This post may contain affiliate links.

What Are The Best Plants for Goat Farming?

What Are The Best Plants For Goat Farming-
When you start goat farming, there are several different ways you can manage your goats.  There are intensive methods, which require a lot of management from you as the farmer.  The plus side of intensive methods is that while they are more effort on your part, each goat requires less space.  You are generally the one who is bringing the food into the goats, providing lots of care, managing their exercise, and so on.  This is the most common way of raising goats, especially for dairy.  This was the method I started out with my goats.  As I learned more about goats I realized I preferred a more extensive method of goat farming.  

With an extensive method, your job is to mimic the goats natural environment as much as possible.  The goats are rotated through pasture, and instead of intensive management of health issues or kidding problems, your job as the goat farmer is to select the best stock who can kid efficiently and are disease and parasite resistant.  If I raise goats again, this is the method I will use.  This is also the method discussed in Holistic Goat Care by Gianaclis Caldwell.  I received a free review copy, and highly recommend it if you want more detail on goat farming with extensive management.

Extensive management requires more space than most people have access to, (especially in the city!), but you can utilize the space you do have better by planting trees and shrubs that goats prefer to eat and increase the amount of food you can grow for your herd.

Here’s a list of some of the best plants for goat farming to maximize efficiency:

Pasture Mix Plants:

  • Grasses
  • Clover
  • Vetch
  • Chicory
  • Plantain
  • Curly Dock
  • Pigweed
  • Horseweed
  • Lambs Quarter


  • Star Thistle
  • Blackberry
  • Juniper
  • Poison Oak
  • Kudzu
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Grapevines
  • Bamboo
  • Comfrey
  • Catnip
  • Ivy
  • Knotweed
  • Raspberry
  • Roses

Garden Produce:

  • Mangel Beets
  • Turnips
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Winter Squash
  • Bolted Lettuce
  • Insect damaged greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantalope
  • Celery
  • Fava beans
  • Sunflowers


  • Willows
  • Black Locust
  • Sweet Gum
  • Bay Tree
  • Cedar
  • Cottonwood
  • Fir
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • Ash
  • Mulberry
  • Oak leaves
  • Pine

For a more comprehensive list of plants that are edible and poisonous to goats, I recommend Fiasco Farms.  The list in this post tend to be easily grown, fast growing, or weedy plants that are prolific and that you can include in a smaller space to provide more food.  I planted bamboo and willow along the edge of our goat yard, and even on our tiny homestead they produced a good amount of supplemental food for our girls.

If you are thinking about goat farming, I recommend planting now so your goats have plenty of forage, and if you already have goats, hopefully you can add a bit more variety to their diet and save on some hay costs for you.  And if you are thinking about extensive goat farming, check out Holistic Goat Care!


Want To Grow Fruit In The City?

You can save money at the grocery store without a time intensive garden or committing to raising livestock. Sign up for the Backyard Orchards email course today!

Powered by ConvertKit

12 thoughts on “What Are The Best Plants for Goat Farming?”

    • I’m sorry if it seems that was my recommendation. Many people use goats to eradicate poison oak and ivy, so if you have it already present on your land, it would make sense to include it as part of your goats rotational grazing pattern.

  1. I know my goats eradicated my poison ivy problem, along with the pine trees and sweet gum wanting to grow up in the pasture . Don’t plant it, but if you have a woody, poison oak or ivy invested area, goats are great for it! And you don’t have to supplement with feed, which is a plus for me. Good post!

  2. Kale is high in oxalic acid, in thoery not recommended for goats on the internet,but like most things probably ok now and then, but I wouldnt recommend releasing them onto a field of the stuff

  3. What kind of grasses are you recommending?
    I have an area being cleared for utilities and will need replanted. It was wooded.

  4. i just want to know what i can plant that the goats will leave alone and if they did eat any, they wont get sick. any suggestions? thanks

    • Goats are pretty smart about avoiding things that will make them sick, especially if they have plenty of space. I like bamboo near goats because it grows quickly even if they eat it.


Leave a Comment