Goats have a reputation for being able to eat just about anything, but in reality this is not true, some things are better for goats than others. Goats are herbivores; their diets are made up of many kinds of plants.
Goats are “browsers” when choosing food in the wild, this means they need and seek a mixture of plants to give them enough vitamins and minerals to thrive.
Goats that live in the wild are able to easily find grasses, leaves, and trees to eat. But, if you are raising a pet goat or a farm goat, you need to know which plants are best for them to eat.
For this reason in this article I talk about whether goats can safely eat ivy.
Can goats eat ivy? The simple answer to this question is: yes, goats can eat ivy. There are several different kinds of ivy, and goats can safely eat many types. In fact, there has been a widely growing trend of renting goats. People with excess ivy will bring herds of goats into their yards to get rid of the ivy.
This practice is especially effective for clearing large fields full of poison ivy.
Eating ivy also provides needed vitamins and minerals for your goats.However, although most types of ivy are safe for goats, some forms can potentially be hazardous.
So, it’s important for you to know which types are safe for your goats to eat.
Can Goats Eat Poison Ivy?
It may surprise you to learn that while poison ivy can cause a very uncomfortable rash or even a severe allergy in humans, poison ivy is safe and nutritious for goats.
Although it’s not recommended for you to handle the poison ivy plant directly, goats can eat poison ivy that is growing in a garden or woods nearby your home or farm.
When the goats eat poison ivy this way, it is safe for them to eat. It’s interesting to note that when the goats eat the poison ivy, it is still safe for humans to drink the goats’ milk.
Can Goats Eat Common Ivy?
Another type of ivy which is safe for goats is referred to as “common ivy.” It is also called flowering ivy. Common ivy grows in many places, and in large numbers.
So, it is easy for the goats to find, and it is therefore also easy for them to eat it.
Can Goats Eat English Ivy?
Another type of ivy which is similar to common ivy, is called English ivy. English ivy is often found growing on the outside walls of country homes or barns. English ivy is usually also safe for goats to eat.
However, it’s important to carefully look at the kinds of ivy your goat is eating, because if the goat eats the English ivy at the same time as it eats another type of ivy the two types together can result in the goat becoming ill.
In other words, eating a mixture of different ivies can be harmful for your goat.
Can Goats Eat Boston Ivy?
English ivy is sometimes confused with Boston Ivy, because they look very much alike. Contrary to its name, Boston Ivy is most commonly found in Korea or other Asian countries.
Although English ivy remains green all year, Boston ivy turns red during the autumn months.
Since the consistency of these plants is similar to English ivy, it is also safe for goats to eat Boston Ivy.
Can Pygmy Goats Eat Ivy?
There are plants that are more hazardous for pygmy, dwarf, and Nigerian goats due to their small size, but ivy is considered safe for them to eat.
Can Goats Eat Ivy Leaves?
Goats can safely eat different parts of the ivy, such as ivy leaves. Although a large amount of ivy leaves had once been thought to be toxic to both goats and humans, a moderate quantity has been found to be good for goats.
Goats don’t eat ivy roots. They will eat the ivy and every part of its plant; all the way down to the roots.
It’s not clear why, but this is good for the plants. The roots allow the ivy to grow again and become food for future goats.
What Plants Are Poisonous to Goats?
It’s important to know about other plants which can be poisonous to goats. These include ornamental plants like azaleas, Chinese cedars, Indian holly, white oak trees, sweet cherries, honeysuckle, and wild sage.
Thorny bushes can also be harmful to goats, but this is more due to the sharpness of the thorns than to the toxicity of the plants.
Can Baby Goats Eat Ivy?
Baby goats, which are called “kids” should not eat ivy. Baby goats need to nurse until they are old enough for their stomachs to process vegetables.
Once baby goats finish breastfeeding, pet or farm goats are given special foods to help them grow quickly. Goats shouldn’t eat vegetables until they are 3-5 months old.
Conclusion: Can Goats Eat Ivy?
Goats can definitely eat ivy, so you can remove any doubt that says otherwise, you just have to make sure they are doing it with moderation. You can feed them poison ivy as long as the goats don’t eat two kinds of ivy at the same time, you can rest assured ivy is a good choice for their diets.
As with all creatures, it is important to keep a careful eye on how much your goat is eating.
Since ivy is so easy for the goat to find, they could possibly eat quite a lot of it. Eating too much of any type of food is not good for goats; just as it is not good for humans.
It’s also important to be sure they don’t wander too far from their intended crops, because goats might decide to eat the bark from the trees.
Although this is not harmful to the goats, it can kill the trees.
It’s also very important to remember that no matter what sort of solid food your goats eat, they will need plenty of water in order to stay properly hydrated. Drinking enough water can also prevent them from becoming dehydrated.