Goats eating potentially hazardous plants
I always wonder when I
see one of our goats chowing down on a wild plant that our other goat
ignores. Was Abigail fulfilling a pregnancy craving when she spent a few
days chowing down on golden ragwort leaves? The plants' green abundance
in the brown winter woods suggests that ragwort might be toxic to deer,
and data on a related species shows that the leaves are very high in
copper. But everyone knows that goats have higher copper requirements
than some of their relatives, and Abigail's previous owner didn't
administer boluses while Artemesia's previous owner did. I've yet to cross the copper bridge myself, other than providing free-choice minerals and kelp in the coop, so maybe that's why Abigail spent a few days gorging on ragwort...then went off it cold turkey.
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