Autumn Oak Leaves

Discussion in 'Goats' started by dscott7972, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. dscott7972

    dscott7972 Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2004
    Southern Indiana
    I know oak leaves are bad for goats, the tannin in them I think. But are they o.k. in the fall when they are dried and on the ground? Seeing as leaves/grass loose all their nutriants if not cut before drying out I would assume they loose the bad stuff also.
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    Sorry but it doesn't work that way with leaves

  3. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2004
    With some leaves and toxicity, actually it does work that way. Toxic plants are toxic to different degrees. Most of the literature you read doesn't explain why a plant is toxic to an animal or how toxic it is or under what circumstances. It would be better for a goat to never eat an oak leaf. But goats have been eating oak leaves for many centuries. A few isn't probably going to cause your goat to develop any signs of tannin poisoning. A constant steady diet of oak leaves could feasibly kill the poor animal.

    The single most toxic (naturally occurring) plant in our area is wild cherry leaves. When fresh on a healthy plant, the toxicisity is fairly low. When completely dry as in the autumn when the plant sheds them, it is also fairly low. Cut down a wild cherry tree or break a limb off and as the leaves wilt, it can kill a goat (and many other animals) within hours and there is no antidote (at least that my vet knows of).

    Always best to err on the safe side, though. Keep your goats away from the oak and maple trees.... and get rid of the cherries
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2003
    My goats eat all that stuff as much as they want......oak leaves, acorns, maples year round ...they love bark in winter....pine trees and cedar trees
    and they will eat cherry leaves before it blossoms too! I actually rake the leaves to the fence and let them pick through before I throw them in the chicken coop...for 5 years....they have a big old oak that produces tons of acorns that drop on metal barn roof and roll into the pasture.....

    Ash leaves are their favorite thing to forage for by far! They also eat lots of different ferns.....happy healthy and heavy!

    They even at my rhubarb down to nubs a few times...I was a little :grump: at them for to mention the tiger lillies :flame:
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 6, 2005
    Around here oak leaves are a main staple in the diet of goats and cows. As long as they are eating other stuff too, the oak leaves are fine. Mine eat them when they are green on the trees and when they fall of in the autumn. Oak leaves make up 95% of our trees in this area, and it would not be feasable to get rid of the oak trees or keep the goats away from them. And I wouldn't want too. They are a great source of forage.
  6. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

    Mar 6, 2005
    my goats love oak leaves. Never heard they were bad for them before.... o well they aren't dead yet :)