Can Goats Eat Poison Ivy? (Is it harmful to them?)

Poison Ivy is edible for goats, unlike sheep and other cattle. Goats love eating Poison Ivy and, in fact, relish them. The reason may be that goats love thick and leafy plants, and Poison Ivy is also one of those kinds of plants.

Toxicodendron radicans is frequently known as Poison Ivy. It’s not as poisonous as the name depicts. Still, it does tend to give an allergic reaction to some people who come in touch with it.

If you are looking for a way to get rid of Poison Ivy and other messy vegetation on your farm, a herd of goats can effectively get the job done. Goats can eat almost all types of invasive plants, including Poison Ivy, thus, are largely utilized to clear the area of uncontrolled vegetation.

In a piece of rather funny news, New York Daily News characterized goats as “weapons of grass destruction” when some of the goats escaped Fort Wardsworth and wandered under the Verrazano bridge that is a high-security area.

Also see: Can Goats Eat Pison Ivy?

Is poison ivy harmful to goats?

Poison Ivy and also some other poisonous plants, such as poison oak or Poison Sumac, are not harmful to goats. They have an active digestive and immune system and special gut enzymes, which make them resilient to many toxins.

However, there are no significant theories on why goats are not allergic to Poison Ivy. Still, it has been a common observation of goat keepers that goats eat Poison Ivy and are not affected by it in any harmful way.

Cattle and Sheep, on the other hand, are not resilient to poisonous plants and often die after eating them. Only goats are the creatures not affected by such plants’ Poison, the exact reason for which is not really known.

Is it safe to consume their milk?

In a research carried out by the Division of Agriculture and National Resources, California, it was found that any toxic principle, such as Urushiol of Poison Ivy or Poison Oak, does not get transferred to the goat’s milk or Urine.

So, in the light of this research, farmers who keep dairy goats do not have to worry about their goats eating Poison Ivy. There won’t be any harmful repercussions, and the milk will remain drinkable and pure for humans as well as for those cute little baby goats. ????

What plants are bad for goats?

This is an interesting question and also of utmost importance, especially for goat keepers. 

Though there is a common opinion that goats can eat anything, including paper or tin cans, etc. It is not entirely true. There are some plants that can be harmful to goats, and in some cases, they can even result in the death of goats.

In this regard, the University of Florida conducted a case study and found out the list of plants that can be harmful to goats and even have the potential to kill them. Below is the list of some of those plants.


Causing Illness


No doubt, the name “Poison Ivy” can raise suspicions, but yes, goats can eat Poison Ivy, and it won’t harm them. Not only that, but the milk of goats also remains unaffected by toxins Poison Ivy contains.

Thus, you can consume milk from goats who eat Poison Ivy without getting worried. Goats’ immune system enables them to eat plants containing toxins, including Poison Ivy, without any harmful consequences.