New place. What plants to avoid?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Dixielee, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. Dixielee

    Dixielee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    322
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Location:
    N.C mountains
    We just moved to our new property in western NC. There is a lot of vegetation on the place that I am not sure of when it comes to goat safety. It is loaded with mountain laurel and rhodedendrens. Lots of hardwoods, and lots of underbrush as no one has lived here in a few years. Wild ferns everywhere as well. Really pretty, but want to make sure my goats don't poison themselves.

    We had goats before but not where I was so unsure as to what is on the property. Thanks.
     
  2. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,849
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Dixielee, I really wouldn't do to much worrying about what your goats are eating. The first reason would be that goats tend to instinctively know what not to eat. I walk the woods and fields with my goats weekly just to watch and learn what they eat at different times of the year. You and I are on the same latitude line so our vegetation should be about identical. I have been a member of this forum for some time now and the only poison plant panic I ever read about is goats eating Azalea plants. Lastly remember if any animal is starving they will begin eating anything necessary to sustain life, so some form of poisoning would be inevitable. Just make sure you give them enough space to browse and rotate paddocks frequently. Also free choice hay, loose minerals and clean water...Enjoy your new place, no need to worry goats are extremely smart, almost to smart.....John
     

  3. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Goats do not just eat poisonous plants because they are hungry, but also out of boredom with their routine diet. I have to disagree....goats do not always instinctively know what plants not to eat either. That would be like saying that goats know not to eat those sooo sweet tasty wilted cherry leaves!

    Even when you have a herd of goats with plenty of good browse, lots of excellent hay and feed them grain, even when their diet is varied and they get plenty of food......if your neighbors have rhododendrons, laurel, yew or any of the other countless poisonous plants....and if your well fed goats, who supposedly have plenty to eat and have plenty of variety just happen to get out one day....don't be surprised to find them at the neighbors munching on the rhodes, yews etc. People have lost many goats because they assumed the goat knew what not to eat.

    Seen it happen. If it were me i'd make sure they are in a solidly fenced pasture away from any rhodes/laurel etc. JMO
     
  4. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    VA, KY & TN Line
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
  6. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,849
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Dixielee, not sure whether you own goats now or not. You mentioned your new place is a few years overgrown and needs immediate goat or bushhog help. Just be aware of the most common poisonous plants/trees to goats and do your best to rid your new property of them. But honestly how on earth would you have time to inspect, uproot, and destroy all the poison plants/trees you may have on your land. I must have 50 cheery trees alone on my place, and will never cut them all down, just because. Walk your property often and identify problem plants. My post simply meant give them plenty of care and lots of browse and you shouldn't have any worries of poisoning. I have seen my goats eat many supposed nasty plants and never gotten sick. I have walked my small herd of sixteen past mountain laurel and not a one bothered to even smell the bush. Bottom line I have been enjoying goats and their benefits for over a year now, stop worrying about the plants on your new homestead and just start enjoying your homestead, I'm sure it's awesome....John
     
  7. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,629
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    I've never worried about poisonous plants, because I think they naturally avoid what bothers them. If, however, you have dairy goats, look for ragweed and get rid of it. It makes their milk bitter, and imo, undrinkable.
    mary
     
  8. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    My goats refuse to even look at ragweed........ :)
     
  9. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    VA, KY & TN Line
    ozark jewels..

    The secound link says goats and all livestock.. It not just saying for goats.

    If people would go to them sites and read it will say what animals it kills or makes sick.. Darn it not just a link for goats.

    Take for example.. Azalea=== ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals MAY BE affected.
    next example: STAR-OF-BETHLEHEM== ANIMALS AFFECTED: Cattle, sheep, horses, and potentially any grazing animal.

    So I thought it was a important link because I know like other say oh wild cherry will not kill goats. If the cherry is wilted or dead leaves it can because it sure can kill a cow or horse. I have seen it happen around here..

    If a person got scared of reading that list well that is you. I'm going to read and do what is best for my animals and not put them at risk. That one link is from a vet source. Yes goats may eat certain plants and will not harm them but again no all goats are the same one person goat may eat that plant when another person goat eats it and kills it. It depends on the animal and the animals health.. Goats can be feed great and still may try a deadly plant just to be nosy.

    Like for a example: If a family member or neighbor lives close by and some goats get out and find a nice tasting flower AZALEA. Some goats might get very ill from it and others may not. It just depends on how much they eat before it can harm them. I have seen goats eat green cherry leaves and some get real bad case of the runs when the others it doesn't bother them at all.

    Everyone goats is different and it just depends also how much they eat but if you do not want to go by that list I provided that is fine.. Everyone has different out looks on animals and that is all I'm going to say..

    Good Luck to whomever has or is getting goats.

    See it not just goats it a link for other animals also.
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Allwolf, what I wrote was in no way pointed at you or a bash. I was just pointing out that my herd eats potentially poisonous plants(according to that second list)every day and have for the past six years. And I'm not just talking about the plants it mentions for cattle or other species. For example:

    18. ALSIKE CLOVER

    Trifolium hybridum

    (pea family)


    TOXICITY RATING: Low.


    ANIMALS AFFECTED: All grazing animal may be affected


    48. BLACK LOCUST

    Robinia pseudo-acacia

    (pea family)

    TOXICITY RATING: High to moderate.

    ANIMALS AFFECTED: Horses are particularly at risk, but all animals ingesting the plant may be poisoned.

    DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT: Leaves, especially wilted leaves, young shoots, pods, seeds, inner bark.


    2. COMMON BURDOCK

    Arctium minus

    (daisy family)


    TOXICITY RATING: Low. Burs cause local irritation and possibly intestinal hairballs, and most animals avoid ingesting these plants. Serious illness and death are rare.


    ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals may be affected. Pastured animals and outdoor dogs are particularly at risk. Poultry may get burs lodged in the esophagus.

    46. WILD BLACK CHERRY

    Prunus serotina

    (rose family)

    TOXICITY RATING: High.

    ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals may be affected. Ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, deer) are more at risk than monogastric animals (dogs, cats, pigs, horses) and birds.


    Of course I don't let them eat the wilted cherry leaves, but they clean up fresh leaves like there is no tomorrow.

    26. MILKWEEDS

    Asclepias spp.

    (milkweed family)


    TOXICITY RATING: Low to moderate. Milkweeds are unpalatable, and have variable toxicities. Death is not likely unless large quantities are consumed.


    ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals may be affected. Sheep are most at risk, but cattle, goats, horses, poultry, and pets are also at risk.


    DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT: Stems, leaves, roots.


    34. MUSTARD FAMILY

    Brassica (wild mustard)

    Thlaspi (pennycress)

    Lepidium (peppergrass), etc.


    TOXICITY RATING: Low to moderate.


    ANIMALS AFFECTED: Cattle, horses, sheep, poultry.


    DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT: All parts, especially seeds.


    47. RED OAK

    Quercus rubra

    (beech family)

    TOXICITY RATING: Moderate high.

    ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals may potentially be affected, but the primary risk is to cattle.

    DANGEROUS PARTS OF PLANT: Buds (fall), young shoots (early spring), sprouts, acorns.

    33. REDROOT PIGWEED

    Amaranthus retroflexus

    (pigweed family)


    TOXICITY RATING: High. The plant is quite common and very toxic.


    ANIMALS AFFECTED: Cattle and swine are the animals most likely to be affected; goats and sheep can also be poisoned.


    40. COMMON POKEWEED, POKEBERRY, POKEROOT, INKBERRY, POKE

    Phytolacca americana

    (pokeweed family)


    TOXICITY RATING: Low.


    ANIMALS AFFECTED: All animals may potentially be affected.


    So if I was a person who freaked out easily......I'd be freaked out reading this list. :) I wasn't pointing that out to you, neccesarilly, but to the type of person who told me that they were going to go out and dig up every patch of pokeweed in their field because it was on the "poison plant list"...heck, I rejoice when I see a patch of pokeweed, great browse for my herd!! Or the person who goes out and cuts down every cherry tree or locust tree on their property, because they read that it was poisonous. Hey, if you've only got a few of those trees, more power to you. But my woods are half locust and wild cherry trees. I like them, my goats like them, they stay. I walk the pastures after a big storm and looki for fallen branches, otherwise I don't worry about them. So my point was, yes, read the "poisonous plants list" but don't freak out about it and do use common sense. And if my post offends you, I am sorry about that. You took it to hold a critisism that it didn't. :)
     
  11. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,629
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Wish I could say the same. I dumped a lot of milk this summer because of it.
    mary
     
  12. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,629
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    I've never understood why people keep azalea. It is pretty, but very poisonous, to livestock, and to people.
     
  13. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004


    Rhododendrons, as well as Azaleas, are poisonous to goats. They are in the same family and the toxins in them that affects an animal is identical.

    According to vet.purdue, "In order for toxic signs to manifest, 0.2% by weight of green leaves needs to be ingested." I am on many goat forums where it gets posted often how someones goat died, or nearly died, from eating enough leaves. A few months ago, a woman lost several of her goats that busted out of her fence and ate from her rhododendron shrubs.

    http://www.vet.purdue.edu/depts/addl/toxic/plant10.htm

    If you can't fence them in a pasture, keeping them well fed, and giving them treats and a variety, will go a long way in keeping them safe, however, you always have some goats that are inquisitive and can't resist taste testing everything.
     
  14. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    This is the reason we are so careful in buying and planting ornamentals. Everything near the house/barn/coop has to be goat safe......just in case they ever got loose..... :shrug:
     
  15. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,429
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast Ohio
    The only plant that really spooks me are azaleas.

    Not so much because of their toxicity level, but because of the fact that they are also pretty much evergreen.

    With our goats, the time to worry about a plant is when a toxic plant stands out as the best thing to eat.

    Toxic plants that grow when other ample browse grow don't concern us much. The goats avoid them.

    Azalea can be the only bit of bright green in a barren winter landscape. We culled them mercilessly. Too tempting.


    As for well fed goats going after dangerous plants, if you feed grain and hay EXPECT FULLY that the goats will still want tasty fresh greens and will dive into them munching furiously. Don't trust a full rumen to give them good browsing sense unless the rumen is filled with a good variety of fresh green browse.

    Lynda
     
  16. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,246
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    Location:
    Missouri
    Exactly right. *If* they are allowed full access to pasture and brush, they will normally choose wisely.
     
  17. canine14

    canine14 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    CLOVER!!!

    The Cornell site says clover is poisonous yet my wether LOVES it! Goodness, though, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of all the clover around my place.

    Any thoughts?
     
  18. AllWolf

    AllWolf We love all our animals

    Messages:
    1,402
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    VA, KY & TN Line
    Where I live I have all kinds of wild cherry trees and other trees but the ones that worries me the most is the wild cherry trees because here in the MTNS we are loaded with them and what makes my cherry trees so dangerous is when the leaves fall off and blow over to my part of land that the goats can get a hold of. I hired some people a while back to cut all them down because of the danger it can cause to goats. I have them trees that has the sharp thronw in them and my goats eat them. On flowers I have some around my house on other side but that is it. I know lots of people has a bigger pasture field then us here but I always worry about the danger the wild cherry can cause because it is so hard to keep the leaves out if they start turning brown and it been so dry here this year I wasn't going to risk it so I hired someone to come and cut them down. My goats gets all kinds of grain, water, hay and other treats to but still my goats always look on the other side of fence to see what is green there. Thank goodness they can not get over to the other side because I still have cherry trees farther in field and later they will be gone too. Then I will fence off that area to make bigger later. Goats always thinks things on the other side is greener no matter what.. They think like us at times. We think things on the otherside at times is greener and when it may not be. LOL Just had to throw that in for fun. No Harm I hope. :)

    OJ I didn't mean to sound upset earlier it just made me feel like you thought my links weren't to good or something.. Sorry if miss understood things. :) I'm not upset or anything was just trying to help. Maybe I over stepped on this topic. It just worries the heck out of me about people goats and the plants because I sure do not want to hear or read of someone losing a goat to a dangerous plant.
     
  19. witchysharon

    witchysharon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    171
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    It is alsike clover which can cause problems. Common white and red clover is fine. my goats go nuts for clover too.
     
  20. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,849
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Allwolf, your provided links were excellent and in fact I have the first one in a quick reference folder, in case someday I need to identify a possible problem plant. Don't forget folks goats are picky and smart, almost too smart.....thanks John