What to do with a slick goat that eats things?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by BlessedMom, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Okay, we've had our dear goat (nubian/sannen) for about a month now. She milks out about a gallon a day. She is lovely and well behaved..except for one thing..she is quick and some how at least once a week gets to eat something that is on the "poison for goats" list. aaaarrgg!!!

    The first day we had her she ate a rhodie leaf. She was fine. We didn't know it until hours later when my young son confessed that he had seen her eat one as he was walking to pen her up.

    The next day while I was gone..my dh fed her potato peelings. Nothing happened there either. Praise the Lord! I now have a standing rule that NO ONE feeds her ANYTHING without my approval. I have also printed a list and put it on the fridge as to things she CAN have and things that could harm her.

    Okkkkaayyy,...so I'm walking her one day and a snake crawls through the grass...scares the crap out of me with her on the lead while I'm regaining my composure she reaches over and eats a nice branch off of a cherry tree. Once again..she is fine.

    Now tonight, I'm walking her back from where we milk and she reaches down takes a jolt and eats a leaf, stalk and root from rhubarb!!!!! AAAAAAA!!!!!! I managed to grab some of the root out of her mouth but the rest was gone.

    I pray she will be okay.

    Help me before I lose my mind!! Other than cutting and digging out everything possible that she can't have..what can I do?? I always have her on a lead but even then she is so quick.

    Should I be keeping things on hand to help with this?? I would have smacked her to get her to drop it but I have been told NEVER to strike a goat. She is just a sweetheart..we adore her.

    We are so rural that it would be too late by the time a vet could find us!
     
  2. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    How big was the leaf? You could have a serious problem as I think the leafs cause kidney failure. call a vet and ask. If leaf was small it might be ok, or they might know something to feed to stop poison in system.
     

  3. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know how you feel!

    My pygmy doe does something similar, but she would rather eat OBJECTS. You know a newspaper, brown paper bag, even plastic bags. I don't know how many times DH will call me, "Rosie's got another bag in her mouth." try pulling that out! I have no idea where they all come from!

    As for the cherry leaves, if they are still on the tree, they are fine in moderation. It's only when they are on the ground wilted, that they are poisionus.

    My friends goats eat everything & never get sick, rhodadendron, oak & maples, cherry, you name it they eat it. Some people just have more luck, I guess.
     
  4. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    The leaf was quite small and dying. I think she may have got more root than anything. This was a new rhubarb plant that isn't doing very well in the first place. She is doing fine it seems.


     
  5. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Most of the time, they say with poison "dilution is the solution." That is, if they only eat a tiny bit, they'll probably be fine. There are a few exceptions, notably Yew. Exceedinly toxic. I think they have to eat something like 3 ounces of Rhododendron to be poisoned. If you catch it soon enough, and they haven't eaten way too much, you can give them a mixture that de-acidifies it and helps it get through their system quickly, and they can recover fully, but one leaf is definitely not a disaster.

    Also, with some plants on those lists, it has a lot to do with when. Cherry leaves are only poisonous when they are wilted. Fresh leaves are OK, and so are dry ones. It's the in-between stage that contains actual cyanide. Potato peelings are only poisonous whey they're green - then they contain small amounts of alkaloids, but if the peels aren't green, they're just fine for goat food.

    Some plants will build up damaging chemicals over time, such as Bracken Fern. Not good for daily grazing.

    The Rhubarb poison is Oxalic Acid - I think it takes quite a lot to get to them.

    Here are a couple of pretty good links from Purdue and Cornell Univerisities:

    http://vet.purdue.edu/depts/addl/toxic/bytox1.htm
    http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/

    Oh yeah, and smacking a goat is unlikely to make it drop something. Just grab it out of their mouth. Even if you have to open their mouth, just reach in and grab whatever you find.

    Don't worry (too much), be happy!
     
  6. BlessedMom

    BlessedMom Well-Known Member

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    Laura;

    Thank you so much for the links. This is our first goat..and here I am thinking we tried to off her several times in the first week!!

    It reassures me to know that everything that is listed on the poison list isn't an instant kill! I had no idea that there were so many things a goat couldn't eat! Here I always thought they could eat almot anything!

    I have opened her mouth and reached in...I'm still a bit nervous about being bit. She's quick when she knows that she shouldn't be eating it ..I swear she is! LOL! Last time I yelled at her and said "you could at least chew it first!"

    *sigh*

    She's survivied another week with us and that's a bloomin' miracle!

    BlessedMom
     
  7. GoldenWood Farm

    GoldenWood Farm Legally blonde! Supporter

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    Pick up activated charcoal from your local health food store. It absorbs the poisons and toxins. With one of my does she got into a rhodie bush one time and I didn't really know about it intill she started just acting off. I am afraid she had to get to the point to where she was throwing up before I thought anything was horribly wrong(I thought she just had a tummy ache). I called a good friend of mine and we got her tooken care of but boy was a I scared! So you are sooo lucky that you haven't ever gone that far. If you ever are worried about her and she starts acting off them you can give her the charcoal. It truly is a life saver.

    MotherClucker
     
  8. mamasaanan

    mamasaanan Well-Known Member

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    My Snubian is the same way. She has managed to escape from just about any pen we've put her in. Sweet goat, above average intelligence, good mom but a total pain in the rear when it comes to getting out of the goat pen. Hubby finally put up an electric fence and so far it's keeping her in, however, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before she figures out how to get over it.
     
  9. BrushBuster

    BrushBuster Well-Known Member

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    mine pretty much fend for themselves in that area. it seem that they nibble on a few things here and there that are supposed to be poisoness to them but never have a problem, maybe they just don't eat enough of it? i think the wild cherry is only harmful if the leaves are wilted, like if you cut a branch off and it lays on the ground and they get to it.
     
  10. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've also never worried about poisonous plants. The does just go out to pasture and eat what they fancy. I figure instinct keeps them from eating too much of something that would be poisonous to them. That's not saying I'd let them out on the Johnson grass this time of year, although I wouldn't have had a problem with that a month or so ago. But there's no way I could police all the weeds and such they might come in contact with.
    mary
     
  11. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I goat farm just about like mary,tx. When I free range the goats they nibble everything and seem not to like some things and move on to others. There is a great variety of plant species in my browse. And like mary,tx, I avoid the Jonhson Grass like the plague it is. (After losing a Holstein milkcow to it, I don't trust it in ANY season!) I worry for my beef herd and check the pastures for the wretched stuff periodically. The goats I don't worry about, they eat dried oak leaves and everything, but just bites here and there. If their tummies are fairly full of good stuff, a few tastes of bad has never hurt mine.
     
  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Blessed Mom, we will have had our two Nubian-Boar-Alpine cross does for two weeks this Thursday and I've never had goats before. Baby is about three months old and Jodie is about four months old. Your question has given me lots of info and stuff from other folks that I really really need!!! I hope to raise my to be dairy goats but do not plan to breed them until early next spring.
    Right now Jodie tries to nibble on my blue jeans any time I'm sitting in the pen with her.