Can Goats Eat Acorns? (Health Benefits/Risks)

Goats can eat acorns but in very moderate amounts. Undoubtedly goats love to feed on acorns, but not everything which goats love to eat is right for them.

When forage is scarce during the fall, providing enough pasture to your goats can become a problem. When goats don’t get enough pasture to feed on, they will eat anything around them.

This is the time when you should be vigilant. If you have an oak tree anywhere near you, make sure not to let your goats freely graze in that area. Acorns in excess will harm them abominably.

Also see: Can Goats Eat Alfalfa?

Are Acorns Good for Goats?

Not really. Even though goat keepers deem it safe, little do they know that it can even kill their goats. That’s why a goat keeper must be aware of what and what not goats can feed on.

A small amount of acorns is indeed safe for goats as goats have a high tolerance against toxins. But it would be better not to let your goats graze in an area where oak trees are present. 

Even a little bit of excess can result in grave consequences. Better to avoid that!

Are Acorns Toxic to Goats?

Acorns contain a toxin, which is known as tannin or tannic acid. If consumed in little amounts, it is safe for goats.

However, in large amounts, it can be deadly for your goats. Tannic acid acts as an astringent as it contracts the tissues of the body. 

Acorns poisoning can result in severe damages to the gastrointestinal system, liver, and kidney.

If your goats have fed on them excessively, you might see the following symptoms:

  • Constipation.
  • Dehydration.
  • Blood in the urine.

It is always better to avoid poisoning than to treat it. Immediate treatment includes giving activated charcoal to your goats to eliminate toxins. However, the cure is not certain.

Can Goats Eat Acorn Leaves?

Almost all parts of the oak trees are poisonous to goats if consumed in excess. The tannic acid present in acorn leaves can cause serious health damages. 

If you have oak trees near the place where you keep your goats, it would be a good idea to fence that area off. Just let your goats feed in that area for a brief period of time.

Excess amounts of acorns leaves will be deadly for goats, just like the acorn itself.

Are Oak Leaves Bad for Goats?

Yes, oak leaves are bad for goats. Don’t let your goats feed on them in large quantities if you want to maintain your goats’ health.

Tannin or tannic acid, which is present in all parts of oak trees, will poison your goats, and as a result, you will see serious damages in your goats’ liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system. 

Try to avoid it!


Goats can eat acorns in small quantities. Even if the fodder is scarce, don’t let your goats consume acorn in excess. Make sure to keep the forage for your goats in abundance so that goats do not have to turn to oak trees.

Just like the acorns, acorn leaves and oak leaves are also poisonous as they all contain tannic acid. The best course of action would be to keep your goats away from oak trees as much as possible.

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