Goats have the reputation of being able to stomach almost anything; in fact, they are more common used for weed control, but in fact there is there are quite several plants goats cannot eat. It is important to learn to recognize

Goats have the reputation of being able to stomach almost anything; in fact, they are more common used for weed control, but in fact there is there are quite several plants goats cannot eat. It is important to learn to recognize plants that are toxic to goats and how to recognize the symptoms. There is at least 700+ species of plants in the US that have been recognized as causing toxicity in ruminants. Plants dangerous to goats are more likely to be ingested when the animals are near starvation and eat plants, they normally would avoid such as bales of hay; however, that is not the only time a goat will feed on toxic plants.

Not every toxic plant is deadly, as many toxicity levels causing different effects can occur. Some will be immediate, and others may build up in the animal’s system over time. The type of toxic plant and the amount the animal has ingested will determine the level of toxicity thus the result of sickness and or death.

Black Cohosh Bloodroot Carolina Jessamine Celandine Poppy Bleeding Heart Fumewort Hellebore Larkspur Lupine Corn Cockle Ivy Lily of the Valley Milkweed White Snakeroot Lantana Sneezeweed St. John’s Wort Wolfsbane/Monkshood Dutchman’s Breeches/Stagger weed Parsnips

Boxwood, Carolina Allspice, Oleander, Rhododendron, Wild Black Cherry, Wild Hydrangea, Black Locust, Buckeye, Cherry, Chokecherry, Elderberry, Laurel, Johnson Grass, Sorghum, Sudan grass, Velvet grass, Buckwheat, Rape/Rapeseed, Nightshade, Poison Hemlock, Rattle weed, Horse nettle, Indian Poke, Jimsonweed, Death Camas, Water Hemlock, castor bean, Baneberry, Buttercups, Cocklebur, Creeping Charlie, Lobelia, Sandbur, Spurges, Inkberry, Pokeweed, Pine Trees,

Below is a list more specific however in sheep do NOT use a regular mineral block for your sheep that you use with your goats or cattle, Do NOT use Goat or cow milk replacement you would use in your bottle baby goats and calves excessive copper will kill your sheep before you know what hit you. YOU MAY however use fresh goats milk with bottle fed lambs, don’t ask me why but our vet verified it.

Science Name Common Name(s) Species Most
Often Affected
Parts Poisonous Primary Poison(s)
Apocynum spp. Dogbane horses, cattle, humans, sheep, cats, dogs, goats rhizome apocynamarin
Asclepias spp. Milkweed sheep, cattle, goats leaves, fruits, stems desglucosyrioside, syrioside
Astragalus and Oxytropis spp. Locoweed horse,sheep, cattle flowers, leaves, stems selenium, nitro compounds, swainsonine
Brassica spp, Rape, Cabbage, Turnips, Broccoli, Mustard cattle, humans, swine, sheep, goats, poultry roots, seeds glucosinolates, brassica, anemia factor
Chenopodium album Lambs Quarters cattle, horses, humans, sheep, swine all nitrates
Eupatorium rugosum White Snakeroot cattle, dogs, goats, horses, humans, rabbits, sheep all tremetone
Euphorbia spp. Poinsettia, Spurges, Snow on the Mountain cattle, horses, humans, sheep leaves, stems and sap phorbol esters
Halogeton glomeratus Halogeton sheep, cattle leaves, stems soluble oxalates
Hypericum perforatum St. Johns Wort, Klamath Weed horses, sheep, goats all hypericum
Lantana camara Lantana, Red Sage, Yellow Sage, West Indian Lantana cattle, dogs, goats, cats, humans, sheep unripe, green berries triterpenes
Lathyrus spp. Sweet Pea, Tangier Pea, Everlasting Pea, Caley Pea, Singletary Pea horses, rodents, turkeys, sheep, humans seeds DABA, ODAP, amine, phenol, glycoside
Leucothoe axillaris and Leucothoe davisiae Drooping Leucothoe, Sierra Laurel goats, sheep leaves, nectar andromedotoxin
Linum usitatissimum Flax cattle, sheep all cyanogenic glycoside
Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot Trefoil cattle, sheep CN tannini
Medicago sativa Alfalfa, Lucerne cattle, chickens, humans, sheep all canavanine, saponins
Metilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis White Sweetclover, Yellow Sweetclover horses, cattle, sheep stem dicoumarol
Nerium oleander Oleander horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, humans, goats all, leaves, stems nerioside, oleandroside, saponins, cardiac glycosides
Phytolacca americana Pokeweed cattle, sheep, humans, turkeys, swine, horses all phytolaccatoxin, phytolaccigenin
Prunus spp. Wild Cherries, Black Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Choke Cherry, Pin Cherry horses, cattle, moose, sheep, swine, goats seeds, leaves amygdalin, prunasin
Pteridium aquilinium Bracken Fern horse, cattle, sheep, humans, swine all prunasin, ptaquiloside, thiaminase
Robinia pseudoacacia Black Locust horses, cattle, humans, poultry, sheep, goats bark, leaves, seeds robin, phasin
Rumex spp. Dock cattle, sheep leaves soluble oxalates
Senecio spp. Senecio, Groundsels, Ragwort horse, cattle, goats, sheep, human leaves jacobine, seneciphylline
Solanum spp. Common Nightshade, Black Nightshade, Horse Nettle, Buffalo Bur, Potato cattle, humans, rodents, sheep, horses, goats leaves, immature fruit soladulcidine,solanine
Tetradymia spp. Horsebrush sheep, cattle leaves
Triglochin maritima Arrowgrass cattle, sheep all, leaves, flowers taxiphillin, triglochinin
Veratrum californicum Corn Lily, False Hellbore sheep all cylcopam


Sheep and goats living together
Like many things related to livestock, the answer to the question, “Can I keep sheep and goats together?” does not have a simple yes or no answer.

Sheep and goats have the same diseases this is probably the #1 reason I hear people say that you should not keep sheep and goats together. However, if your goats and sheep do not have any diseases, then they can’t give them to each other. If we assume you have purchased your sheep and goats from breeders who have animals that have tested negative for common ruminant diseases, then keeping them together is not a problem.

After all, they can’t give a disease to each other if they don’t have it. The other thing to think about is that even if you have only goats (or sheep), and one of them has a disease, it will give it your other goats (or sheep). This is why it is important to buy animals that are disease free. Sheep and goats have the same parasites, yes, they do, but if you don’t practice good parasite management, you will have a lot of problems keeping your animals healthy regardless of whether you have only one species or both.

Copper is toxic to sheep, you can find this statement written all over the place, but it is simply not true. The fact is that sheep need less copper than goats do, and they have a lower tolerance for an excessive amount of copper, of course, excess copper can be toxic to any living creature. But if your sheep accidentally licks up a little of a goat mineral, it will not drop dead. I cannot tell you how many people have freaked out in that scenario because so many sources claim that copper is toxic to sheep. But I simply use a sheep mineral block and give my goats supplements problem solved,,


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