Poisonous Plants to Avoid

     It’s that time of year again when we either start to plant or have perennials popping back up after a long dormant winter.  However, whether you have a large or small homestead or farm, there is a list of plants to avoid having in order to avoid disasters for your livestock.

     In particular, there are some that can be quite deadly for goats.  You do have to learn what to feed goats because even plants that are good can become toxic creating  enterotoxemia if goats over eat on any plant they are not use to.  Generally speaking and contrary to what we’ve all heard….goats do not eat everything.  Especially if a goat is well fed and on a well balanced diet, they don’t eat everything.  But they are curious creatures and sometimes something just may look appealing to them and that’s when there can be problems.

  1.      Mushrooms  Do not feed your goats mushrooms.  They’re usually only ingested if mixed in grass clippings after mowing the lawn or even weed eating.  Make sure to compost clippings, in this way you can avoid the mushrooms and mold hepatocidal (liver death) properties.
  2. Poison Hemlock and also water hemlock can be extremely dangerous. Whether fresh or dried, all parts of this are poisonous
  3. Yews are small green-needled tree or shrub and very popular for hedging etc.  One bite of the needles can stop a heart in seconds to minutes.  Be watchful even at livestock shows.
  4. Rhododendrons Another very popular plant used in tons of landscaping.  Just at goat height these are very poisonous, decreasing blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, nausea and vomiting.
  5. Azaleas  Again, very popular and used in landscaping a lot and can cause the same issues to goats as Rhododendrons.
  6. Boxwood
  7. Larkspar
  8. Daffodils
  9. Narcissus
  10. Cotoneaster
  11. Oleander
  12. Delphinium
  13. Many types of Lupines (Blue Bonnets)
  14. All types of Laurels
  15. Ponderosa pine needles can cause abortion if enough is consumed.
  16. Brake or Bracken ferns
  17. Tomato leaves, stems and blooms
  18. Green potato skins and any upper plant parts from nightshade or datura
  19. Rhubarb leaves
  20. Dried or wilted maple leaves of any kind
  21. Leaves in any stage of wilt from prunus species (pit trees) plants are cyanogenic.  Goats may be able to get to these from their pens or if a branch should fall into their area or if at a height/location that they can easily get to.
  22. Green leaves, acorns or blossoms on yellow, black or red oak trees should not be consumed, as these are high in tannins and can cause liver and kidney damage.

Eliminating toxic plants is an important step to take for your goats’ safety, but also make sure they are kept well fed and always have plenty of fresh water.  I feed our little Pygmy babies, Larkin  and Spencer every morning and evening, while I cannot speak for every goat breed, I can say that as babies, you cannot overfeed a Pygmy kid.  They are growing and need to eat for their growing bodies.  Once they get to be a year old, then you can start backing off a bit. Always provide their salt mineral as well.

There may be specific plants in your area that are also poisonous to goats, it’s best to check with your county extension office, local vet either of these can also guide you as to what not to have around goats (and many other animals as well.     

I hope this has been a little bit of a help and here’s to happy homesteading!

As always….keep smiling it makes people wonder what you’re up to.  Have an                                  outstanding day,     ~Cindy~


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One Comment on “Poisonous Plants to Avoid

  1. Pingback: A Peek at the Week on the Homestead Mar 24 – 30 – Sage Brush Homesteading

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