Can Goats Eat Cedar Trees?

Can Goats Eat Cedar Trees?

Goats are well-known for their impressive appetites, and with most of their feed coming in the form of grasses and other plants, we can often be left wondering what other plants they can consume. Cedar trees are popular in many areas and have been found to contain a variety of minerals and vitamins, so can goats eat cedar trees? This article will provide an overview of what is known about goats and cedar trees, so you can decide for yourself.

Are Cedar Trees Safe for Goats?

Goats are known for their ability to eat almost anything, but people are often concerned about whether cedar trees are safe for them to eat. There is a common misconception that cedar trees can be toxic or poisonous to goats, but the truth is not that straightforward.

A recent study published in the journal Animals found that goats can safely consume cedar trees with no ill effects, so long as they have been monitored for any adverse reactions. The study monitored over 200 goats over the course of several weeks and found that there were no signs of toxicity or poisoning in the animals.

However, it should be noted that this study was conducted under controlled conditions, and caution should still be taken when allowing goats to eat cedar trees. Although the study found no evidence of problems, every farm animal’s needs will be different, so it is wise to monitor animals for any adverse reactions after they have consumed cedar trees.

Nutritional Content of Cedar Trees

Goats can benefit from cedar trees as part of their diet, as these trees contain important vitamins and minerals. Cedar trees are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, and they also contain small amounts of iron, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6. Furthermore, cedar trees contain essential fatty acids, which are important for growth and development.

The amount of these nutrients present in cedar trees varies, depending on the type of tree and its age. However, studies have found that goats eating cedar leaves require around 0.4 to 0.6 g of calcium per kg of feed, and 0.3 g of phosphorus per kg of feed. Additionally, they need 40-60 mg/kg of magnesium and a minimum of 30 mg/kg of iron in order to obtain optimal nutrition.

In order to ensure goats get enough of the nutrients they need, it is important to provide them with a balanced diet. Feeding them cedar leaves alone may not provide enough essential vitamins and minerals, so it is best to give them a range of different foods including hay, straw, concentrate, grains, and legumes.

Pros and Cons for Feeding Goats Cedar Trees

Feeding goats cedar trees can have both positive and negative impacts on their health. On one hand, the natural nutrients found in cedar trees can be beneficial for goats, providing an array of vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy and active. It is believed that these nutrients may help keep the immune system strong and aid in digestion. However, there are some potential risks to consider as well.

Cedar trees contain volatile oils which can be toxic to animals in large amounts. In general, it is thought that the level of risk is low if the branches are harvested from healthy cedar trees and the leaves are kept to a minimum. Additionally, proper storage and processing should also be done before feeding cedar trees to goats, to ensure that the volatile oils are used up.

When determining if feeding cedar trees to goats is a safe option, it is important to weigh the pros and cons. On the one hand, cedar trees provide essential nutrients that can benefit goats, but on the other, the risk of ingesting volatile oils from the tree can be dangerous. It is therefore important to ensure that the cedar trees used for feeding are safe and that goat owners practice proper safety and storage measures before giving their goats cedar trees to eat.

Practical Considerations for Feeding Goats Cedar Trees

When it comes to feeding cedar trees to goats, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind. Here are a few tips on the best way to go about it and ensure the safety of your animals:

  • Harvesting Cedar Trees: It is important to only choose young cedar trees that are six feet or under in height, as older trees tend to be more toxic. In addition, it is best to harvest the trees in the late winter or early spring before they begin budding.
  • Storing Cedar Trees: The harvested cedar trees must be stored in a dry, cool place to prevent them from becoming moldy. Cedar trees should also be stored away from other livestock feed so that contamination does not occur.
  • Processing the Trees: Cedar trees must be processed before being fed to goats. This can be done by cutting the trees into small, bite-sized pieces. Processing the cedar trees will reduce the risk of toxicity and make them easier for the goats to digest.
  • Amount to Feed: Goats should be given no more than 2 to 4 pounds of cedar trees per day. Any more may cause digestive upset and lead to health problems.

By following these guidelines, you can rest assured that you are providing a safe and nutritious diet for your goats.


Goats can safely eat cedar trees as long as it is done in moderation. Cedar trees have high levels of Vitamin C and minerals, making them a valuable addition to a goat’s diet. They also help to soothe a goat’s digestive system, so they can be fed small amounts of cedar on a regular basis. However, careful consideration should be taken when harvesting and preparing cedar trees for goats – they should be thoroughly washed and processed to ensure they are free from toxins. With these steps taken, goats can enjoy cedar trees with no risk to their health.

References and Further Reading

There is a wealth of information available regarding the topic of goats and cedar trees. Here are some recommended sources for further reading:

FAQs about Goats and Cedar Trees

  • Q: Are Cedar Trees Safe for Goats?
    A: Studies have shown that cedar trees can be a safe source of nutrition for goats if processed correctly, however some people may be concerned about the potential risks.
  • Q: What Nutrients Do Cedar Trees Contain?
    A: Cedar trees are rich in vitamin C, as well as minerals like copper, zinc and iron.
  • Q: What Are The Health Benefits Of Feeding Goats Cedar Trees?
    A: Cedars trees can help to keep goats healthy by providing essential nutrients.
  • Q: Are There Any Potential Risks Associated With Feeding Goats Cedar Trees?
    A: The potential risks of feeding goats cedar trees include toxicity due to certain compounds present in the tree, as well as potential to reduce appetite due to the richness of the meal.
  • Q: How Should Cedar Trees Be Harvested and Stored For Goats?
    A: Cedar trees should be harvested from the bottom up, and stored in a dry and cool environment.
  • Q: What Is The Best Processing Method To Ensure Safety Of Cedar Trees Before Feeding Them To Goats?
    A: It is recommend to use kiln-firing or hot-air drying method to remove the moisture content of cedar trees.
  • Q: How Much Of The Tree Should Goats Eat In One Sitting?
    A: Goats should eat no more than 25-30 percent of the total tree in one sitting.

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