Blueberry bushes, rhubarb?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by FarmerJen, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. FarmerJen

    FarmerJen New Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Skagit County, WA
    So, I've reviewed Fiasco Farm's toxic plant list (I actually have it bookmarked for reference), as it seems to be the most comprehensive edible vs poisonous list I can find for goats. However... there are some omissions (obviously they can't list everything) and some discrepancies.

    Several things are listed on both the edible AND poisonous list... including Rhubarb leaves and lilac (I think there were a few others too). My goats have eaten quite a bit of lilac without becomming ill... but I want to make sure this is something that wont hurt them in the long run as there are quite a few lilac trees in their pen. Seems to be a great forage plant, but I'm concerned to see it listed on both lists. I have not fed rhubarb leaves just because I know they are generally considered toxic to most animals... but so is nightshade and some other things that goats can apparently eat. Has anyone fed their goats rhubarb leaves? I have some huge plants, and if it's ok, I could certainly spare some for the goats.

    I also have several blueberry bushes. I was going to give them the clippings at first, thinking that if blackberries and raspberries are ok, blueberries should be too. But then I thought about the fact that blueberries and azaleas are closely related... so I opted to NOT give the blueberry trimmings to the goats. Does anyone know if goats can eat blueberry plants?
  2. ThreeHavens

    ThreeHavens 7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether

    Oct 20, 2011
    New Jersey
    We are surrounded by wild blueberry bushes and our does have seemed to enjoy them ... I sure hope they aren't poisonous! O-O

  3. Dayna

    Dayna Well-Known Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Pahoa Hawaii
    Rhubarb leaves are toxic to every animal I think. I know people are not supposed to eat them, and neither are parrots, dogs, cats, etc. So I would assume they are toxic until proven otherwise.

    Blueberry bushes however I used to cut down in Alaska and toss the whole big branchy bush in my parrots cage. No one ever had any issue so if I had to guess I would guess that blueberry bushes are fine.
  4. I've not heard about people saying if lilac was safe or not. Fiasco does say when it's on both lists, it's usually because somebody advised their goats have eaten it without a problem. Dayna, I've heard the same thing about Rhubarb, and I think there was a thread on here before agreeing to that. Blueberries I wouldn't imagine being bad since they are full of antioxidants, and raspberries are included in many of the herbal remedies and black berries seem to be a goat favorite.
  5. My goats ate my blueberries to the ground. They have also ate some lilacs to the ground. The lilac on the poisonous list is a french lilac called goats rue, which is different then the common garden type.
  6. Thanks for that clarification on the lilacs
  7. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    I have rhubarb and I did have a goat or two get in the garden and eat some. I assume they did not eat enough because they are still alive.

    It is very toxic. We dug them up amd put them a place they gots can not get to.
  8. FarmerJen

    FarmerJen New Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Skagit County, WA
    Ok... so sounds like my original assumptions were right. Rhubarb is a no-no (for all animals) and blueberry branches/leaves are probably ok. I had my big bucket full of branches ready to toss in the goat pen when I remembered that it's so closely related to the azalea, and knowing THAT is toxic to goats... I figured best to err on the side of caution. Next year I'll let them have the clippings. It wouldn't be much anyway - I love my blueberries! :)