How To Save Your Herd from Goat Poison – Or Stop Them From Eating Any in the First Place

A Survivor of Goat PoisonGoats. Poisoned? What?! Don’t goats have iron guts and eat anything? That’s what I thought when we first ventured into buying goats. Hello, readers! Handyman here, to give you some valuable resources to both help you avoid goat poison, and to deal with it if you have to.

It turns out that there is an enormous list of things that will poison a goat, check out this list compiled at Cornell University. So what can you do if your goats accidentally get poisoned? Is there any way to save them? Yes, there is! Here on the homestead, we’ve experienced this first hand and I’ll be going over exactly what we used. First though, let me give you a little back story.

Our Goat Poison Story

Rhodedendron's are Goat PoisonBack in September, Hurricane was trimming the Rhododendron bushes in the front yard. In the late afternoon, she asked me if she could put the trimmings in the compost pile, which is in the same area as our milking goats. Not thinking about Rhododendrons being a goat poison, I gave her the okay. Well, it turns out that was a very big mistake. The goats feasted on the trimmings all night! Don’t they know it’s poisonous? I guess not. At 5 am the next morning we were woken up by a very strange sound. The sound of our goats projectile vomiting. Everywhere.

Following a prompting, my wife looked at our compost pile to discover my mistake of having Hurricane put the trimmings there. The goats had devoured most of what was there. Of course, Perfection knew the plant was poisonous, so she acted immediately. (Please note, some of the links in this post are affiliate links and we are given a small commission for sales through those links, at no extra cost to you. We only link products we love.)

Goat Poison Antidote

We found this recipe for an antidote and decided to go for it. There are two recipes on this site. We chose the top one because the fluid volume was considerably less than the second recipe. If you’ve ever tried to force fluids down a goat’s throat, you know it’s not an easy task. Also, even more importantly, if you get the fluid in their lungs it could turn into pneumonia. So, we chose the top recipe and quickly acquired the needed ingredients. After mixing it together, we administered the antidote to our goats. As a Latter-day Saint buying brandy was a bit novel. We also had a relatively tough time finding the rennet. So long as you’re planning ahead, though, you can pick it up here.

You only have to administer the antidote once per goat. This antidote, like the website says, will work for most plant based poisonings. After the goat has received the antidote, there’s a 48 hour period where the goat may still die. It all depends on how quickly you discovered the problem and administered the antidote. You must also give them fresh water every half hour or so because the throw up they have on their face will contaminate the water and continue to make them sick. The first day the goats will be very lethargic. This is normal. They are in miserable pain and don’t want to move. Just make sure they have fresh water to drink.

Our Story’s Happy Ending

You Could Plan Your Garden For Your Goat...Using this antidote and providing my goats with clean water worked for us. We didn’t lose a single goat! Now we keep these supplies, for this antidote, on hand just in case it ever happens again. If your goat ever gets poisoned, I hope you are able to find this post.

Next week, I’ll be getting back to the topic of gardening. Bringing you a compost tea recipe that worked great for my garden and my fruit orchard.

Until next time…

Handyman is on the job!

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