Can Goats Eat Hemlock?

Can Goats Eat Hemlock?

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Hemlock is an herb that is used as a poison. It is a plant with leaves and stems that are green in color. The leaves have a bitter taste and look similar to parsley. Hemlock grows in the wild in Europe, Asia, and North America. It can also be found in gardens and herb patches. Hemlock plants can be found growing in moist places such as fields, gardens, and forests. Hemlock is known to have a powerful effect on the nervous system and can cause death by respiratory paralysis. Despite its poisonous nature, hemlock is used for medicinal purposes. It can be used to treat some illnesses such as whooping cough and breathing problems.

Can Goats Eat Hemlock?

No, goats should never be fed hemlock. Hemlock is highly poisonous to goats as it contains toxic alkaloids. The toxic alkaloids affect the muscles of goats and cause respiratory problems. Feeding hemlock to goats is very dangerous to their health and can result in death.

Can Goats Eat Hemlock Seeds?

Hemlock seeds are poisonous to goats and can cause death if eaten by goats. The toxin present in the seeds can cause paralysis, convulsions, and respiratory failure. Goats should not be fed hemlock seeds. The seeds are known to contain the most concentrated form of the toxin.

Can Goats Eat Hemlock Roots?

Hemlock Roots should not be fed to goats as it is highly poisonous. Feeding hemlock roots to goats can cause health problems. It is advised to avoid all parts of the hemlock plant.

It is important to know that all parts of the hemlock plant are poisonous to goats and should not be fed to goats under any circumstances. Although goats are known for being able to eat anything, they should not be fed all types of plants as they may be poisonous.


Effects of Feeding Hemlock to Goats 

Hemlock is a poisonous plant to goats. Feeding hemlock to goats has several potential effects.  Hemlock is an invasive weed, it contains toxic alkaloids. The most poisonous alkaloid it contains is known as coniine. This alkaloid destroys the central nervous system and causes respiratory problems. Some of the effects of Feeding hemlock to goats are discussed below.

Symptoms of hemlock poisoning occur within one hour to two hours of it being consumed. 

Respiratory Paralysis 

Respiratory paralysis is a medical term that refers to the inability of the lungs to take in oxygen. There are many different causes of respiratory paralysis. The symptoms can vary from mild to severe, but the most common symptoms are a lack of breathing, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. 


Tremor is a medical condition characterized by involuntary shaking or trembling in a part of the body. Tremor can also be seen as a symptom of hemlock poisoning in goats. The exact cause of tremor is not known, but it is thought to be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain.

Muscle Paralysis

Muscle paralysis is a condition where the voluntary muscles are unable to move. This is another symptom of hemlock poisoning in goats. Hemlock poisoning disrupts the nerve signals to the brain. This interrupts the signals that tell the brain how to control the muscles. When muscle paralysis occurs it will be difficult for goats to perform basic tasks.

Rapid Heart rate 

Rapid heart rate is a condition where the heart rate increases to dangerous levels, often causing symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath. This condition can also be referred to as tachycardia. It prevents the body from getting enough blood to tissues and organs.


Convulsion is a sudden and violent involuntary contraction of the muscles, usually accompanied by twisting and turning of the body that can cause injury or death.

Other effects of Feeding hemlock to goats include:

  • Lack of speech
  • Weak pulse 
  • Dilation of pupils 
  • Increased salivation (slobbering)
  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory failure 
  • Coma

It is advised to seek medical attention immediately if a goat displays these symptoms.


What Other Plants are Poisonous to Goats

Poisonous plants are not just plants that are dangerous to humans. Poisonous plants can be very harmful to animals as well. Goats are at risk of eating these plants and suffering from the effects of their toxicity. To avoid poisoning your goat, it is important to know which plants are poisonous to goats and what signs of poisoning you should look for. Below are some of the plants you should avoid feeding goats.


Oleander is toxic to goats and other livestock. Oleander contains the cardiac glycoside oleandrin, which inhibits the heart’s ability to contract. The leaves and stems of oleander also contain saponins, which cause irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes. Oleander is a member of the dogbane family and is poisonous to both humans and livestock. Symptoms of oleander poisoning include slow heart rate, weakness, abdominal pain, and death because the toxins cause heart failure.



Azaleas are perennial flowering plants that are native to the southeastern United States. They have a long history of being used as ornamentals and are popularly known for their colorful flowers. The azalea is a member of the rhododendron family and it has a woody stem with leaves that are usually a dark green color. However, azaleas are very toxic to goats and even small amounts can result in poisoning. Symptoms of azalea poisoning include abdominal pains, bloating, muscle tremors, and vomiting. In severe cases, it is known to cause the death of goats.


Nightshade is a plant that is toxic to goats. It is toxic because it contains a substance called solanine which is found in the leaves, stems, and roots of the plant. So, goats should not eat nightshade as it may cause severe health problems.


Hemlock is poisonous to goats. Goats should not be fed hemlocks. Feeding hemlocks to goats can result in serious health issues. Hemlocks disrupt the central nervous system and cause respiratory failure. Some of the symptoms of hemlock poisoning include rapid heart rate, convulsions, dilation of the pupils, and tremor. It is advised to seek medical attention if a goat displays these symptoms.

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