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goats to know poisonous plants?

 
Joe Netzl
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Hello, first time poster here. I was wondering if it would be possible to train a goat to avoid poisonous plants - by feeding/introducing small quantities of poisonous plants (like mtn. laurel). If deer in the wild can learn it, maybe goats can too with my help?
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Welcome! 

What type of goats?

Meat or dairy?

If given no other choice they will eat too much.

Watch goats browse, they take a bite and then take a step.  They need lots of options as they move through an area.

And of course the "poisonous" plants vary greatly in toxicity.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Most animals know what is poisonous.  They will not normally eat it (as long as there is a sufficient supply of non-poisonous plants around).  What is poisonous to one species, may be a gormet's delight to another species.  Everything is edible to something.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Goats will avoid MOST poisonous plants.  However, there are a few that they will eat with relish, including anything in the rhododendron/azalea family.  And it doesn't take much of these to kill them.  People who use pack goats in areas where wild rhodies or azaleas are prevalent often put muzzles on their goats while they are passing through areas with the poisonous plants.  I don't know if they like Mountain Laurel that much -- check on a goat forum and see if someone in an area with the stuff can help you.

Kathleen
 
                
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Never count on any animal not eating something toxic.  There is no born- with kind of knowledge domestic animals in a manmade environment have.  Think of them as a two year old child.  You can never trust them not to eat something, even after training.  Just keep them away from toxins to be safe.
 
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