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Can Horses Eat Goat Feed?



Can Horses Eat Goat Feed

For most animal owners, keeping the animals healthy and well-fed is a top priority. When it comes to feeding your livestock, you might be wondering if it’s safe to feed your horses goat feed. Goats and horses have some similarities, but they are still vastly different animals. Thus, it is only appropriate to ask if the feed that is good for one animal is good for the other.

In this article, we’ll look closely at the nutritional requirements of horses and goats and whether it is fine to feed horses with goat feed.

Nutritional Differences Between Goats and Horses

It is important to understand that horses and goats are two different animals that have diverse nutritional needs. Goats require food that is high in fiber and protein, the majority of which comes from hay, forage, and plant matter. On the other hand, horses require food that is high in fiber, but with low protein content. They need a combination of roughages and grains to maintain their optimal health.

Are There Similarities in Goat and Horse Feed?

Goat feed is usually high in protein, and it contains ingredients that are not suitable for horses, such as copper and certain minerals. Also, some goat feeds may contain antibiotics that are not safe for horses. Generally, horse owners refrain from feeding their animals goat feed, as it may not meet their nutritional requirements.

The Impact of Feeding Goat Feed to Horses

Feeding a goat’s diet to horses can result in significant health risks, particularly if the goat feed is high in copper sulfate and other toxic minerals. While copper is an essential nutrient, horses are not designed to consume large amounts of copper, which they can easily get from consuming goat feeds. When horses consume copper beyond their dietary needs, they suffer from anemia, liver failure, and eventually death in severe cases.

What Should Horse Owners Feed Their Animals Instead of Goat Feed?

The ideal diet of horses should contain fruits, vegetables, pasture, and hay. If owners prefer to supplement the horse’s diet, they can feed them with special horse feeds that cater to equine-specific nutritional needs. Such feeds are formulated to provide a balanced diet consisting of high-quality carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals, and vitamins.


Feeding goat feed to horses is not a recommended practice, as it can lead to serious health issues. Horse owners must understand the distinctive nutritional needs of goats versus horses and feed their animals with a balanced diet that meets the necessary standards. It is highly recommended not to feed goat feed to horses and instead rely on grass, hay, and horse-specific feeds that are formulated to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal health.

By doing so, horse owners can rest easy, knowing that they are providing their animals with the proper diet and nutrition that they require to maintain their good health.

I am Tommy, an avid equestrian who is passionate about the lifestyle. Writing for an equestrian blog has been a lifelong dream of mine, as I have been around horses my whole life. My mission is to share all the knowledge and experiences I have gathered throughout the years in order to help others reach their goals in this amazing sport. My dedication and enthusiasm towards horses and all things related to them never cease to amaze me!

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