Pine needles, a natural decongestant, are said to be the cure of 80% of human diseases. They are rich in vitamin C and are being used to treat congestion and respiratory problems. But are they safe and as beneficial to the goats as they are to you?
You are here because you have heard or even seen goats enjoying pine needles. Yes, they are safe but if they are fed the right way. To get all your questions answered check out our below mentioned “guide to feeding pine needles to your goats”
Can goats eat pine needles?
Yes, they can. Pine needles are considered the healthiest treat for goats. They seem to enjoy them in their snack time. In fact, they love pine needles to the point they try to reach them by climbing over each other. You can also feed branches of white pine and ponderosa pine.
Why pine needles?
If you have never allowed your goats to have pine needles let them have now. Pine needles are super beneficial for goats as:
- They help in protecting goats from intestinal parasitic worms.
- They help goats with their digestive disorder.
- They help in treating loose stools.
Feeding pine needles every day
Well, excess of everything is bad. You should only let them have it sometimes as a treat but feeding them on a daily basis can lead to toxicity, other health risks, and sometimes even worse, abortion(but that’s rare).
If not every day, how often should you feed them?
It can only be given as a treat once or twice a week. Let them have it in a balanced quantity as goats have a pretty sensitive stomach.
This goat’s favorite snack contains these vitamins and let’s have a look at what they do to their body:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Animals need vitamin C as much as humans do. This vitamin is needed to prevent tissues, muscles, and organs from damage. It aids in saving muscles, tissues, and organs by fighting free radicals present in the goat’s body. Vitamin C plays an important role in development, growth, and repairing damaged cells in both humans and animal bodies.
Vitamin A is also an essential vitamin your goat needs to have to grow healthy. It helps in building stronger and healthier teeth and skeletal. Besides this, it improves soft tissue and membrane.
Goat needs many vitamins like A, D, E, K, and C to live a healthy balanced diet. Deficiency may lead to serious life threats. These vitamins aid in keeping the metabolism healthy and vitamin C helps in boosting immunity. As goats try to eat everything they find on their way only a balanced metabolism and increased immunity ratio can save them from toxicity.
What else you need to know about feeding pine needles
Pine needles are only all healthy and nutritional if you are feeding them the right way. Goat milk is an excellent source of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin A. If you are keeping a goat solely for milk. You better avoid feeding pine needles because it makes the milk taste bitter.
They are considered slightly dangerous for pregnant goats. A study published back in 1992, showed that they are not the “reason” of miscarriage in goats. But the fear is still living somewhere inside the goatherder’s body. So it is advised to avoid feeding pine needles to the pregnant goats.
Can they eat branches too?
Yes, but in a very small quantity but goats love pine needles more. They are usually full after having a bunch of needles in their tummy so they usually leave branches untouched. Smaller branches are safer and easier to digest. White pine and ponderosa pine branches are much safer to feed than yew.
Make it safer to eat
To make it less harmful and toxic for your goats you need to double-check the tree you are feeding is 100% natural. The tree should never be sprayed with anything. Your goat should only have pine
needles, not the chemicals sprayed on them.
Can you feer pine needles in pregnancy?
If I say “in moderation” it’s safe. A study published back in the 90s showed that they don’t cause miscarriage among goats. But if avoidable you should avoid feeding them at least these few weeks.
What pine trees are more toxic, in general?
These pine trees are considered a little dangerous and toxic to consume
- Lodgepole pine
- Norfolk island pine
- Yew pine
- Balsam fir
Which pine tree is safer for goats to eat?
White pine and ponderosa are considered much safer to be consumed by goats than any other type of pine trees.
What health risks are attached to pine tree consumption?
It’s fine to let your goat have in moderation but excessive consumption can lead to toxicity, abortion, and some other serious health issues.
How often should you let your goats eat pine needles?
Only once or maximum twice a week in a small quantity. Feeding more than that can be dangerous.
What vitamins do pine needles have?
Pine needles are rich in vitamin C and A and they both are highly needed by goats for boosting immunity and having a healthy metabolism.
Can pine needles cause diarrhea?
It can cause diarrhea to dogs and other pets. But it can never be the cause of diarrhea in goats. It’s just a rumor we all have started believing.
Can pine needles kill goats?
No, they are not that dangerous even if they are being consumed in large quantities. It can cause a serious issue but “death” is definitely not one of them.
Other treats that you can feed
Yes, goats can eat pine needles but should only be fed in moderation. Excessive pine feeding can give birth to various health issues. It’s safe to feed once or maximum twice a week. Avoid feeding your pregnant goats as it is feared that it can cause miscarriage. White pines and ponderosa are healthier and safer options for goats to have than other types of pine trees. Feed them the right way to see only good parts of the picture.