Sweet potatoes are some sweet-tasting yam-like roots originating from the family of bindweed, Convolvulaceae.
Their origin can be traced back to Central and South America. Today, sweet potatoes are cultivated globally as a staple food and a cash crop.
These potatoes come in various colors: purple, pink, white, yellow, violet, and red. They are distantly related to regular potatoes, although sweet potatoes are highly nutritious and delicious.
Can Goats Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes. Goats can comfortably consume sweet potatoes as an occasional treat but not a whole meal. Sweet potatoes contain plenty of nutrients from minerals, fibers, and vitamins that are advantageous to your goats.
Even so, it’d be better to serve sweet potatoes moderately as excess feeding could give rise to digestion-related issues and stomachache.
Harm/Importance of Sweet Potatoes
Generally, sweet potatoes are nutritious to goats but only if served moderately. Firstly, sweet potatoes contain vitamins, fibers, and minerals required for the growth and development of goats.
For instance, potassium helps control blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases, while vitamin C is responsible for maintaining your goats’ skin health.
These roots are beneficial to the extent that the traditional farmers grew them as a portion of emergency food for their goats during the drought seasons.
Again, sweet potatoes contain fibers responsible for keeping the gut in good condition and reducing the risk of diabetes.
On the other hand, carbohydrates found in these potatoes are broken down into simple sugars to generate the energy that your goats need.
But still, sweet potatoes should be fed irregularly as their high oxalate concentration could easily cause gallbladder and kidney stones in the body if eaten in excess. Also, rich in vitamin A, sweet potatoes are likely to cause rashes and headaches when served regularly.
Generally, we urge you to regulate the number of sweet potatoes you offer your goats to keep the above misfortunes at bay.
When prepared and distributed appropriately, sweet potatoes have plenty of nutrients for your goats.
A medium-sized sweet potato is filled with the following nutrients:
Fiber– The fibers found in sweet potatoes help regulate your goats’ body weight and strengthen the performance of hormones.
Vitamin A- Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which is turned into the vitamin in your goat’s liver. The vitamin helps to maintain proper eyesight and prevent eye-related illnesses.
Magnesium– Magnesium in sweet potatoes aids in supporting normal body functioning by reducing the chances of anxiety.
Anthocyanin- Researchers have proven that anthocyanin found in purple sweet potatoes significantly impacts goats’ memory function and inhibits some forms of cancer.
Potassium– This mineral is responsible for controlling your goat’s blood pressure while reducing the chances of stroke.
How Much Sweet Potatoes Can I Offer My Goats?
While there is no specific amount of sweet potatoes that your goats need in a day, this delicacy is better off served moderately to avoid the risks related to excess feeding.
For instance, the kids should get slightly fewer pieces of sliced sweet potatoes than the adults: their digestive system hasn’t fully matured to handle the more significant amounts.
Nursing kids should rely on their mother’s milk entirely and not be fed sweet potatoes as they can interfere with their digestion.
Again, if your goats are battling kidney or liver issues, ulcers, and other stomach illnesses, it’d be advisable to avoid offering them sweet potatoes as it might worsen the condition.
If you’re introducing these edibles to your goats for the first time, we urge you to do so while studying how they react to them; some might be allergic while others don’t enjoy the treat. Consulting a vet would be more recommendable.
Why Are Sweet Potatoes Good/Bad for Goats?
There are plenty of benefits awaiting your goats from consuming sweet potatoes only if served adequately.
Firstly, sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients – from vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates, all in store for your goats.
Magnesium is good for maintaining a normal body functioning by reducing stress and chances of anxiety, while potassium controls your goats’ blood pressure, thus minimizing the chances of stroke.
Additionally, sweet potatoes have fibers responsible for regulating your darlings’ body weight, thus inhibiting obesity. The carbohydrates are broken into simple sugars to generate the goat with some energy.
Despite the benefits we’ve stated above, sweet potatoes, if fed regularly, can be toxic to your goat’s general health.
For instance, they have oxalates, which can effortlessly cause your goat gallbladder or kidney stones if not regulated.
Secondly, for goats struggling with heart issues, sweet potatoes don’t perform well as the latter contains potassium which could worsen the situation if overly consumed. All in all, a piece or two won’t harm your sweeties.
How to Feed Sweet Potatoes to Goats
Sweet potatoes should be served irregularly as a titbit to your goats but not the main meal. When it comes to cooked sweet potatoes, wash them well before peeling with a clean stainless-steel knife.
You could steam, boil, or roast. Whichever method you choose, we urge you to avoid adding spices, oil, or other seasonings.
Finely slice the cooked sweet potatoes into small pieces. Leaving a significant amount for your goats might trigger choking and thus gut blockage.
It’d be advisable to accompany sweet potatoes with other foodstuffs such as fruits vegetables to create a balanced diet.
The most common types of sweet potatoes that are safe for your goats are purple, jewel, hannah, garnet and cream side.
What is the alternative foodstuff for sweet potatoes?
If your goat is allergic to sweet potatoes or he doesn’t adore them, you could alternatively feed them pumpkins, regular potatoes, yams, vegetables, and fruits.
You should, however, get a vet’s opinion before introducing new meals to your animals.
Can kids eat sweet potatoes?
Yes. Baby goats can consume sweet potatoes as part of their diet. Even so, their portions should be smaller compared to those of their adult counterparts.
As you introduce this delicacy to kids, kindly note how they react to it, as some might be allergic to sweet potatoes.
Can goats consume sweet potato peels?
Yes. Sweet potato peels don’t harm your goats if they are well prepared before serving. We urge you to wash the sweet potato thoroughly before peeling with a clean stainless-steel knife.
Washing keeps away any dirt and harmful bacteria that the peels could be housing.
Now that you’ve gone through this post, you’re a hundred steps ahead of your fellow goat parents. Even if your darlings adore sweet potatoes so much, over-feeding them will only mess with their health. A slice or two save the day!