What do goats eat?

Nubian goats are raised for meat and milk. Photo from the Animal Science Image GalleryGoats are known for eating everything! They are curious, so they will try to eat cardboard, tin cans – even clothing! But to stay healthy, goats need to eat plant material.

Goats eat plants like trees, shrubs, hay and grains. Like cows, goats have a special stomach to help them break down plant material.

One common kind of goat feed is alfalfa. Alfalfa is a flowering plant grown by farmers. Alfalfa has a lot of protein. Protein is a nutrient that helps animals grow.

Goats have a very strong digestive system. They can even eat some toxic plants. Some goats eat capeweed, which is toxic to other animals. 

Curious goats sometimes get themselves in trouble. This one has its head stuck in a barrel! Photo from the Animal Science Image GalleryBecause goats eat plants, some people use them like lawn mowers! In some areas, people hire farmers with herds of goats to clear away brush. Goats eat the brush before it becomes a fire hazard!

Fun fact:

Goats normally live 10 to 12 years. However, there are reports of goats living for 15 years.

Learn more about goats