Do goats eat plants that have been sprayed with pesticide?
October 18, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Somewhere I heard that goats are sensitive to pesticides and won't taste plants -- not even blackberries -- that have been sprayed with fungicides or herbicides. Anyone with goat experience know whether there's truth to this?
posted by zagyzebra to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
In my experience, goats will eat anything/everything, pesticide or no. I do believe they will just eat whatever's sprayed, then get sick.
posted by brand-gnu at 1:22 PM on October 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

A bit of googling indicates that goats will eat pretty much anything, including plants that have been sprayed with pesticides. Various sites for goat owners talk about the dangers of letting your goat eat plants that have been sprayed with pesticides, as they could be poisonous to goats.

Considering that goats are known to eat the roof off of cars, this doesn't surprise me at all.
google books link - goat care book
Goats eat (pesticide-treated) bananas
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 1:24 PM on October 18, 2011

I'm going to go the other way. My buddy had 3 goats (of two breeds, one billy and two nannies), and each was unbelievably finicky. I'd take leftovers out; the first would eat some meat, but nothing else; the next only the corn; when the third was done, there was still food on the plate.

Same deal with yummy fistfuls of weeds proffered. No telling which would eat what.

I know this flies in the face of EVERYTHING Warner Bros. taught me about goat culinary tastes, but there it is. Some goats are picky bastards. (Also stoooooooopid.)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2011

The ones that were used here in LA ate everything, and those plants were sprayed.
posted by Ideefixe at 1:37 PM on October 18, 2011

N-thing that goats will eat everything they can reach. A friend of mine has used them to clear areas of brush (including the likes of poison ivy and other noxious plants).
posted by jquinby at 2:27 PM on October 18, 2011

Please don't let them eat sprayed bushes they will get sick from the poisons. Also be sure what plants you feed them too, we had a helpful neighbour throw a pile of oleander cuttings over the fence to our 2 goats one day thinking they would like them. Unfortunately they did, and oleander was poisonous, they were dead before we got home that evening. Just because goats can eat a wide range of plants, doesn't mean they should.
posted by wwax at 5:49 PM on October 18, 2011

OLEANDER cuttings?! OMG.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:04 PM on October 18, 2011

Rest assured. I am not planning on letting goats loose on plants that have been sprayed. It was merely a hypothetical question. I've had goats before and I love 'em. I've also had sheep. Like IAmaBroom, I've found goats to be picky eaters. Oh - they love my blackberries and I've got enough to keep a few happy goats but they were picky about a lot of things the sheep would eat. Then today I was comparing goats to sheep, and in my mind, could've sworn I had heard a farmer raising goats for dairy tell me that goats won't go near plants that have been sprayed. Just wanted to check that out against others' experiences. I know what the websites say, but what goats actually do are a different story. I live in Southern Oregon. Lotsa goats about. Guess I'll ask around.
posted by zagyzebra at 7:47 PM on October 18, 2011

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