Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Acorns are a part of our goats' diet

Acorns can supplement a goat's diet in the fall.

These does are pawing underneath oak trees looking for treats.

Found one!
I've heard supposed experts say that acorns will kill goats. I guess if they ate too many at one time they might, but that could be said of anything in their diet. Acorns have always played a part in our goats' diets. Every fall when the acorns begin to fall, you'll see the goats running from tree to tree to nibble on the tasty nuts.

I've had ranchers in Texas tell me that a large acorn crop helps give the goats a nutritional boost at breeding time, which can help conception rates. Others have told me that the tannic acid in acorns acts like a natural dewormer and that is why goats look so slick and healthy in the fall.

How true all of this is, I don't know. But I do know that my goats have been eating acorns for many, many years with no ill effects. The acorns this year are tiny compared to some years — probably because our lack of rain. Surprisingly, other foodstuffs, such as persimmons and muscadines, had bountiful crops. So our goats have had a variety of tasty treats this fall — which means a lot of free nutrition. (I took the above photos on my way to the office this morning.)

While doing research, I was reminded that humans have been eating acorns for thousands of years. Acorns were a large part of the Native American diet. They knew how to soak them to remove the tannins and used the the nuts in a variety of ways. Click here for an article on how you can prepare your own acorns for safe consumption.


  1. Our goats eat acorns too. It's like a race between them to see who can get to the next oak tree to get the acorns first. We have many oak trees so you can imagine how entertaining it is to see them running from tree to tree! Who knew we could eat them too? Thanks for sharing!


  2. Woody Hollow GoatsJanuary 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    My goats love them. I actually gathered a garbage bag of them and put them in the freezer and give them as a treat and maybe a dewormer(?) once a week, but they are still finding them all over the ground. We have at least five different kinds of oak trees here and they are very picky about which acorns they will eat. So, if there are some that are not good for them, I think the goats know.