Goats have an impressive appetite and can eat many types of things, but some things are better for goats than others. Goats are herbivores which means they will eat only plants.
But they are also natural “browsers” when they are in the wild, in which they need to eat several different types of plants in order for them 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. As they dont have the experience to decide.
In this article I explain everything you need to know about rosemarys and whether or not your goats should be eating them.
Can goats eat rosemary? Yes, goats can definitely eat rosemary. But, it is important to limit the amount of rosemary they eat, small amounts of rosemary are safe, but It should never be used as the biggest part of their diets
To provide a healthy diet, about 75% of a goat’s diet should come from hay. That is the best thing for them to eat; from a dietary standpoint.
The rest of their diet should be a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Herbs like rosemary are a good way to provide them with some of the same benefits as vegetables.
Are Rosemary Good for Goats?
Rosemary has a very distinctive smell, and goats can find it easily. Once they find rosemary in a garden or field, they usually will choose it first out of all the plants.
Goats also really enjoy the taste of rosemary. However, if goats eat too much, the rosemary’s essential oils can cause goats to get an upset stomach, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.
It is difficult to find any plant which will not upset the goats’ digestion, to some extent.
So keep in mind that rosemary in large quantities has the potential to be fatal for your goats.
But, if your goats are browsing the garden when you can’t monitor them, you can rest easy when letting your goat eat rosemary.
Unlike other plants, goats have been shown able to limit themselves when it comes to eating rosemary.
The trick is to only use the rosemary as a treat for your goats. Small amounts of rosemary are very good for your goats.
Rosemary will help your goat have healthy fur and skin. It also helps keep the goats healthy, because it contains antioxidants. These will protect the goats from potential cell damage from free radicals.
What Herbs Can Goats Eat?
The best herbs for goats are parsley and thyme. Goats can also safely enjoy blackberry or raspberry leaves.
To help your goat prepare to have kids, you can give them comfrey leaves. To keep your goats free of parasites, you can also feed them raw garlic cloves, lemongrass is also a good choice to feed dairy goats, another herb that improves goats’ milk production is marshmallow root.
Some goats enjoy – and can safely eat a mixture of marjoram, sage, black or red raspberry leaves, and very small amounts of lavender. This combination can add to the goats’ overall health.
Can Goats Eat Dried Rosemary?
Dried rosemary and rosemary branches can safely be given to goats as a chew toy. Dried rosemary does not have any dietary benefits, but it will help younger goats who need to develop their teeth or older goats who just enjoy the chewing sensation.
Goats prefer to eat raw plants and herbs. It’s best for goats to find and eat rosemary if it is part of your garden or field.
You can also put the rosemary on top of their food – like a cherry on top of a sundae.
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.
Can Goats Eat Rosemary Bushes?
There is no difference in which way the rosemary grows; the goat gets equal benefits and risks equal digestive problems when eating bush rosemary. Some owners have placed rosemary bushes in the goats’ feeders in order to give goats this treat while limiting its amount.
When dairy goats are fed rosemary and lemongrass, those herbs have been shown to produce milk that is easier to digest.
These plants can also allow the goat to produce more milk. Please note most people say they can’t detect the rosemary flavor in the goat’s milk.
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.
What about the Kids?
Baby goats are called “kids” 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 rosemary or other herbs until they are 3-5 months old.
This is because rosemary doesn’t contain enough protein to nourish a growing kid.
Conclusion: Can Goats Eat Rosemary?
Yes, goats can eat rosemary, so do feel safe if you are feeding small amounts of rosemary to your goat or if you are allowing them to eat small amounts of rosemary outdoors. A wide variety of herbs and other plants is the best way to keep goats healthy, and it has also been shown to increase the nutritional value of their milk.
A Great to tip to finish up this article with is that when rosemary is mixed with fennel and oregano leaves, it can be given to goats and has been shown to help prevent infections.
Other than that remember to keep your goats mainly on a hay based diet and the rest of the food types only use as a treat.