17 April 2023

What do goats eat?

By Killian

What do goats eat?

Goats are one of the first animals that were domesticated by humans. There are several species, most native to the Old World, although there is a type of goat native to America. They are animals that are distinguished by their striking and imposing horns depending on the species and, in addition, by their excellent ability to climb areas that are practically inaccessible to other animals and even people. They live in a varied type of habitats, so they develop in various types of ecosystems. On this occasion, we present you with an article from AnimalWised where we present information about what do goats eat.

Type of feeding of the goats

The goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) have a type of herbivorous feedingIn fact, they are strict in this regard. Depending on the species and the habitat, due to the availability of plants, they consume various species, as well as different parts such as leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, bark or seeds. Some also eat lichens.

They belong to the Bovidae family, so they are ruminant animals. This means that your stomach is made up of four chambers known as the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. However, ruminants generally do not have such a varied diet in terms of the parts of plants they consume, as well as diversity, but goats differ in this regard because they are more generalists in their diet.

Discover other herbivorous animals: definition, types and examples in the following article.

What do baby goats eat?

Goats are mammalian animals, so when they are born depend on breast milk. Depending on the species, goats are weaned at 3 months or even close to a year. Approximately a week later, some begin to eat solid food, which consists of some of the vegetation that the mother consumes, this is because they are born early.

However, they first need to consume only milk and wait a few days until their digestive system is fully capable of processing plant food, on which they will then depend exclusively.

What do goats eat?  - What do baby goats eat?

What do adult goats eat?

We have already mentioned that goats, as ruminants, have an exclusively herbivorous diet. However, let us know below some particularities about what do adult goats eat based on examples:

  • siberian ibex (capra sibirica): This species feeds on up to 140 different plant species, of which it consumes leaves, stems, bark, flowers, fruits, and also eats lichens. This goat spends a large part of the day feeding and the rest resting. However, when the season with the shortest days arrives, it spends the greatest amount of time consuming food. A male can eat up to 16 kg a day, while the female about 10 kg.
  • Iberian wild goat (capra pyrenaica): This goat mainly has a herbivorous browsing diet, that is, it preferably consumes branches, leaves, buds and even fruits. The main plant consumed is The oak (Quercus ilex), but also eats grasses, herbs, seeds, and nuts.
  • Mountain goat (Capra Ibex): depending on the season, does migrations depending on the availability of food, since in winter the plants decrease considerably. They move south to the Alpine region, where there are more plants and less snow. Eat leaves, stems, bark, grasses, herbs, and shoots. Here you also have information about other Animals that migrate: why they migrate and examples.
  • wild goat (Capra aegagrus): This goat eats grasses, herbaceous plants and shrubs. One of its peculiarities is that climbs trees that are not too tall to feed, especially in junipers and oaks. Depending on the area and the season, there are changes in the diet. Thus, in some cases it consumes mainly herbs in the spring, but in winter it changes to small shrubs.
  • Mountain goat (oreamnos americanus): this herbivore consumes mainly woody plants, grasses, mosses, lichens and herbaceous plants, although there may be seasonal variations. In spring it moves to salt flats that are rich in minerals.
  • Markhor (capra falconeri): this goat is also a strict Herbivore, which feeds on grasses in spring and summer while, in autumn and winter, it eats leaves, branches and bark.

Now that you know what adult goats can eat, we leave you with more information about the types of goats that exist in this AnimalWised post.

What do goats eat?  - What do adult goats eat?

How to feed a goat?

Eventually, depending on where we live, we can find a goat, either a baby or a stray, injured adult. If this were the case, the ideal is to take the animal to a rescue center, where they can give it the necessary attention. However, if it is not possible to do it at the moment, it is possible to offer some food to keep it until it can be taken to an appropriate place.

  • In the case of a baby goat: You can buy goat’s milk that is commonly sold in certain places, which can be given to you with a bottle or bottle.
  • In the case of an adult goat: They should always be vegetable options, such as grass, alfalfa, fruits, some legumes. Freshly purchased hay may also be an option.

On the other hand, it is very important to place fresh and clean water to the goat They are animals that avoid consuming food or water in poor condition as much as possible, so everything they eat must be in excellent edible condition.

If you want to read more articles similar to What do goats eat?we recommend that you enter our section on balanced diets.


  • Animal Diversity Web. (2020). Available at: https://animaldiversity.org/
  • IUCN. (2022). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2022-1. Available in: