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Edible & Poisonous Plants
for Goats

People have asked me to share a listing of edible & poisonous plants for goats, but I hesitated to make a list of plants you can, or shouldn't feed, to goats because there is no possible way I, as one person, could know all plants the are poisonous to goats. I may know most in my own area (East TN, USA), but there may be plants in places such as CA, England and Australia that I do not know, may would mistakenly not add to the list. I do not want the responsibly of a goat getting poisoned because I did not list the plant the goat was fed.

I have seen many "Poisonous Plant Lists" on the Internet that listed plants that I know for a absolute fact are NOT poisonous to goats because my own goats eat them (such as English Ivy, which they love). Someone said they had a list that said St. John's Wort was poisonous to goat, which is isn't. You just cannot believe, as gospel, everything you read, especially on the Internet. Please always research and make sure to check and verify your facts.

Although the goat's digestive system is similar to that of other ruminants, such as cattle and sheep, who are "grazers" and eat grass, goats are more related to deer, who are "browsers". As browsers, goats are designed to eat, and prefer, brush and trees more than grass. It is natural for them to nibble a little here, and a little there. Because of this, even if you have poisonous plants on your property, very often, if they have plenty of "safe" browse, they rarely eat enough bad stuff to cause any real harm. For example, we have Nightshade growing on our property, but our goats have plenty of other things to browse upon, so they never touch the Nightshade.

Never make big changes in the way you feed a goat all at once, or feed large quantities of a new food that the goat has never had before, if you do this, you can throw off the bacteria in the goat's rumen, which can cause the goat to bloat, or the rumen to shut down. When changing a goat's diet, do so slowly, to give the bacteria in the rumen time to adjust.

Too much of anything is not a good thing.

Submit an Edible or Poisonous Plant to the List

I thought we could compile a true listing of plants that are poisonous to goats (not horses, or cows, or sheep, etc). If you know for an absolute fact (personal experience) a plant is edible or poisonous to goats, please submit it to this list. If you just think it might be, or heard it might be, do not submit it.
I will not be verifying this list.
It will be compiled on the honor and trust system.

I've had to remove this submit form because of spam. 
Contact me here to let me know of plants to add to this listing.

 

LISTING OF EDIBLE & POISONOUS PLANTS IN GOATS

Please remember, this is not a complete listing
and I take no responsibility for it's accuracy.

You may note that some plants actually appear in both lists.  This is because I have received notes from different people with different information   This just shows how any list can be inaccurate.

EDIBLE

Please note, too much of anything can be bad, so ALL plants, even if in this Edible listing, should be fed only in moderation.

POISONOUS
  • Acorns (in moderation)
  • Agapanthas
  • Althea
  • Angel Wing Bigoneas
  • Apple
  • Arborvita
  • Avocado*- Mexican Avocado leaves/trees such Pinkerton might not be (*note-South American Avocado leaves ARE poisonous)
  • Bamboo
  • Banana, entire plant, fruit & peel
  • Barkcloth fig (ficus natalensis)
  • Bay Tree Leaves green and dried
  • Bean (all parts)
  • Beets, leaves and root
  • Blackberry bushes (all parts)
  • Black Locus (we had quite a few of these until our goats ate them all)
  • Bramble
  • Broccoli (all parts)
  • Buckbrush (aka coralberry or indian currant)
  • Cabbage
  • Camellias
  • Cantaloupe: fruit, seeds and peel
  • Collard Greens
  • Carrots
  • Catnip
  • Cedar Needles (leaves) & Bark
  • Celery
  • Citrus
  • Clover
  • Comfrey 
  • Corn husks & silk
  • Cottonwood
  • Coyote Bush (Baccharis)
  • Dandelion
  • Douglas Fir
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • English Ivy (we feed lvy trimming all the time; they love it)
  • Fava Bean pods
  • Fern
  • Fescue grass
  • Ficus
  • Garlic
  • Ginger Root
  • Grape, entire plants
  • Grape Vine
  • Grapefruit, fruit & peel
  • Greenbrier
  • Hay Plant
  • Heavenly Bamboo
  • Hemlock Trees (which are not the same as the poisonous hemlock, an herbaceous species of plant which is in the carrot family that bears the scientific name “Conium maculatum")
  • Hibiscus
  • Honeysuckle, entire plant  (goats love honeysuckle)
  • Hyssop
  • Ivy
  • Jackfruit leaves
  • Jade
  • Jambolan leaves
  • Japanese Elm
  • Japanese Knotweed aka: polygonum cuspidatum aka: fallopia japonica.
  • Japanese Magnolias (blooms/leaves)
  • Johoba
  • Kudzu
  • Lantana - appears on both lists
  • Lilac bark /branches
  • Lupine - appears on both lists: Seeds are the part of the plant that are the greatest problem.
  • Magnolia Leaves green and dried
  • Mango leaves
  • Manzanita (Arctostaphylos)
  • Maple Trees, leaves & bark - (goats will readily strip the bark and kill the tree)
    NOT Red Maples (Red Maples can be toxic)
  • Marijuana-in moderation
  • Mesquite
  • Mint
  • Mock Orange
  • Monkeyflower (Mimulus)
  • Mountain Ash (excellent goat forage tree)
  • Morning Glory
  • Moss
  • Mulberry (entire plant)
  • Mullein
  • Mustard
  • Nettles
  • Nightshade - appears on both lists:- I have received a post saying "my goats eat nightshade all the time".  We also have a lot of Nightshade on own property and none of our goats have died from it.
  • Lemon Grass
  • Oak Tree Leaves
  • Okara- pulp left over after making Soymilk
  • Onion
  • Orange, fruit & peel
  • Paloverde - needles & seed pods
  • Patterson's Curse
  • Pea Pods
  • Peanuts, including the shells
  • Pear
  • Pencil cactus
  • Peppers
  • Pepper plants
  • Photinia
  • Pine Trees (we had hundreds of small trees until our goats ate them all)
  • Plum, all
  • PrivetPumpkin
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac, the vine
  • Pomegranates
  • Poplar Trees
  • Potatoes
  • Raisins
  • Raspberry, entire plant (goats loves raspberry)
  • Red-tips
  • Rose, all, entire plant (goats loves roses)
  • Rhubarb Leaves
  • Salvation Jane
  • Sassafras
  • Silver Berry
  • Southern Bayberry (myrica cerifera)
  • Spruce trees
  • Sumac, the tree
  • Sunflowers
  • St. John's Wort (can cause sun sensitivity in light skinned goats)
  • Strawberry
  • Sweet Gum Trees
  • Sweet potato leaves
  • Tomatoes (cherry tomatoes make wonderful treats)
  • Tomato plants- in moderation (mine eat them with no problems)
  • Tree of Heaven
  • Turnips
  • Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
  • Yarrow
  • Yellow Locus
  • Yucca
  • Vetch
  • Virginia Creeper
  • Wandering Jew
  • Watermelon
  • Wax Myrtle (myrica cerifera)
  • Weeping Willow
  • Wild Rose, entire plant (goats loves roses)
  • Wild Tobacco
  • African Rue
  • Andromeda (related to foxglove)
  • Avocado- South American Avocado leaves/tree such as Haas or crosses with Haas
  • Avocado- Fuarte (definitely)
  • Azalea
  • Brouwer's Beauty Andromeda
  • Boxwood
  • Burning Bush berries
  • Calotropis
  • Cassava (manioc)
  • China Berry Trees, all parts
  • Choke Cherries, wilting especially
  • Choke Cherry Leaves in abundance
  • Datura
  • Dog Hobble
  • Dumb Cane (diffenbachia) (Houseplant)
  • Euonymus Bush berries
  • False Tansy
  • "Fiddleneck"- know by this common name in CA. It is a fuzzy looking, 12" to 15" plant, with small yellow blossoms, shaped on a stem shaped like the neck of a fiddle.
  • Flixweed
  • Fusha
  • Holly Trees/Bushes
  • Ilysanthes floribunda
  • Japanese pieris (extremely toxic)
  • Japanese Yew
  • Lantana - appears on both lists
  • Larkspur- a ferny, flowering plant in shades of blue, pink and white.
  • Lasiandra
  • Lilacs
  • Lily of the Valley (Pieris Japonica)
  • Lupine - appears on both lists: Seeds are the part of the plant that are the greatest problem.
  • Madreselva (Spain) patologia renal
  • Maya-Maya
  • Monkhood
  • Milkweed
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Nightshade- appears on both lists: Whether this is really poisonous is questionable because I have received a post saying "my goats eat nightshade all the time".  We also have a lot of Nightshade on own property and none of our goats have died from it. I tend to think it is ok in moderation.
  • Oleander
  • Pieris Japonica (extreamly toxic)
  • Red Maples
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Tu Tu (the Maori name for Coriaria arborea)
  • Wild Cherry, -wilted- leaves (fresh and fully dried are not poisonous)
  • Yew


 

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