching on the leaves.
Can my goats eat green tomatoes?
Green tomatoes, unlike ripe tomatoes, are not edible. Tomatine, which is also toxic and is abundant in unripe tomatoes fruits. It has the same negative consequences as solanine, which is found in potatoes. It’s also worth noting that green tomatoes, even more than the leaves, are the most hazardous portion of the tomato plant. The leaves are more toxic than the stems and vines. Do not, under any circumstances, feed your goats or other animal unripe tomatoes.
Tomatoes contain alkaloids, which can cause disease. Tomatine, found in high concentrations in the green fruit, is harmful to goats and other livestock when taken in large quantities. Cherry tomatoes are fantastic treats for adult dairy goats or meat-producing animals, but if there are a lot of them being served, they may pose problems for younger goats. It’s ideal to feed cherry tomatoes to young goats in moderation, but don’t keep them out for too long, or they’ll ferment or go bad. (Read Can Chickens Eat Shrimp)
Can Horses and Goats Eat Tomatoes?
Tomatoes, for example, should not be eaten by horses. The same goes for tomato plants. Can goats eat tomatoes here? Tomatoes are poisonous to goats in certain ways, as you have seen.
If your goat enjoys nibbling on these fruits, there are certain things to watch out for. Goats need to be fed regularly and with a balanced diet. If you let your goats eat too many tomatoes, they will be full and unable to eat during meal times. This can cause goat malnutrition. Goats are fussy and precise about what they eat. Please don’t force them to eat tomatoes. You can provide goats with the nutrients tomatoes contain in other methods, such as supplements or vegetable substitutes.
Goats can be fed raw tomatoes as a great treat to clean their bowels, but again, moderation is required. Too many tomatoes can induce stomach upset and diarrhea in goats. Remember that goats browse. This shows they prefer plants and shrubs to grass. They will stand on their hind legs when goats eat tomato vines or leaves on tall plants. Never let goats eat tomato leaves or stems or even the green ones of the unripe fruit from a tomato plant. Toxic to goats are tomato leaves and can lead to more than just gastrointestinal issues. (Read Can Pigs Eat Tomatoes)
So you can see why goats munching tomato leaves and stems can be harmful. If you have tomato plants in your backyard, keep your goats away from them. Alkaloid poisoning causes horrible effects when goats eat tomato plants and can be lethal. Concentrated alkaloid poisoning causes high body temperatures, confusion, and sight problems. Goats that eat too many tomato plants can get sick and die.