Another "Can goats eat...." question

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Kimi, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. Kimi

    Kimi Active Member

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    My pasture has a low place running across it, and has a small run-off stream. In summer the bottom is LOADED with some kind of mint, I think it's Spearmint. Will that hurt goats or will they even eat it. The horses don't...that I know of....they've never had minty-fresh breath anyway! :no:
    (Anyone want some FREE MINT?) :D How can I tell what kind of mint it is?
     
  2. pinemead

    pinemead Well-Known Member

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    Are the leaves fuzzy? If so, it's probably Mountain Mint. My Angora goats have eaten it with no ill effect, but they don't get much at a time and they don't seem to care for it much. It will eventually take over though if you don't get rid of it.
     

  3. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    got to plow it under, or it will ruin yor pasture.
     
  4. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Wintergreen oil is highly toxic to people and animals (1 tsp oil can kill a toddler). I'm not sure of the plant itself, but I'd imagine any real quantity (unlike the tiny amounts in gum and toothpaste) could do some damage. Double check to be sure of it's variety before allowing your goats to eat it. Better safe than sorry! The local extension office should be able to help you identify it - take a sprig of it to them and ask.

    -Sarah
     
  5. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    ...digging out the ole' "Wildflowers Across the Prairies - Field Use Edition".... :p

    Wintergreen is actually a smaller plant with smooth, shiny oval shaped green leaves that sends up a single stem of flowers, not unlike Lily of the Valley. But yeah, it's an easy assumption to stick that on in with the mints. That post from the family who lost most of their herd from Japanese Yew was a good reminder of how important it is be cautious! :waa:

    I know this plant you're talking about...fuzzy leaves, dense, bushy growth habit, smells like spearmint. I have some too, and was concerned about what it would do to goats. Mint is supposedly good for upset stomaches in people, although I have no idea how that would translate to goats. My question is what effect would it have on rumen flora?

    If all else fails, we can just make mint-chocolate chip ice cream with the milk! :D
     
  6. Croenan

    Croenan Well-Known Member

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    Hate to say it but with pretty much any mint, if you plow it under, you will just encourage it to grow and pread more. I would get out there and pull it up...and pull it up...and pull it up....and let the goats help you if they are willing and its' safe! Mint is very invasive and spreads like crazy.

    PS..I have some mint and my goats don't eat it, they don't like. (and at least one needs it for stinky breath!)
     
  7. Kimi

    Kimi Active Member

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    :haha: Now that's a great idea!!! You're all invited over for some!

    Yes, it's just as you described, and grows thickest along the water. I've had sheep in there years ago and it never bothered them. I wish I could get rid of it but the ground is way too soft where it grows and plowing it would be impossible unless we had a severe drought. (sigh) How I would love to have hight, flat ground.

     
  8. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    You know...the description is sounding more and more like CATNIP. Swish some in front of a cat's nose and see what happens! LOL

    It's all over here, and most people around here spray for it. Me? I harvest it. Catnip is a great pain reliever and fever reucer. It works well for upset tummies, too. I have yet to look it up or try it on my goats since it doesn't grow in their pen, but I'm pretty sure it's harmless! And no - you can't kill it. Give up.

    Sarah
     
  9. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    that was my thought too, fuzzy leaves should be catnip , and yeah if youre offering to dig and ship i would be more than happy to cover postage and recieve:D

    i have a couple goats that love spearmint, but they arent allowed to get much , else we wouldnt have any !

    yeah , do the cat test, but mint odor with fuzzy leaves is most likely catnip
    Beth

    edited to add : if its catnip , i had some goatsi n the herd that owuld eat it, and others that didnt, it grows all over in northdakota, and is considered an invasive weed by the state dept of ag, along with wormwood, if its found growing on your land the state can force you to remove it
     
  10. animal_kingdom

    animal_kingdom Well-Known Member

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    there are tons of different names for the same mint...

    The fuzzy mint, we call balsa/balsam mint (depending on your side of the hill) It really smells delicious and I harvest it constantly and brew it for tea. Yummy in the hot summer months.

    The cat nip doesn't seem to have that real yummy minty flavor and yes, when brewed up, it makes a healing tea. Tastes yucky, same as comfrey. (at least to me!) But the girls make bags and put the dried catnip in for their cats to play with.

    Then there's Peppermint, that has a red colored stem. Spearmint has smooth leaves like the peppermint but no red stem.

    My 84 yo neighbor just calls it all "Garden Tea". He picks me a pile, brings it over as a request not only for me to make the tea but to add supper with it. LOL

    You can boil water, let the leaves steep in it. Put plenty of leaves in it. Strain it a couple of hours later and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Have it later in the winter. OR you could just add the leaves to the water in the ice cube tray and boil later. OR you can hang the mint upside down, dry it and then store it for the winter. I've never done any of that because then I think I might have less to look forward to when it's hot!

    I love summer mint.
     
  11. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    LMAO!!! Oh geez, that too good!! Sarah, you have a very tenacious hold on reality!

    The cat's haven't paid much attention to it, do they "prefer" it dried?. Fuzzy leaves, with a strong, spearminty/sweet scent...no idea, but either sounds good to me! I'm thinking that I'll have to try drying some this fall.

    bethlaf...my parents are still in ND, and yes, they have wormwood that they have to keep in check. Personally, I love the scent, it'd be a shame to loose it all!
     
  12. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago we had a problem with perilla mint weed. Lost 6-8 cows. It is very toxic to livestock. Grows in damp shady locations. If given a choice most livestock won't eat it but if they do it is sure to kill them. Hope it isn't what you have.
     
  13. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    :haha:
    Reality? Reality. (savoring the word) Huh...interesting concept, this reality thing you refer to...

    :haha: :haha: :haha:

    I had a cat who would go completely psycho around the growing plants, but never touch the dried stuff, another one who did exactly the opposite, and yet a third one who tended to watch the other two as if they needed counseling. As with all critters, every individual is different. :rolleyes:

    -Sarah
    (on goat watch...today is day 148 from breeding...)
     
  14. apirlawz

    apirlawz playing in the dirt

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    lol!! Well, at the very least, you know your catnip, at that ain't all bad!! :D

    Oh, I bet Star is looking ready, huh?? Of course, we're going to Duluth for a little "get the heck outa' Dodge" extended weekend thing. Sooo, that means that whole weekend, I'll be wondering..."did she have them? did she have them? Girls? Boys? How many? did she have them?" :haha:
     
  15. Kimi

    Kimi Active Member

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    I did some searching and found that what I have is actually spearmint. Leaves weren't as fuzzy as I was thinking. :rolleyes: