What do goats eat?
While the common myth is that goats eat anything, the truth is that goats love invasive plants and overgrown brush. Just a few types of vegetation that goats can eat and clear away include
Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae. Prickles often occur all over the plant – on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves.
The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family, hybrids among these species within the Rubus subgenus, and hybrids between the Rubus and Idaeobatus subgenera. What distinguishes the blackberry from its raspberry relatives is whether or not the torus (receptacle or stem) ‘picks-with’ (ie stays with) the fruit. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus does stay with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit.
While Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type.
Hedera helix (common ivy, English ivy, European ivy, or just ivy) is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. A rampant, clinging evergreen vine, it is a familiar sight in gardens, waste spaces, on house walls, tree trunks and in wild areas across its native habitat. It is labeled as aninvasive species in a number of areas where it has been introduced.
Toxicodendron vernix, commonly known as Poison sumac, is a woody shrub or small tree growing to 9 m (30 ft) tall. It was previously known as Rhus vernix. All parts of the plant contain a resin called urushiol that causes skin and mucous membrane irritation to humans. When burned, inhalation of the smoke may cause the rash to appear on the lining of the lungs, causing extreme pain and possibly fatal respiratory difficulty.
Poison oak is a deciduous shrub native to North America. Its leaves contain a compound that causes a rash on human skin. Poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) and its eastern counterpart poison ivy (T. radicans) are two of the North American plants most painful to humans. Note: These species were formerly placed in the genus Rhus. Poison oak and a related, look-alike shrub, Rhus trilobata belong to the sumac family (Anacardiaceae).
Poison oak is widespread throughout the mountains and valleys of California. It thrives in shady canyons and riparian habitats. It commonly grows as a climbing vine with aerial (adventitious) roots that adhere to the trunks of oaks and sycamores.
Kudzu; Pueraria lobata, and possibly other species in the genus Pueraria, also called Japanese arrowroot, is a plant in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is a climbing, coiling, and trailing vine native to southern Japan and south east China. Its name comes from the Japanese name for the plant, kuzu, which was written “kudzu” in historical romanizations. Where it occurs as an invasive species, it is considered a noxious weed that climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so rapidly, it kills them by heavy shading.
Wisteria (also spelled Wistaria or Wysteria) is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing bines native to the Eastern United States and to China, Korea, and Japan. Some species are popular ornamental plants, especially in China and Japan. An aquatic flowering plant with the common name wisteria or ‘water wisteria’ is in fact Hygrophila difformis, in the family Acanthaceae.
Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as poison ivy (older synonyms are Rhus toxicodendron and Rhus radicans), is a poisonous North American plant that is well known for its production of urushiol, a clear liquid compound found within the sap of the plant that causes an itching, irritation and sometimes painful rash in most people who touch it. The plant is not a true ivy (Hedera).
For an even more comprehensive list of what goats can and can’t eat, Kevin Kirchofer of Cornell University has a great informative read.