Edible Flowers

Goats are browsers, not grazers. They prefer plants that are twining, thorny, and bushy. Once those are gone they eat grass. I use a moveable electric netted fence in the goat pasture, which is just a small hillside to the back of the house. To create browsing that the goats like, I give them access to only part of it, which they eat down. Meanwhile, the brambles and weeds grow on the other side of the fence. Every couple of weeks the fence gets moved, and the goats wag their tails and hurry with delight onto the regrown pasture.

Pip stops to smell the flowers.

And then he eats them.

So, if you’ve noticed that the goaties have especially large bellies recently and have been spending even more time chewing their cuds, you now know why. Flowers and thorns are keeping them fat and happy.



  1. Pip, I know how you feel. It must be like the smell of a fresh apple pie right out of the oven then a scoop of ice cream and a nap ;-).

    Terry do you even have to charge the electric fence? Growing up our goats once zapped wouldn’t go near the wire that had the little yellow flags flying from it.

  2. Ok, I admit I am a Pip groupie. That picture of him smelling the yellow flower is wonderful. Card please.

    • Jean, you need to come to a Chicken Keeping Workshop just to meet Pip! Maybe I need to have a “meet the goats afternoon.”

  3. It’s as much a treat for them as it is for you to have it cleared, and it’s free labor. They are adorable goaties. Pip, you’re so cute! You too, Caper.

  4. I have always heard that goats will eat anything, I’v heard of them eating washing off the line, but what I wonder is how come brambles and thorns don’t hurt them at all? They must have very tough mouths.
    They are adorable and look so happy. I also love the way Pip smells the flower first, then devours it!

    • Actually, goats are extremely fussy eaters. Mine would rather starve than eat hay that they don’t deem up to par. Their bad reputation comes from the fact they they do taste things – they just don’t swallow! They also get in trouble because instead of eating grass they’ll go for your rose bushes first.

  5. Don’t the rose thorns hurt them though, did you mean trouble from the thorns or from you for getting at your roses?

    • I watch them eat entire branches covered in thorns and I have yet to figure out how they do it and not get hurt. It’s yet another one of a goat’s superpowers (along with squeezing through 2-inch holes.)

  6. My goats won’t eat their pasture at all. I had to weed whack it because it was out of control. They only want their hay. Any suggestions? I tried giving them no hay this morning in the hopes that they will eat some pasture during the day. I have two Nigerian Dwarf 1-year-old does. Your boys are cute, as always. :)

    • I had the same problem, lazy boys! An experienced goat keeper told me to feed them less hay and only late in the day so that they’d be hungry in the daytime. It worked, and now my goaties go into the pasture to forage. One thing I’ve found is that my goats are really barn-bound. They don’t like straying too far from the safety and comfort of their paddock. The further out to graze they go the more skittish they are, and my field is small. So, you might try sitting out in the pasture with them to keep them calm while they eat and get used to being “far” from home.