Can Goats Eat Poison Ivy? Is Poison Ivy Safe for Goats?

Woody vines and brush can hamper the outdoor experience in your backyard. Poison ivy is one of the such vine that found everywhere in United states.

Vines like poison ivy grows aggressively occupying the woody area. Often, measures to control their growThough it causes rash to humans, goats like it.

Can goats eat poison ivy?

Yes, goats can safely eat poison ivy. Infact, they relish eating poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Its been a common observation of goat keepers that they can safely eat large amount of poison ivy. The special enzymes in goats gut allow them to feast on the poisonous plants. Each day, an adult goat can eat 25% of its body weight.

Poison ivy is a common name for a shrub with scientific name of Rhus Radicans (Toxicodendron radicans). It also know as eastern poison ivy since it is native to eastern North America. It belongs to the cahew family.

The leaves of poison ivy has 3 leaflet and apart from this striking feature other growth habit of this vine varies and may have leathery or stiff leaves. Leaves may have slight hairs or can be completely hairless.

It can be found growing along the fence rows and in open woods. Generally, human activity helps dispersion and growth of poison ivy.

Since poison ivy is a perennial, it will keeps coming back every year in your backyard or along the fence rows. Birds often play major role in planting poison ivy.

Each vine of poison ivy consist “urushiol” which, if come if contact can trigger allergic reaction in humans but goats can tolerate poison ivy.

Though there is no any evidance based data why goats are not allergic to poison ivy, goats found to be adopted and evolved well to digest many toxic plants including poison ivy and poison oak.

Even though poison ivy is poisonous to human and an annoying shrub in backyard and woods it can be a great feast for gaots. Infact, eye-catching early fall color of poison ivy leaf acts as food marker for goats and other wild animal.

Goat Eating Leaves

How Poison Ivy Impact Goats?

Goats are kown to tolerate low to moderate toxic food since they have high tolerance to the toxins. Though shrubs like poison ivy and poison oak show some toxic properties goats can comfortable eat poison ivy foliage in large amount.

Goats are commonly used to control the brush weed of poison ivy .

Is Poison Ivy Bad for Goats in Any Way?

Poison ivy is safe for goats and they can eat it in large quantity without having any appearant disomfort. To date, several mammals like goats are documented to tolerate eating poison ivy.

Goats are known to browse on leaves and stems of poison ivy. Since, it is allergic to humans, you can use goats to browse on this shrub and repeately allowing goats to eat this shrub are known to remove this.

Is It Safe to Consume Milk From Goats Eating Poison Ivy?

Milk of goats eating poison ivy is safe to drink since toxins like Urushiol in poison ivy does not pass in the milk. Research conducted at UC Cavis, California shows  that Urushiol do not pass in to the milk after goats eat poison ivy.

1. Weisberg, A. J., Kim, G., Westwood, J. H., & Jelesko, J. G. (2017). Sequencing and De Novo Assembly of the Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy) Transcriptome. Genes, 8(11), 317.
2. Ian Popay, & Roger Field. (1996). Grazing Animals as Weed Control Agents. Weed Technology, 10(1), 217-231. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from