Comfrey for goats : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

About the only thing coming along nicely in my garden now is comfrey. I once knew of some people who fed it to their goats. Does anyone know of any benifits this may have? Can I give them too much? We use it on sprains and things but not much else.

-- Bob Ambrozaitis (, October 11, 1999


I feed comfrey to my goats and they love it. I think it is good for them as it contains lots of minerals due to its deep rooted habit.

-- Theresa Williams (, October 12, 1999.

JD has thrashed this one to death in many of the back issues. In short, comfrey is the only plant I know of that contains vitamin B12. This makes it a great feed additive for livestock and people. But before you rush out to cut a half ton for your own personal use, there is (was?) a huge controversy about the safety. The details of THAT, I don't know. But JD used to talk about cutting an armful enroute to the barn and feeding it to the goats, etc., and all not only did well, but did better. Look to the old issues for more info.

-- nick (, October 12, 1999.

Comfrey is banned in some markets because people misused the tincture or extract. When the lymphatic and circulatory systems are cleansed they dump into the kidneys and liver. What did these folks die of, lack of information or liver failure? Not any toxicity in the comfrey. I always feed it to animals that are "off" and planted it outside the goat pen so they can self-feed by reaching through the fence. It's high potien, but probably best as a supplement, not the entire diet.

-- Kendy Sawyer (, October 13, 1999.

We use to feed it to our sheep or let them self feed through the fence, it also seems to be good in the compost pile.

-- Bob Henderson (, October 13, 1999.

Comfrey is some of the finest goat feed you could ever desire.It doesn't hurtthem to eat a lot of it.We plant it in the pastures. It is very resilient and grows back well after being grazed.Comfrey has about as much protein as alfalfa.If they get tired of it in the summer,this is due to the prickles on the stems.Let it wilt first and then they will eat it again.

-- Rebekah Leaf (, November 14, 1999.

Readers digest magic and medicine of plants, and rodale illustrated encyclopedia of herbs both warn that long term internal use may lead to cancer but most animals are fairly short lived compared to humans so long term for them is probaly ok.

-- kathy h (, December 09, 1999.

For years, I had a wonderful Arab/Tennessee walker gelding who foundered (correctly called laminitis and it's a metabolic problem that often manifests itself in the hoof) at age 18. In an effort to save him, I followed the vet's instructions to the letter plus feeding this sweet baby all the comfrey I could grow until his feet grew out correctly. Nearly 8 years later the vet discovered a melanoma inside his sheath while cleaning him and when I finally resigned myself to it, we donated him to a vet school. Upon autopsy, tthe vets found cancer in his liver. I had fed him even the largest leaves. In his book on the chicken tractor, Andy Lee suggests using the smaller leaves as fodder or human consumption and the larger leaves in compost. By age 25 when he died, my horse had been exposed to a terrible number of ag toxins because we both grew up in a cotton producing state. For what it's worth.....

-- Marilyn Dickerson (, January 17, 2000.

Hoegger's Dairy Goat Supply Catalog carries a book called "The Complete Herbal for Farm and Stable", by Juliette de Bairacli-Levy. The author is considered one of the leading veterinary herbalists of our time. It is a great book, full of information on housing, feeding, and keeping livestock healthy. She emphasizes comfrey as one of the best herbs for goats. I highly recommend this book.

-- Christine Baillie (, January 24, 2000.

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