Quick List of edible and non edible (poisonous) plants for goats

 Acceptable and Non Poisonous Plants that Goats will Eat

Acorns (in moderation. Acorns do contain tannin, an acid that can be poisonous)

Althea, (also known as Rose of Sharon       Angel Wing Begoneas

Apple                                                                      Arborvita (aka thuja)

Bamboo                                                                 Banana, entire plant, fruit & peel

Barkcloth fig (ficus natalensis)                     Bay Tree Leaves green and dried

Bean (all parts)                                                  Beets, leaves and root

Blackberry bushes (all parts)                        Black Locust

Broccoli (all parts)                                            Buckbrush

Cabbage                                                                Camellias

Cantaloupe: fruit, seeds and peel                Collard Greens

Carrots                                                                 Catnip

Cedar Needles and Bark                                Celery

Citrus                                                                  Clover

Comfrey                                                            Corn husks & silk

Cottonwood                                                     Coyote Bush

Dandelion                                                         Douglas Fir

Dogwood                                                          Elm

English Ivy                                                      Fava Bean pods

Fern                                                                   Fescue grass

Ficus                                                               Garlic

Ginger Root                                                 Grape,, Grape Vine

Grapefruit                                                    Greenbrier

Hay Plant                                                     Heavenly Bamboo

Hemlock Trees (not the same as the plant      Hibiscus

Honeysuckle                                              Hyssop

Ivy                                                                Jackfruit leaves

Jade                                                             Japanese Elm

Japanese Knotweed                               Jojoba

Kudzu                                                        Lantana

Lilac bark /branches                            Lupine

Lemon grass                                           Magnolia Leaves green and dried

Mango leaves                                         Manzanita

Maple Trees, leaves & bark (note: red maples are toxic)

Mesquite                                                  Mint

Mock Orange                                          Monkeyflower

Mountain Ash                                        Morning Glory

Moss                                                          Mulberry (entire plant)

Mullein                                                     Mustard

Nettles                                                      Oak Tree Leaves

Onion                                                        Orange, fruit & peel

Paloverde – needles & seed pods     Pea Pods

Peanuts, including the shells           Pear

Pencil cactus                                          Peppers

Pepper plants                                        Photinia

Pine Trees                                               Plum

Privet (hedge)                                        Pumpkin

Poison Ivy                                               Poison Oak

Poison Sumac vine                             Pomegranates

Poplar Trees

Potatoes  (not the leaves as the leaves are a nightshade plant and are toxic)

Raisins                                                    Raspberry, entire plant

Rose bushes wild and domestic roses

Sassafras                                                Southern Bayberry

Spruce trees                                          Sumac tree

Sunflowers                                            St. John’s Wort

Strawberry                                            Sweet Gum Trees

Sweet potato leaves

Tomatoes (just not the leaves or the plant stems as they too are of the nightshade family and are toxic)

Turnips                                                   Youpon Holly

Yarrow                                                    Yellow Locus

Yucca                                                       Vetch

Virginia Creeper                                  Wandering Jew

Watermelon                                         Wax Myrtle

Weeping Willow                                  Wild Tobacco (not the same as domestic tobacco)



Aconite                                                          Allspice (plant)

African Rue                                                 Andromeda (related to foxglove)

Avocado                                                       Azalea  (ask me how I know)

Bleeding Heart                                          Bloodroot

Blue Cohosh                                               Boxwood

Burning Bush berries                              Calotropis,

Cassava                                                       Celandine (tetterwort)

China Berry Trees                                    Choke Cherries

Common Poppy                                    Crotaleria (aka rattlepods or rattlebox)

Crow Poison ( Nothoscordum bivalve)

Death camas (toxicoscordian venenosum)

Diffenbachia normally a houseplant

Euonymus Bush berries                         False Helebore (aka Indian poke)

False Jessamine                                        False Tansy, “Fiddleneck”

Fume Wort                                                 Fuschia

Helebore                                                    Hemp (incl. Indian Hemp)

Holly Trees/Bushes                                 Horse Nettle

Japanese Yew                                            Jimson Weed

Lantana Larkspur                                   Lasiandra

Lilacs                                                         Lily of the Valley

Lobelia                                                     Lupine  Seeds

Marijuana                                               Monkhood

Moonseed (menispermum)               Milkweed

Mountain Laurel                                   Nightshade


Poison Darnel (lolium temulemtum, aka: darnel, darnell ryegrass)

Poison Hemlock                                   Poison Nightshade

Ragwort (senecio)                                Red Maples

Rhododendron                                      Rock poppy

Rhubarb leaves                                     Spider lily

Spotted Cowbane                                Spotted Water hemlock

Stagger grass and staggerweed       Sweet shrub (calicanthus)

Thorn apple                                          Varebell

Wild Parsnip

Wild Cherry (wilted leaves are toxic whereas fresh and fully dried are not )

Wolfsbane                                             Yew


note: this is only a partial list. For more complete information, read: David Sherman’s Goat Medicine.


Fiasco Farms.com

Cornell University


After receiving  rather harsh email from a reader regarding rhubarb on both the safe and unsafe lists, I have removed it from the “safe list”. To note, rhubarb contains a very small percentage of oxalic acid which is the culprit behind kidney stones. It also contains anthraquinone glycosides which is also not safe for goat fodder.  The following is a link that explains it in more detail. http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/poison. Most of the further research I completed suggests NOT feeding goats rhubarb. Dried rhubarb leaves are the worst. Please refer to this link. http://poisonousplants.ansci.cornell.edu/comlist.html


6 thoughts on “Quick List of edible and non edible (poisonous) plants for goats

  1. Sir can gulmohar tree leaves & beans can be given as green feed

    • Tushar,
      No, gulmohar most definitely is toxic, even in the smallest amounts. This is not a plant indigenous to the mainland United States so I had to research for an answer to your question. It is found primarily in India.

      Thank you for your question.

  2. Is the Cassia with yellow flowers edible for goats?

    • Elke, If you have a photo of the cassia plant you are referring to, it would be more helpful. Cassia Occidentalis, aka Coffee Senna, is extremely toxic for most animals. Do you have a scientific name for the plant you are referring to?

      Thank you,

  3. Can you please clarify which you have fed your goats that are safe. There seems to be many on your list that I have seen as toxic on other lists. And I don’t see a defined toxic list. Thank you.

    • Lisa, If you’ll be kind enough to scroll down to the bottom of the list, you will see a defined list of those plants that, through research, were identified as toxic to goats. To answer your question about which ones I’ve fed my goats, mine are free range on a small farm that is fenced. We have a great many of those that are listed on the non-toxic list that they eat. I cannot give you an exact list of what they ate or didn’t eat. I do, however, make frequent rounds on the premises and remove those that I identify as armful to my animals. We have fenced the vegetable garden and my front yard herb garden to prevent them from wandering in and decimating those. I also have fenced in…the area which we’ve sectioned off as a “front yard” with a decorative fence that the goats can’t get over or through. That’s done mostly because we have azaleas growing there that are extremely toxic to our goats. None of the other animals (chickens, guineas, etc.) bother the flowers or herbs, but we have to take additional steps to keep the goats free from harm.

      I don’t know what sources you’ve read regarding plant toxicity or acceptability for goats, but you are free to use the resource list that I have credited at the bottom of the page to further your research. These resources are credible…from those who have extensive knowledge about raising goats.

      Thank you for your question.

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