Are Oak Leaves Poisonous?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Liberty Alpines, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Liberty Alpines

    Liberty Alpines New Member

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    Are oak leaves poisonous ? I've heard that they are and that they are not. Which is it? Or is it the variety of oak? My goats have eaten oak many a time, so it can't be too terrible! But if it's bad for them I won't let them have it again. Thanks! :D
     
  2. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I have heard this also. We have red oak and white oak and pin oak and something else I can't remember. My goats aren't bothered by the limbs cut, or the leaves that fall, or the acorns, but ti also isn't 100% of their diet, and I am careful of new adult animals that come in that aren't used to this. We have two different species of pine and same thing, no problem. Vicki
     

  3. Tricia

    Tricia New Member

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    We've got a fair numbers of white, red, and black oaks. They love white oak (leaves have rounded lobes) and are less enamored with red and black oaks (pointed lobes). But put maple, chestnut, or willow together with oak, the oak will usually be the last eaten.
     
  4. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    My pens have tons of leaves in them so my goats are never without "something" to eat. I don't think it is good for them to only have oak leaves...I think it is ok as an addition. Cattle can die from too many acorns...they get some kind of kidney poisoning..cows get addicted to acorns and eat them to the exclusion to everything else.
     
  5. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Acorns are the worst if too many at one time eaten.
    We have live oak here and no body has gotten sick ever. so like Vicki if a goat isn't used to them or that is their main diet then yes they have too much tannin and could cause a problem.
     
  6. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    My goats would all be dead right now if oak leaves were very poisonous.
    My BIL last summer told me not to feed my butter bean hulls to my goats because it would kill them.....Didn't kill mine.
    I've also been told that one acorn would kill a horse......well, I used to take care of 21 that eat acorns every Fall, and all it made them was fat.
    I have no doubts that somebody's goat died after eating oak leaves, but I have not had any to die from it......but my goats have other stuff to eat too.
     
  7. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    We lost a bull to acorns and my neighbor lost 32 head of cattle to acorns. Our horses and donkeys eat them but I think it is only a problem when they get hooked on them, or maybe there is nothing else to eat. Cows will occasionally start hunting for acorns and bypass their feed/hay and eventually sicken and die. Like Sondra said, it's the tannins.
     
  8. 2Sticks

    2Sticks New Member

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    My goats have eaten white oak and live oak and just think they're the best. I was leary at first because I had seen a list that had oakd own as poison. My goats don't
    get alot of it, I'm sure if they had their way they'd feast on it alot more.

    Tamera
     
  9. andra

    andra New Member

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    We have live oak ,pin oak and some other oaks and my goats eat the acorns not sure about the leaves , I have not seen them eat them, we have a lot of brush ,vines ,and moss they would rather have and they always have hay out for them too.
     
  10. CGFarm

    CGFarm New Member

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    It's supposed to be toxic after the leaves turn, but we also have never had a problem with it.
    Denise
     
  11. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels New Member

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    Have you ever been to the Missouri Ozarks?? It is wooded with almost exclusively oak trees.....a huge part of my goats diet is oak leaves from first buds to well into the winter after the leaves are brown and crispy. They are acorn pigs in the fall. If oak is poisonous, my goats must be ghosts. :lol One year we had a drought so bad that I cut down two oak trees a day to feed my herd. For two months they got oak leaves and very little else.
    Given variety, goats have a hard time poisoning themselves.
     
  12. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels New Member

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    Sure your not thinking of stone fruits like cherry?? They are poisonous if unnaturally wilted(broken branches, picked leaves, etc. The brown ones that turn naturally in the fall are not a problem.) I've never heard of this with oak.
     
  13. birdiegirl

    birdiegirl New Member

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    For the past few months, my goats have been browsing almost exclusivley on dried oak leaves (when they aren't rooting through the leaves looking for acorns!) When I let them out in the morning, they run en masse straight for the nearest oak tree.....then to the next one, then the next one, etc. It doesn't appear to be causing them a problem.
     
  14. Josie

    Josie New Member

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    yeah I didn't know oak was supposed to be poisonous until after i fed about 8 banana boxes full of acorns to my goaties. They LOOOVED them... were in super condition that year! We have bur oaks, white oaks and pin oaks - haven't had any problems, but really would hate to say absolutely they aren't bad.

    Just my goats eat it with zippo problems :lol
     
  15. Melissa

    Melissa New Member

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    mine eat them with no problems. and they LOVE the peach tree leaves.

    -Melissa
     
  16. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    I think that I'm gonna throw some caution to the wind at this point......just in case somebody reads this and decides to go get several buckets of acorns and throw to goats who haven't been eating any in a while.
    Think about how acorns and leaves are naturally fed slowly to our animals. Very few fall off the trees at first, and then they increase over a few weeks of time....peak, and then slowly start diminishing again.
    Just like most of us don't make quick changes in grain, etc, in our goats. Nature, for the most part doesn't make quick changes in our animals diets also.
    Food for thought, Whim.
     
  17. janettemoore

    janettemoore New Member

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    Hi, this morning to you, Liberty Alpines

    My goats nibble on our oak leaves all time. Don't see this as a problem. But from time to time they peel and eat bark as far as they can reach on the cedars. Have wondered if is a problem, like maybe a deficiency?

    Did have a guy helping us once that said, "Don't feed the girls watermelon as it will affect the milk taste." So I never tested that one.

    Janette
     
  18. Kaye White

    Kaye White New Member

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    :biggrin Here I go, again....You can search the internet and find about anything you want to in regards to pro and cons on anything. Rumors and myths start this way in a hurry without a necropsy to back it up. More than likely someone in a dry lot situation fed *raked up*, moldy oak leaves to a bunch of goats and it killed them. Rumor hit the internet...walla'.

    Yes, there is scientific data to back up the cattle deaths from tannic acid poisoning and even ways to prevent it with the use of additives to supplements and feed. (But, you have to consider the money cattle research has backing it.)
    Like Whim said...anything in moderation is ok, but a sudden change is a no,no.

    If I had a strictly dry lot situation, I'd not dump a bucketful of oak leaves or acorns in the pen...but with most on here in a pasture setting, it's highly unlikely to have a goat die from oak leaves or even a few acorns.

    Now, with all that rattled...I get really aggravated in the fall when the does spend much of their day, wasting calories, chasing floating dry oak leaves with little to no feed value, when they should be standing at the feeder eating their expensive, protein loaded, alfalfa! :really
    We've all heard *stories* of cattle deaths from tannic acid posioning... one thing I always think...how were these cattle fed? Twice a day like our goats? I doubt it. They're doing the best they can to get some meat on their bones before winter.

    Best thing I've ever heard said..." The best fences for livestock is a full belly." Think about that one for a few minutes.
    Just rattling, and watching goats eat oak leaves that blew off in a high wind the last few days. :lol
    Kaye
     
  19. whimmididdle

    whimmididdle Guest

    """...I get really aggravated in the fall when the does spend much of their day, wasting calories, chasing floating dry oak leaves with little to no feed value, when they should be standing at the feeder eating their expensive, protein loaded, alfalfa! """ Kaye

    :biggrin ....My little roly poly's need that exercise.
     
  20. Feral Nature

    Feral Nature New Member

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    My goats are so full of dried oak leaves that they never holler in the morning when they hear me up and awake. Normally they would tell me that I was starving them to death, that I better get out there before they all surely died. But with the oak leaves in their pen, they seem full and content all the time. Granted, they are not lactating and are already used to not being put up on the milkstand for feed each morning. But watching them out the window, they eat LOTS of oak leaves, they are located in an oak forest!