Can Goats Eat Poison Ivy? Is it Safe for Goats

Toxicodendron Radicans or poison Ivy belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae. This thick leafy plant is found in the United States of Guatemala, southern Canada, Central China Taiwan, and Japan. This plant is super dangerous to humans as it contains an oil that can cause serious skin irritation. Its use is limited to very few homeopathic medicines even none of them has brought any positive effect forward. No doubt, it’s useless for humans but for goats, it’s not. It’s one of the favorites they want to fill their tummy up with. 

It was first fed to goats and other such grazing animals just to get rid of them. Later, it was observed and discovered that goats seem to enjoy them and there is no harm in fulfilling their wish to have a little poison ivy as a treat sometimes. 

Because of its poisonous name, some goat herder’s were afraid of feeding poison ivy to their goats back in the 80s. As the world moved forward a little bit, it’s used as goat food started taking over.

Can goats eat Poison Ivy?

To your surprise, Yes! Like few other grazing animals, goats can eat poison ivy too.  Unlike humans, they do no harm to goats that’s why goats are usually brought to clear poison ivy from the way and they love it.

Feeding goats poison ivy

Goats are the easiest yet adorable pets to keep. They do not make you go extra rounds to fill their tummy up. Just fill the feeding pot with something or leave them with the plants and bushes they love. There is no hard and fast rule you have to follow to feed your goat poison ivy as it does no harm to goats. They have the ability to detoxify noxious compounds so it doesn’t hurt them at all.

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The right way to feed poison Ivy

It’s not even 0.01% dangerous to goats but still feeding in moderation is advisable. Let them have it in a small quantity for the first time not because it is dangerous but making a drastic change in diet can upset their stomach.

Goats who have been eating poison ivy for years can eat it until they are full. Keep bringing small changes to their diet to keep them healthy and active.

Health Benefits related to poison ivy

It would be more appropriate to say ” No benefit and no harm” has been found yet. And this goat’s favorite food has never been in the spotlight any time in the past. So it’s difficult to say anything.

But if it’s not poisonous to goats and they are loving it then what’s the harm?

Do goats eat branches and roots too?

No, they leave them untouched. They do not seem to enjoy them. They go for it’s leaves.

Humans are allergic to poison Ivy but goats are not. Why?

We all know humans are super allergic to poison ivy but why goats are not? Yes, this question pops up in everyone’s mind but still, the reasons are unknown. In fact, nobody bothered it enough to do research on this topic. So it’s just that goats are not allergic to poison ivy.


A myth ” It makes the milk poisonous” how true is that?

Research conducted in California proved that It’s just a fear and has no connection with reality. And the milk is 100% safe to consume.

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It’s not as useless as you think.

You see it as the useless weed growing in your backyard or somewhere else but it’s an important source of food for animals like goats, wild turkey, black bears, deer, raccoons, and bobwhite. Mammals, birds, toads, mice, and reptiles, etc use it as a shelter while bees pay a visit when it is flowering.


Yes, goats can eat poison Ivy and don’t get sick. It might not be a nutritional treat but it’s harmless. You can allow them to have it sometimes to clear your way out and they are going to love it. Rest assured, it will bring no harm.

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