Can Goats Eat Cherries (7 Easy Feeding Practices)

Can Goats Eat Cherries

Goats have robust appetites and can digest many plant materials, but their diet still needs careful consideration. Pet owners, farmers, and goat enthusiasts must identify safe and beneficial human foods, like cherries, for goats.

This article explores whether goats can eat cherries safely by looking at the nutrition and risks of this sweet fruit.

Can Goats Eat Cherries?

Yes, goats can eat cherries, but it’s important to remove the pits and stems first. Cherries, in moderation, can be a healthy treat for goats, offering vitamins and minerals beneficial to their diet. However, you should only feed them in small amounts.

Pits And Stems

Cherry pits and stems can be harmful to goats. The pits contain cyanide, which is toxic in large quantities. Goats are bigger and have different stomachs, so cyanide affects them less. But, removing the pits is still safer. Also, the pits might choke goats or block their intestines.


Like any treat, cherries should be given in moderation. Giving too many cherries can upset goats’ stomachs because they are high in sugar.

Introduction To Diet

Introduce cherries or any new food to a goat’s diet slowly. This helps you watch for bad reactions like bloating or changes in bowel movements.

Organic And Clean

Choose organic cherries without pesticides and chemicals. Wash them well before feeding to remove any dirt or harmful substances.

While goats can eat cherries safely, make sure to remove the pits. Give them cherries in small amounts and start slowly. Also, ensure the cherries are clean and, if possible, organic.

Nutritional Value Of Cherries For Goats

Cherries can offer several nutritional benefits to goats when included as a part of their diet in moderation. Here’s a breakdown of the key nutrients found in cherries and their potential benefits for goats:


Cherries are a good source of vitamins, particularly Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, boosts the immune system. Vitamin A supports vision, skin health, and bodily functions.


Cherries have minerals like potassium and magnesium. Potassium helps keep fluids balanced and muscles and nerves working right. Magnesium keeps bones strong and aids in enzyme reactions.


Cherries give fiber, good for goat digestion. It helps them digest food and keep a healthy gut.


Cherries are rich in antioxidants, which help in combating oxidative stress and can support overall health. Antioxidants are important for reducing inflammation and protecting body cells from damage.

Natural Sugars

Cherries have sweet, natural sugars that boost energy quickly. But eating too many can lead to weight gain or stomach issues.

Low In Fat And Protein

Cherries are low in fat and protein, so they don’t upset a goat’s diet balance much.

Water Content

Cherries, being high in water, offer hydration and are great for goats in hot weather.

Despite these benefits, cherries should be a minor treat. Goats mainly need hay, grass, and their special feed. Due to their sugar and the dangers of pits and stems, cherries should only be rare treats, not regular food.

Risks Associated With Feeding Cherries To Goats

Feeding cherries to goats, while beneficial in moderation, does come with certain risks that should be carefully considered:

Cyanide In Pits And Stems

The biggest danger is in the cherry pits and stems. They have compounds that turn into cyanide, a poison if goats chew or digest them.

Goats can eat many plants thanks to their strong stomachs. But, eating too many cherry pits and stems might poison them with cyanide.

Choking Hazard

Cherry pits can choke goats, especially the smaller or younger ones. If goats eat too many, these pits can block their intestines.

Digestive Upset

Since goats have sensitive stomachs, introduce new foods like cherries slowly. Eating too many cherries can upset a goat’s stomach because of the sugar, causing diarrhea or bloating.

Imbalance In Diet

Feeding goats too many cherries or fruits can cause nutritional imbalances. Goats need a diet mainly of hay, grass, and goat feed for their nutrition. Too much fruit can upset this balance.

Pesticides And Chemicals

Unwashed or non-organic cherries may have pesticide residues harmful to goats.

Sugar Content And Obesity

Cherries are high in natural sugars, and excessive consumption can lead to weight gain or obesity in goats, which is a significant health concern.

To lower these risks, first take out the cherry pits and stems. Then, slowly add the cherries to the goat’s food. Make sure they are clean and have no chemicals. Also, only give them in small amounts as part of a varied diet.

Regular monitoring of the goats after introducing cherries or any new food item is also important to check for any adverse reactions.

Proper Feeding Practices

For safe and healthy feeding, include cherries in a goat’s diet carefully. Here are some guidelines:

Moderation Is Key

Treat cherries as snacks, not main food, for goats. Cherries should form less than 10% of a goat’s daily diet.

Remove Pits And Stems

Before feeding cherries to goats, always take out the pits and stems. Doing so avoids choking hazards and stops cyanide in the pits from poisoning the goats.

Introduce Gradually

Start with a small amount when giving cherries or any new food. This method lets you watch how the goat handles the food without harming its stomach.

Wash Thoroughly

Wash the cherries well to remove pesticides before giving them to your goats. Choose organic cherries to reduce the risk of harmful substances.

Balanced Diet Maintenance

Make sure cherries are part of a varied diet. Goats should mainly eat hay, fresh grass, and goat feed, as these provide the necessary nutrients for their health and well-being.

Observation After Feeding

After giving your goats cherries, watch for signs of stomach upset or allergies. Check for symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, or altered eating habits.

Limit Access To Cherry Trees

If cherry trees are near where your goats graze, limit their access during fruiting season to avoid overeating and pit consumption.

Following these steps lets you safely add cherries to your goats’ diet as a tasty, healthy treat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about feeding cherries to goats, along with their answers:

Can Goats Eat Cherry Pits And Stems?

Do not give goats cherry pits and stems because they can choke on them and they have cyanide, which is poisonous in large amounts.

How Many Cherries Can I Feed My Goat?

Give cherries to goats only as a rare treat. Start with a small amount and watch how they react.

Are There Any Health Benefits Of Cherries For Goats?

Yes, cherries have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are good for goats if given in small amounts. They have Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, and fiber.

Can Baby Goats Eat Cherries?

Wait until a goat is grown before giving them cherries or other extra foods. Baby goats should mainly drink their mother’s milk or a suitable milk substitute.

How Should I Prepare Cherries Before Feeding Them To Goats?

Before feeding cherries to goats, take out the pits and stems, wash them well to remove pesticides, and cut them into small pieces if needed to prevent choking.

What Are The Signs Of Cherry Toxicity In Goats?

Signs of cherry toxicity, although rare, include breathing difficulties, red or brown urine, and weakness.

Can Goats Eat Dried Cherries?

Avoid dried cherries as they have more sugar and may contain harmful additives for goats.

Are Cherry Leaves Safe For Goats To Eat?

Cherry leaves, especially when wilted, may be harmful due to cyanogenic compounds. Prevent goats from accessing cherry trees, especially fallen leaves and branches.


You can safely give cherries as a treat to goats, but it’s crucial to feed them correctly. Before feeding cherries to goats, remove pits and wash them to eliminate toxins. Introduce cherries gradually to prevent stomach issues.

To keep a balanced diet, use treats in moderation, just like with cherries. Keep an eye on your goats when introducing new foods. If you worry about their health or diet, consult a vet.

With these guidelines, you can safely give cherries as a tasty and healthy snack to your goats.

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