Introducing New Food to Goats: Pea Pods

Last week I arrived home to find several bags of emptied out pea pods in front of our door. I assume these were for the goats because, um, that’d be an awfully weird gift for someone otherwise.

How’s that for southern Italian hospitality? Even the goats get presents!

Well, I’m happy to report the girls LOVE the pea pods! Who knew goats and peas were like peas and carrots?* They gobbled them up so fast, I couldn’t even get good photos of the action. Should’ve taken video. Hmm. Next time. You’ll have to suffer through some gratuitous kid photos instead, OK?

Back to the pea pods. Even little Pinta snagged some pieces to munch on (the other two kids turned up their adorable widdle noses).

As the experts recommend, we make sure the goats (and kids) don’t eat a whole lot of anything new all at once. Pian piano (slowly) as the Italians say.

Regarding kids, they are born without developed rumens in their stomachs, which is why they only drink milk for a while. Now, though, at just about a month old, all the kids are starting to munch on hay and fresh greens, a little at a time. They actually seem pretty good about regulating themselves. It’s truly amazing how much animals just *know,* isn’t it?

Even as adults, though, goats shouldn’t have too much of a good thing all at once; the delicate balance of even fully developed rumens can be thrown off by a large quantity of a new food. This, in turn, can cause digestive disturbances (diarrhea, etc.) or even death if the rumen shuts down completely.

Regarding new foods, we have one goat, Margherita, who will *never* eat anything new the first time; Carmelina, on the other hand, barely even sniffs something new before snarfing it down. Pasqualina has a middle-of-the-road, cautiously optimistic approach. That’s my baby!

Goats really do have unique personalities, and it’s been so fun to just watch and learn and get to know our goats and kids. Paolo and I joke it’s like our own Discovery Channel…in diretta (live). Molto cool.

*There’s a great list of  Edible & Poisonous Plants for Goats at Fias Co Farm!

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3 Responses to “Introducing New Food to Goats: Pea Pods”
  1. 04.23.2010

    I love reading your posts and seeing those adorable pics. I just want to smooch on little Pinta’s head!

    I’ll give her one today for you, Lori. When Paolo isn’t looking. I don’t think he needs to know I kiss the goats…haha…this is now going through my head: “I kissed a goat…AND I LIKED IT!” Hahahahaha 😀 I’m thinking it’s an upcoming post 😉


  2. 04.24.2010

    I love your blog and goats! I live in Ohio (USA) and had goats for 20 year…they are AWESOME! I will enjoy your blog..thank you!


    Yay! So glad you found me Pam; looking forward to visiting you as well 🙂


  3. 04.24.2010

    Not only are they adorable, the first photo of Pinta, I believe it is, just makes me want to stroke her? soft ears and neck.Such a lovely color. What a fun adventure you’re on with your little goat herd.

    Thanks Marla…we’re having a ball 😀


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