How much do I need to worry about toxic/poisonous plants?
I'm a newbie and have been doing a ton of research lately. In one book I read there were pages of toxic/poisonous plants to avoid and it left me a little anxious!

I thought that goats would sample a new plant before really chowing down so long as they have plenty of other browse to enjoy. To me this suggested that I don't have to completely uproot my garden (and my neighbors with all their oleander on the fence line) because the goats would self regulate within reason.

So, real talk...How do you manage toxic/poisonous plants on the homestead or trail? Do I need to get way better at ID-ing plants now and scour the edges of our property?

Thanks Smile

The book, Field First Aid For Goats - A Portable Guide to Health Care for Your Goat by Beberness and Eddy, is an excellent resource for listings of both poisonous and toxic plants. They also give you antidotes to use if your goat eats poisonous plants.

Walk your homestead to see if you have any poisonous plants/shrubs/trees. Remove if possible, keep your goats away from them otherwise.

Below is information from a paper I am currently working on for the NAPgA Youth Packgoat Guide Book.

Poisonous and Toxic Plants

Note: This information is taken from the book Field First Aid For Goats “A Portable Guide to Health Care for Your Goats” by Alice Beberness and Carolyn Eddy. This is an excellent reference book for at home and on the trail.

Toxic or poisonous?
Toxins build up over time and cause damage, usually to the liver or kidneys, that may not be noticed until some time has passed. Tolerance will depend on the goat’s age, weight, general health and amounts ingested at any one time. Poisonous plants will provoke symptoms almost immediately. A large dose will always result in death unless treatment is successful.

Common Poisonous Plants
The most common poisonous plants are listed below. You should be very familiar with these plants as they are the most likely to cause fatalities. Learn to identify them and how to treat your goat if it ingests them. Some of these plants can kill a goat with as little as one bite.
• Rhododendrons
• Azaleas
• Pieris Japonica (AKA Andromeda), Fetterbush, Lily of the Valley shrub
• Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia
• Poison Hemlock Conium Maculatum and Water Hemlock Cicuta spp. One bite can kill a goat.
• Yew Taxus Cuspidata
• Jimsonweed (AKA Angel’s Trumpet, Devil’s Trumpet, Downey Thornapple, Datura spp.) Datura stramonium
• Death Camas Zigadenus spp.
• Nightshade family: Common Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Horse Nettle, Buffalo Burr, Potato, Belladonns Solanum spp.
• False Hellebore (AKA Corn Plant) Agrostemma Githago
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