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Can Goats Eat Roses?

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Goats are curious animals that like variety and will often taste anything they can find. A goat’s reputation is not helped by their taste for blackberry bushes, wild parsnips, poison ivy, and other things that may seem indigestible.

If other such tough plants seem attractive, it follows that we should ask can goats eat roses?

Goats can indeed eat roses, and they enjoy eating them!

While a goat’s curiosity would drive it to eat almost anything, goats are not unaware of the safety of many of the things they eat. True to this, roses are safe for goats.

In the rest of this article, we offer more details about the safety and tastiness of rose to goats. We also talk about the parts of a rose goats can eat.

Then we cap it all with tips on how to keep goats away from your roses.

Can Goats Eat Roses?

Goats can eat roses, and sometimes, the speed with which they consume them is astonishing.

Once a goat knows where to find your roses, the minute you let them out of their pen, they head toward them.

By the time you realize what is happening, it is probably too late to do anything.

Are Roses Poisonous to Goats?

Roses are not poisonous to goats. True roses are safe for goats.

However, you should note that not all plants called roses are true roses. So ensure they are true roses before feeding them to your goats.

When a goat comes across a poisonous plant, the goat will ignore it most of the time. But because goats are browsers, they may try it for variety.

Do Goats Like the Taste of Roses?

Goats like the taste of roses and will snack on them the first chance they get.

As we already mentioned, goats are browsers. They prefer to eat shrubbier plant material over grass.

Can Goats Eat the Leaves of Roses?

Goats can eat the leaves of roses.

For a goat, every part of a rose bush is edible. A goat will even brave the thorns of a rose bush to eat the leaves and flowers.

Can Goats Eat Rose Petals?

Goats can eat rose petals.

Rose petals are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, and niacin.

Goats enjoy eating rose petals, along with the rosehip, which is the round portion beneath the petals. The rosehip contains the seeds of a rose plant.

7 Tips for Keeping Goats Away From Your Roses

If your garden has a weed problem, goats can be really handy. They can help you get rid of rogue growth and plants with ease.

Goats become a problem when they start eating your cultivated flowers and plants like roses.

To keep this happening, here are 7 tips to help keep goats away from your roses:

Fence Your Roses

Hot pink or red roses sticking through a white picket fence

Fencing is probably the first option that comes to mind when trying to prevent goats from eating your roses. Putting up a fence will keep goats out of your garden and stop them from damaging your plants and flowers.

However, goats are athletic and intelligent, so installing just any fence will not be enough to keep them out of your garden.

A goat can climb over or crawl beneath fences like woven wire fence or wooden fence. If you also have gates leading to your garden, they can open the gates

If you intend to use a fence, use a hardware cloth fence or welded wire fence with a height of at least 5-6 feet.

The fence must enclose your garden area to ensure the goats do not find a way in.

Supervise the Goats Constantly

Although this method may seem tedious, it actually works. If you have goats roaming around your roses without using a deterrent, you have to supervise the goats.

When you see the goats going close to your roses, you can deter them by making sounds. You can also try moving close to them to direct them away from your roses. 

Goat Muzzle

Another effective way to keep your goats away from your roses is with a goat muzzle. A goat muzzle is a humane and safe way to restrain goats from eating without supervision.

A goat muzzle is placed over the mouth to keep a goat from eating, chewing, and biting. Once you use a muzzle on your goat, it will be unable to chew on your roses.

Goat muzzles are made from heavy-duty materials like leather and heavy Cordura. Goat muzzles usually have adjustable straps and a mesh to allow the goat to breathe.

Cultivate Plants That Goats Dislike

Another way to keep goats away from your roses is by cultivating plants they hate close to the roses. Some examples of plants goats dislike are:

  • sage
  • salal
  • hydrangea
  • nightshade
  • Oregon grape holly
  • cogon grass
  • lavender
  • mullein

You can place these plants close to your roses, at least 12-18 inches away. This way, the goat will not reach your roses, even if it stretches over the deterrent plant.

Use Unpleasant Smells

You can also keep goats away from your roses by using unpleasant smells. You can do this by applying pig, cow, or goat dung to different parts of the plant.

Goats find the odor from animal dung repulsive, and it stops them from eating your plants.

However, it is essential to note that you cannot apply animal dung to all plants.

If animal dung cannot be applied directly to the plant, install a wooden fence around the plants before application.

Spray Deterrent

Using a spray deterrent is more hygienic and safer compared to using animal dung.

Using a spray deterrent will not irritate your skin or harm the goats. Most importantly, it is harmless to your vegetation. 

Keep Goats in Their Pen

goat sneeking in wooden corral pen

If you are worried about goats damaging your roses and cannot watch, fence, or deter them, keep the goats in their pen.

This is essential, especially if you will be unavailable to supervise the goats. The only time you should let them out to roam is when you are available to monitor their activities and your roses.

You may also check this article to know more about how to stop goats from eating flowers and plants.

Final Take

Be it the petals, rosehips, or leaves, goats have no problem eating all the parts of roses, even with the thorns on them. This might be a problem if you have cultivated roses around. Fortunately, you can stop them with the tips we shared above.