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Saturday - June 30, 2012

From: Osteen, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Planting, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every shrub that was planted at the farm when we bought the property due to them being poisonous to one or the other animal. Any help would be appreciated.


Our attitude about donkeys and goats and gardens tends to be that you have to choose. Do you want to let your animals roam free, tasting whatever? Or do you want a landscaped yard? Slapping a donkey's nose and saying "no" when it tries to chew the (poisonous) leaves of a member of the Prunus genus (plums, cherries, peaches, etc.) might hurt the donkey's feelings, but it won't deter him. On the other hand, you can select a number of landscaping plants that are harmless to the donkey or goat, but those animals would then be happy to chew those plants down to a nub. Barriers of some sort is almost a necessity.

What do donkeys eat?

What do goats eat?

Plants that Goats Won't Eat

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants question on poisonous plants

Apparently you are not alone in your goat problems, we have answered several similar problems in just the last few days:

Palmdale CA

Eureka CA

To get back to your original problem, we are going to our Native Plant Database and search for plants native to Florida, particularly to the Valencia County area on the eastern coast. To teach you to use the database, we will use the Combination Search, selecting on Florida, and then one at a time on the type of plant under Habit. You did not mention sun or shade conditions, so we will leave you to use the database to make your own selections to better fit your requirements. Follow each plant link on our list to our webpage on that plant for light requirements, moisture needs, growing conditions, etc. Sometimes, on a poisonous plant, that will be stated on the webpage and, of course, we wouldn't choose that, but you will need to check the poisonous plants lists we referred you to above for each plant you are interested in.

Plants for farm in Osteen, FL:

Herbaceous blooming plants: Berlandiera pumila (Soft greeneyes)

Shrub: Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Tree: Diospyros virginiana (Common persimmon)

Grass: Chasmanthium latifolium (Inland sea oats)

Vine: Bignonia capreolata (Crossvine)


From the Image Gallery

Soft greeneyes
Berlandiera pumila

American beautyberry
Callicarpa americana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Inland sea oats
Chasmanthium latifolium

Bignonia capreolata

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