Today’s Fun Farm Fact is important to dispel a fairly dangerous wives tale about goats… That goats eat anything and everything. They don’t. Goats cannot eat trash or tin cans… It will kill them, and while goats are known to clear brush and will happily clear your land for you there are plenty of plants out there that are toxic to goats. Here is a great list of plants that goats can and cannot eat.
Goats have very sensitive systems. Drastic changes to their type of feed or amount of feed can mess up their rumen. If we are increasing or decreasing our goats’ feed or changing the brand of feed we make the change slowly over the course of weeks or months. This way their system has time to adjust.
It’s important, when putting goats into a new pasture, to check and make sure there are not plants present that can hurt them. For us personally, we have had to fight black cherry trees. Most people would be thrilled to find black cherry trees on their property. Especially some that are as big as ours, since their timber is worth so much, but wilted black cherry leaves are toxic to goats. So throughout the spring and summer we have to search through our pastures to find any black cherry saplings and . Most of the time goats will not eat things that are toxic to them, but if the foods they do like to eat become sparse they will eat whatever they can find, toxic or not.