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goats and plants -the good and bad list?

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Anyone know where I can find a list of plants ....and how they affect goats. I need the good ones, the toxic ones and the milk-affecting sick ones.


Off hand, how is scrub willow? Not the big trees. The scrubby brush willow. I've been foraging for the goats and watch what they choose from my offerings. I also watch when I have them out choosing for themselves. But I'd like to know the basics. I've heard of some of it. I have noted that they ignore the local pest, loco weed. And they ignore the wild sage. THAT might be milk-tainting.



MtRider thanks

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during milking nothing replaces good alfalfa and grain, BOSS (black oily SunFlower Seeds), though there is two trains of though on molasses... some say yes others say no. I Like to give them 4-way or COB with Molasses. I don't see it any different then giving them sugar coated cereal!


this mixture (and you can add soy and beet pulp, and other items to the mix) will create a nice sweet milk.


Letting the goats browse on what ever scrub will, in my opinion cause the milk to take on the flavors of the feed they are eating. If you start out drinking milk from scrub eating goats how would you know that there is any other flavor?


It costs nothing to let them browse, it is expensive to get in 4-way, BOSS and alfalfa. Free feeding hay, and a pound of 4-way, a cup of BOSS (half cup of everything else). And this should be fed 2 times a day... at each milking.


Now everyone has their own formula, each area has their brands and availabilities of certain grains. You will have to decide what works best for you.. and maybe it is just letting them browse freely.


If SHTF, I ran out of grain (heaven forbid), mine would be browsing on some of the worst tasting milk making forage around! Needless to say, I wouldn't be drinking the milk but rather raising for meat.

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If you start out drinking milk from scrub eating goats how would you know that there is any other flavor?

Good point! And I still have to convince dh that goat milk is good stuff... laughkick

So far, when they are out grazing for their daily half hour, they are nipping off young wild rose plants, some dandelion, plain grass, clover, a bit of alfalfa that volunteers from horse droppings, ...... But then, I'm not milking yet.

LOL Does anyone know if goats get the same "ice cream and pickles" cravings when they are preggers? laugh

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my goats browse part of the yr but always with lots of options and alfalfa still available and the milk tastes great whether browsing or not... and customers have raved on how good mine is vs others... so it might depend on what you have available for browse and if they have other feed avail.


I grain with just whole oats and a bit of boss or corn (trying to get away from corn)...


my goats only get molasses post kidding....

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Thanks Rita. Checking that now.



For you all that use alfalfa heavily during milking.... [yes, I keep hearing that everywhere... alfalfa for sweet milk star ]


Do you use only alfalfa hay free choice?

An alfalfa/grass blend of hay free choice?

Alfalfa pellets?

Alfalfa cubes?

Alfalfa growing in the pastures?


Any preferences and why? prettyplease


Knowing how horses need to be regulated in their alfalfa consumptions.....does that apply to goat-critters too? shrug




Haven't bought alfalfa hay since my OLD dear horse got so it didn't agree with his system.



MtRider [QuestionsQuestionsQuestions....I do thank you all!!!]


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I use alfalfa pellets. No good hay down here... and they tend to waste it.


Full size LM get free choice.. min 3lbs a day each... up to 4-5... BUT my Mini Manchas are such *easy keepers* I need to move them to their own yard and cut them back!!!

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  • 9 years later...

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