Archive for the ‘Goat Eats’ Category

Goat: Milk, Meat, Cheese

Goat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

I’d recommend this book to goat lovers; those who want to try some new recipes based on goat meat, milk, and cheese; cookbook lovers; and anyone who just love some good food writing. It’s all there in Goat. Maaaarvelous!

Read on...

What to Do with the Christmas Tree? Give It to the Goats!

Can goats eat Christmas trees?

Roger of the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary enjoying a Christmas tree

I’ve never had a live Christmas tree in my eight Christmastimes in southern Italy, so I never really thought about what to do with the tree once it’s taken down. But the folks at New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary have an idea — give it to the goats!

As noted on their Facebook page, they certainly don’t give their goats trees that are coated in any flocking or chemical flame retardant, but for your run of the mill tree that is just going to be discarded? Why not consider donating it to an organization (or a friend) who keeps goats? This especially goes for those of you who run Christmas tree lots!

New Moon apparently has plenty of trees for their goats, but a quick Google search may help you find a local home for your discarded Christmas tree. Not every place may accept them, though, so be sure to ask before you just show up with your tree — you don’t want to have egg on your face in front of goats. Trust me. They can be ruthless.


By the way, if you’re interested in helping out some goats, you can donate to the New Moon Farm Goat Rescue & Sanctuary any time, sponsor a goat, or even order up some goat gear to help support their efforts; I spent a good part of my Christmas morning making donations in the names of family members to New Moon Farm and also to the Puget Sound Goat Rescue, the Ohio SPCA Goat Rescue, and Il Rifugio degli Asinelli (a donkey refuge in Italy associated with The Donkey Sanctuary in the UK) — it sure made my Christmas a little brighter!

Many of these places also have goats available for adoption as well, so if you know someone who might be interested, do pass along the info!


Ah, and one final thing:

Fandrich reindeer from

Fandrich reindeer from

Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season full of love, joy, and only the finest hay!

More Goat Questions Answered!

It’s time again to talk about some of the searches that have brought people to Goat Berries. Read previous entries at Answering Goat Questions: Part I and Part II.

As I mentioned before, goats and watermelons have been on a lot of goatie friends’ minds these days, but here’s what else they’ve been wondering about:

1. Goats fig leaves edible : I’m assuming this is asking whether goats can eat fig leaves. Mine have, although we were told by a an experienced goat herder here that they shouldn’t have too much, so we tend to give them to our girlies just when we’re pruning the fig trees a bit — they never get more than a few branches at a time, and that’s usually weeks or months apart.

2. Goats and pit fruit / can goats eat fruit with seeds/pits : They sure can, and many times they’ll just spit the pit out if they don’t want it. Pasqualina has spit out both apricot and plum pits. It’s *so* fun to watch them eat these as they roll them around in their mouths. That said, don’t give them too many at a time — just like our digestive systems don’t love too much of a good thing like apricots and plums, neither do theirs.

3. Can goats eat banana peelings? : Whoo boy, can they — and my girl Pasqualina *loves* them. Loves bananas too. The other does we had also loved both fruit and peel, but Pinta isn’t old enough to care yet, apparently. Again, though, everything in moderation!

4. Kid goat cries all the time / why does my goat cry : Dig if you will the pic-ture. Oh wait, that’s When Doves Cry. Anyway, this is a tough one and requires that you know your kid pretty well. Some kids are just loud and cry when they want attention or food or milk or all of the above. Generally it’s not a problem unless it sounds like the kid’s in pain.

Of course, my kid cries like she’s in pain when she’s bored, so even that’s not a reliable measure. Who her?

In short, I think the answer to the question is most likely the age-old one: because s/he can. But if the crying seems abnormal to you, do look for other signs of illness such as lack of appetite, bloating, and just otherwise not doing goat-like things.

5. Milky sticky discharge coming out of nanny goat before kidding : Gross, but totally normal. We noticed it on two of ours about 24 hours before kidding. The other one didn’t show anything, or maybe we just weren’t looking (she was the first to go). I actually have a photo of this, but I think you get the idea; if you want to see it though, please feel free to contact me. In any event, you’ll be having a kid or more *very* soon. Congratulations!

Remember if you have any goat questions that aren’t answered somewhere in the blog, don’t be afraid to ask! I can’t promise to know the answer, but I will be happy to put it out there to other goatie lovers if I don’t.

And please feel free to add your bleats of wisdom on the above questions as well!

Buon weekend!

Goats and Watermelon Rinds

Quite a few people have found Goat Berries recently looking for information on whether goats can eat watermelon rinds — so I thought I’d answer that question, at least as it pertains to my girlies.

First of all, you should know that cutting up watermelon around here is quite an event. First, there’s the fruit for the humans, then there’s the part close to the rind but not quite the rind for the goaties, then there’s the rind itself for both the goaties and the hens — all of which are cut up into bite-sized pieces.

The experience with the goats meeting watermelon and its rinds went a little like this:

1st attempt: Both curious. Pasqualina turned up her nose at fruit and rind; Pinta ate a few pieces of fruit.

2nd attempt: Both curious. Pasqualina turned up her nose at fruit and rind; Pinta ate a few pieces of fruit.

3rd attempt: Pinta curious. Pasqualina turned up her nose at fruit and rind without even looking; Pinta ate more fruit and a few pieces of rind.

4th attempt: Pasqualina uber-curious! She finally ate some rind and some fruit, BUT only if I held the roundish container in my hand or handfed her; she wouldn’t eat it out of the oblong container on the ground (even though that is essentially how she eats her feed). Pinta, as always, gobbled up fruit and rind no matter where it was.

So, can goats eat watermelon rinds? Well mine can (looks like it’s time to add another food to the Goat Eats list!), but it took a while for one of them to come around to the idea. Pasqualina surprised me, as she’s usually more adventurous with food; there was something about the watermelon that kept her away, though, even when she saw her daughter was eating it.

In any event, they never get a a whole lot of watermelon or rinds at once; Pinta stops eating them after five pieces or so anyway. But remember, as always, when feeding your goats new things, do so in moderation so you don’t upset their tummies!

Do your goaties like watermelon and/or watermelon rinds?

Goat Feeding Time Video

Here’s a video I made the other day as I was bringing some borlotti bean pods to the girls for the first time. They obviously knew a treat was coming because they started calling me just after I shut the door of the house.

Also making guest appearances are our bantam rooster and hen, our two other hens, a call from our quail, our Ape 50, and the gorgeous view of the Ionian Sea and rolling Calabrian hills from the garden area. Enjoy!


Don’t you just love Pinta’s screams? What a sweetheart!

What’s New on Pasqualina’s Plate?

Last summer was our first summer with goats, and my first experience with goats, so I wasn’t very adventurous in what to feed them. They were only between five to seven months old at that point, so I was nervous I’d give them something that would upset their digestive tracts. We stuck to feed, fresh grasses, and hay.

Now that lots of fruits and veggies are coming into season, though, and we have a big strong Mamma goat, I feel like it’s time to test Pasqualina’s palate. Besides, there are also a lot more peels and shavings and even the errant strawberry that’s going off, so it’s a great way to recycle the food, so to speak (if the goats don’t eat it, it goes to the chickens).

So after making sure the food is not poisonous for goats, I’ve been trying new samples with Pasqualina, always a little at a time as you never want to give goats large amounts of any new food as it can, indeed, upset their digestive systems.

You’ve already seen some results of our new experimenting with pea pods and cantaloupe; Pinta hasn’t shown interest in anything but the pea pods and prickly pear cactus so far, but we’ll keep an eye on that too.

One huge surprise for me has been the strawberry. Pasqualina won’t even take one! How can you not like this fresh from the garden?

It’s been a fun experience for me, so I’m now keeping track of what Pasqualina (and eventually Pinta) likes and doesn’t like to eat on a page called “Goat Eats,” which you can always find in the upper right corner of every page.

Please feel free to tell me what your goats like and don’t like in the comments!

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Goats that readers have spotted out and about. Send your photos to michelle(at)goatberries(dot)com! 

Baby the Goat in Georgia
Anguillian Goats
Goats in Central Park Zoo, NYC
Goats goats goats galore!
Tuscan goat
Goat on donkey (no not in that way)
Oman goat
Goat in tree in Africa
Testa Dura Goat Cheese
Goat at Maine Fiber Frolic 2011