Goats are curious and adventurous livestock. No wonder why they are likely to eat almost anything they find. Regardless, there are many things that goats should never eat. In the same vein, there are many things that goats can eat. It is important for a goat farmer to know which is which. At times you might have a beneficial plant around and be clueless. Goats are generally hardy animals. Can goats eat cilantro? Cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant, Coriandrum sativum, often used as herbs in cooking. Let us discuss whether or not goats can eat cilantro.
Can Goats Eat Cilantro?
Goats can eat cilantro. Consider the fact that goats eat hay. Hay is grass cut and dried for use as animal fodder. It can also be any mix of green leafy plants used as animal fodder. That part suggests that goats will mostly eat anything in that form. Cilantro is one such mix of leaves that can be used as fodder for goats. Cilantro’s taste is quite appealing to goats. Understandably it might not be typical for cilantro to be used as fodder for goats.
This is because cilantro is often used as herbs for cooking by humans. However, if available, goats can eat cilantro and it has health benefits. Thus you first of all must consider the cost implications. Someone already growing coriander is in a better position to feed goats with cilantro. This is because they may have damaged leaves or extra leaves not fit for use. It is important to ensure they are not rotten or spoiled in any way.
Health Benefits Of Cilantro To Goats
Cilantro is nutrient-rich with nutrients essential to the goats’ health. Cilantro contains minerals such calcium, manganese, and potassium, amongst others. Cilantro is also rich in several different types of vitamins. For instance, there is vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Cilantro is also rich in fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients streamline the goats’ digestive system. They also help in enhancing the goats’ immune system against pathogens. One of such are worms which often are a menace in goats. When goats eat cilantro, it can perform the function of deworming.
Cilantro Must Not Be Excessively Fed To Goats
Yes, goats will normally love cilantro. If the cilantro is in abundant supply, the goats will eat as much as they can. However, it is not wise to let goats eat too much cilantro. Exercising moderation is always the best approach.
Too Much Cilantro Affects Milk Quality
Of particular concern is milk quality for dairy goats. If dairy goats eat too much cilantro, the milk they produce will be discoloured. It will not be purely white as should be. Not only that, the taste of the milk will be affected as well. The milk may even have an unusual smell. It is usually recommended that your goats can eat cilantro once every 7 days. That way you will not risk having the goats eat too much cilantro. The goats can eat cilantro a number of times in a week. You just have to closely monitor for any signs of adverse reactions.
Buffering Against Excessive Intake Of Cilantro By Goats
As a buffer, ensure that the goats are getting an adequate proportion of grains in their diet. This will help mitigate any possible effect of goats eating too much cilantro. One of the effects of goats eating too much cilantro is digestive upsets. This can stem from cilantro’s high fiber content.
Proportionate Water Intake As A Buffer
Another issue is that when goats eat cilantro they also need a proportionate intake of water. When they excessively eat cilantro, that balance might not be easily achievable. The resulting complications can be bloating or indigestion. Plus they will feel less inclined to eat other necessary foods. The goats may also be dehydrated due to eating too much cilantro without enough water intakes.
Important Things To Note In Feeding Goats With Cilantro
Closely Inspect Your Goats’ Performance When Eating Cilantro
When goats are eating cilantro it is wise to closely inspect daily. The thrust is to see if there are any adverse reactions. It could be that the cilantro is generally affecting the goats. It could also be that the amounts are too much. Thus, depending on your context, you may have to eliminate or reduce the cilantro the goats are eating. For instance, goats may develop a bad habit of chewing their fur after ingesting cilantro. That can be a tell-tale sign that you need to adjust their cilantro intake. Remember, goats eating cilantro once in 7 days should suffice.
Forms In Which Goats Can Eat Cilantro
Goats can eat cilantro in a number of different forms. They can cilantro directly from the coriander plants by biting off the leaves. This can be ideal if the coriander is specifically meant for the goats. You just have to ensure the goats do not eat the cilantro prematurely. This can be beneficial in that the goats will eat the cilantro fresh. Another option is to cut up the cilantro and then feed it to the goats exclusively. Alternatively, you can mix up the cilantro into other foods the goats eat e.g. grains or hay. This can help ensure they eat the cilantro in moderation. Goats may also eat cooked cilantro but that may not be necessary. After all, cooking can compromise the cilantro’s nutrient composition.
All in all, goats can eat cilantro and it is highly beneficial to their health. Cilantro can even provide vital nutrients that the goats may not be getting elsewhere. You just have to ensure they eat moderate amounts of cilantro. You also have to ensure the goats are also eating adequate amounts of other foods. It is also important to ensure they are drinking adequate water too. In feeding goats with cilantro always assess if it makes financial sense. It would not make sense to incur crippling costs in feeding goats with cilantro.