Mushrooms are fascinating food, often loved by humans due to its distinct taste.
Mushrooms are categorised under fungi and some of them are edible while some mushroom species are toxic and can trigger severe allergic reaction in humans. But is it same for goats?
Can goats eat mushrooms?
Goats can safely eat and tolerate common edible mushrooms in low quantity [2-3 mushrooms at a time] but toxic mushrooms that grows in wild are not safe for the goats . Mushrooms that are not-edible to humans should be avoided for goats, since these toxic mushrooms can trigger severe allergic reactions. Best bet is to avoid feeding mushrooms to goat.
If goat accidentally eats unidendifiable mushroom then watch for the toxicity signs and consult your vet for further guidance and treatment.
I have seen my goat eating the mushrooms that are edibles to humans without having any adverse effect. Usually, I dont allow them to eat the mushrooms but even though they eat it, I try to limit it for 1 or 2 at a time.
Goats are preety smart to avoid eating the food that is toxic to them but I have seen them eating the things we expect them not to eat. Mushroom is one of such things that we expect goat not to eat but ocassionally they can eat the mushroom.
What is Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are neither plants or animals but fungus. They are cultivated widely across the globe but can also be found in wild. Some wild mushroom species have toxic checmicals.
Mushrooms can grow in backyard, wild and fields where grass grows. They grow in variety of shapes ranging from umbrella to a soccer ball.
For safety reasons mushrooms are divided in two categories – edible (non-toxic) and non-edible (toxic)
Edible mushrooms are non-toxic to humans and goats can eat them safely. The one thats grow in wild and have toxic chemicals should be avoided at any cost.
How to Tell if a Mushroom is Poisonous or Not?
Though there is no a perfect way to identify the toxic and non-toxic mushrooms, learning about mushrooms that commonly grows in your area can help a lot. Check the appearance, colour, gill, caps and where the mushroom grown.
Avoid choosing the mushrooms that has the red colored cap with warts, ring around the stem, white colored gills, and scaled cap.
Consult local muycologist to learn and identify the mushrooms. Generally, goats tolerate edible mushrooms, you dont want them to eat a toxic one since it can lease to severe consequences.
What Should I Do If My Goat Eats Mushrooms?
Some mushrooms are edible while some can lead severe allergic reaction when consumed.
Always make an efforts to prevent goat from eating any type of mushrooms since identifying the toxic one from edibles is a difficult task.
If you are not sure which type of mushroom your goat ingested then look for the warning signs of mycotoxicity like apathy, anorexia and diarrohoea.
1. Schneider DJ, Marasas WF, Collett MG, van der Westhuizen GC. An experimental mycotoxicosis in sheep and goats caused by Drechslera campanulata, a fungal pathogen of green oats. Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 1985 Jun;52(2):93-100. PMID: 4047622.