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Can goats eat coffee grounds? What you need to know!

Coffee grounds or any source of caffeine needs to be kept away from your goats as their bodies are not made to consume it. Caffeine can give them an upset stomach, diarrhea, as well as a rapid heartbeat, and become agitated. This can also be lethal in higher doses.

If you have goats and coffee grounds then you might’ve wondered if you can combine the two. You’re not sure because you want the best for them. Well, don’t worry because I did a bunch of research the past few days to see how safe it is to feed them coffee grounds, as well as what else they should and shouldn’t eat.

Let’s get started.

Can Goats Eat Coffee Grounds?

No, your lovely goats and coffee grounds should be far away from each other. Anything with caffeine in it should not be fed to any animals. Goats can occasionally have an apple, carrot, or a handful of grains but they should primarily eat grass as that’s what their stomachs have been made for.

Any kitchen scraps of that matter shouldn’t just be fed to your goats or sheep as they are perfectly happy with the pasture.

Many people tend to give their kitchen scraps to pigs instead but be careful as there are a lot of foods that can make them sick.

Even though coffee was discovered through goats eating red berries (coffee beans) from a nearby bush in Ethiopia, it’s certainly not healthy for them as caffeine is the last thing goats need running through their system. We tend to forget that caffeine is a powerful substance that humans can handle quite well but most animals don’t.

If your goats consumed a bit of caffeine it most likely won’t hurt them much and they might get an upset stomach but if you do notice they ingested a fair amount of caffeine then make sure to contact your livestock vet.

What Else Should You Not Feed To Goats?

There are a few more things that you absolutely shouldn’t feed your goats as this can be either toxic or can make them sick.

Foods you shouldn’t feed your goat:
❌ Garlic
❌ Onion
❌ Chocolate
❌ Any source of caffeine
❌ Nuts
❌ Finely ground grains
❌ Leftover meat scraps (or meat at all for that matter)
❌ Citrus fruits (Can give them an upset stomach)
❌ Avocados
❌ Cherry pits
❌ Potatoes
❌ Any synthetic or artificial material (metal, rubber, fabric, etc.)

Common Plants That Are Toxic To Goats

Since goats are herbivorous ruminants they like to consume plants that contain high fiber content. Unfortunately, there are quite some common plants out there that can harm them. You should try to keep an eye out for these plants and remove them where necessary.

Harmful plants to keep away from your goat:
❌ Hemlock
❌ Poppies
❌ Nettles
❌ Nightshade
❌ Milkweed
❌ Johnson grass
❌ Wild Black Cherries
❌ Boxwood
❌ Larkspur
❌ Lupines
❌ Oak Trees (green leaves on yellow, black, and red oak trees)
❌ Azaleas

Foods Goats Can Eat

Goats like to look for food that’s at eye level rather than looking down for grass. Because of this, goats tend to prefer vegetation like leaves, twigs, weeds, and shrubs compared to pasture grass which a sheep would choose. But pasture is still a part of a goat’s natural diet!

Let’s have a look at what you can feed your goat for snacks and treats!


These fruits are perfect in moderation for your goat’s diet. Keep in mind that fruits are also high in sugar and should only be given as a treat/foraging incentive, and not as their main diet.

Fruits your goat can eat:
✅ Apples
✅ Bananas
✅ Oranges
✅ Grapefruits
✅ Blueberries
✅ Raspberries
✅ Strawberries
✅ Apricots
✅ Peaches (Leave out the seeds)
✅ Grapes
✅ Kiwis


Vegetables are typically a healthier treat choice for goats than fruits because of the lower sugar content and high nutrient value. Remember, only in moderation.

Vegetables your goat can eat:
✅ Pumpkins
✅ Squash
✅ Bell Peppers
✅ Lettuce
✅ Zucchini
✅ Cucumbers

Wheat and Grains

Because of how the goat’s digestive tract works, it’s best not to feed finely ground grains. Again only in moderation and as a treat.

Wheat and Grains your goat can eat:
✅ Whole Grains
✅ Barley
✅ Wheat
✅ Oats
✅ Whole Bread

How Do You Get Rid of Your Coffee Grounds Then?

If you were going to feed coffee grounds to your goats then you’re most likely just trying to get rid of them. Luckily your coffee grounds are a fantastic fertilizer! Use them in your garden or even better in your compost pile, as this is an easy and effective way to make use of them.

The Bottom Line

Coffee grounds or anything caffeine related for that matter is a big NO for your goats. It’s much better to use coffee grounds to fertilize your garden and compost bin.

Make sure to give your goats a healthy and well-balanced diet and keep harmful plants and foods out of reach. This ensures your goats are happy and healthy!


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