poisonous plants in pasture?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by dk_40207, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    We are getting ready to let our jersey into the pasture(about 1/2 acre). We took cherry trees out, and I am going to mow the seedheads all down first. Here is my question...what about milkweed, poke, queen annes lace, goldenrod, tulip poplars? There are some other unidentifiable weeds out there, but htese I KNOW are there. There may also be a type of nightshade(it looks like potato leaves w/ thorns)
    Are any of these going to be extremely dangerous to her? She has already eaten some poke weed a few days ago.
    I will say that I noticed foamy mouth after we brought her home, but it didn't last long. Not sure why that happened. :help:

    If so, what would you do if this wa your pasture?? I'm hoping that with proper mowing, the lovely grass will come back. This used to be a "beefalo" grazing pasture, and I've seen lovely pasture come back when the weeds are continually mowed...

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Most cows will eat everything but these weeds. Mowing the weeds will reduce them. A pig will level every weed in a pasture except Canadian Thistle. They will turn undesirable vegetation into desirable porkchops, clean up any leftover milk or spilled grain as well. But only use that method of weed clearing if your fence will keep pig in pasture, otherwise pig will clear your yard, flowers & garden as well, LOL. A good HOT electric wire 5" above ground inside existing fence will keep most pigs where you want them.
     

  3. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    Well, we don't have any pigs! I also discovers a small bit of johnson grass at the barn. I've read aout it and am concerned. Would you recommend digging it out?

    Oh, and she has mowed down the poke weed within reach...would this cause the foamy mouth? should I mow the pasture before setting her out? i have concerns that she and the goats may go for some of these things, because the pasture is pretty poor and small, so I'm thinking--mow.

    Thanks!!
     
  4. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    dk- Johnsongrass and Poke weed are not species we have here- somebody from other regions of the country would be better qualified to advise you on those.
    When I suggested the pig I didn't know you had a goat! I would think the goat would do a good job on the shoots and brush. I suppose mowing the weeds would be a good start to let grass come back without competition.
     
  5. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    well, people eat poke, cooked,,,,,we've always had some pop up in pasture,,never had an angus cow show the least interest in it.

    johnson grass is a much feared weed here (from spreading standpoint not from a toxin standpoint)....but i have heard of some areas using it as a hay....

    milk weed does have some toxins in it....i noticed that the angus had munched a couple of the top leaves in the last pasture i had them in...(we're in a sever draught here and grass is getting pretty scarce.

    lots of popular trees never experienced a problem with them.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    If there is any decent grasses and clover in the pasture the cattle will not eat enough of the undesireable weeds to be a problem. The poke will be left alone and the johnson grass will all be consumed. Poplar is a favored munchy and some milkweed is palatable. My cattle eat fresh cherry leaves but I do not permit them access to wilted cherry leaves. A nearly full gut of good plants will dilute the undesireables to where the undersireables are not a problem.
     
  7. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    When you guys refer to cherry trees, which kind? We have a ton of what is called "black cherry" trees here and short of clear cutting my pastures, we couldn't avoid have cows around them.
     
  8. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    HMMmm, i have always heard not to let cows around wilted cherry leaves, that it will do harm....we don't have cherry around here so i have no first hand experience.
     
  9. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Yes it's the black cherry. They are really great lumber and pretty good firewood too. Unfortunately they aren't good for cattle.
     
  10. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Well, that does change some of my upcoming chores... :help:

    I'll have a lot of these to get out of the pastures.

    Thanks for the info.
     
  11. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just a thought....some cows make a lot of foam when they chew cud.....could that be the foam you are seeing??

    As for weeds in the pastures...We have always had all those weeds you mention in our pastures and the cows have never hardly touched them. If they did touch them, it didn't bother them. As for goats.....They won't eat Queen Annes Lace(darn it!!), they adore pokeweed, they ignore goldrenrod, they snack on milkweed. They don't have access to tulip poplars here on this place, but I doubt it would hurt them. They also love many other supposedly "toxic" plants.... :rolleyes: We have cherry trees and they love the fresh leaves. I don't allow them access to fallen branches and such. The *naturally* wilted leaves that fall in autumn have never been a problem, they scarf them right up.
    Sooooo, me?? I wouldn't be worrying much. :)
     
  12. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They are only a problem if a branch or tree falls and the wilted leaves get eaten by the livestock. The fresh leaves are fine. We have MANY cherry trees in out pastures and woods and we have never had a problem. I'm not about to cut out all our cherry trees....... :)
     
  13. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Still think :1pig: eat mucho weedos, LOL.
     
  14. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Poke salad won't hurt your cow, we have it in our pasture and the cows eat a bit and move on. We have everything you listsed and all our cows are fine. :) They'll eat what's good for them and leave the rest behind. I do agree with Up North, pigs will clear out your weeds, we've going to have them renovate our pasture when we move the cows to the in-laws next week.
    also we have black cherry trees and it's never been a problem for our goats or cows. If we have a big storm I usually check for downed branches but that's about it. Cows aren't that delicate so yours should be fine! :)
     
  15. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

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  16. Patt

    Patt Well-Known Member

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    Well all I can say is half the cattle in Arkansas ought to be dead by now since black cherry grows all over the place here and I've never known of anyone cutting it down. :) I'm sure there are things that are poisonous under certain very limited conditions. But most if not all of us will make sure our cattle have supplimental feed if it gets to where there's nothing for them to eat but poisonous weeds.
     
  17. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    The cherry trees in my pasture are not mature trees but there are many of them. The mature trees are all out back and I have many cherry trees that are mature, along with walnut, oak and hickory. I do agree, I care for my timber a lot!
     
  18. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    We had a new pond built last year...dozer operator told us about the cherry trees he had pushed over..so we built a brush pile and burned those. He said that the leaves are bitter and cattle don't usually eat the green ones but couldn't take a chance on the dry wilted ones.

    As for weeds in the pasture...our cows aren't interested in those weeds at all! They have too much grass and legumes to eat..so the leave the weeds for us to mow! We rotate cows from one pasture to another weekly...so it gives us a chance to mow the weeds before they go to seed. If I was really ambitious...I'd get out there and spray them individually to kill the roots. Maybe when it cools down I'll give that some more consideration.:rolleyes:
     
  19. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all. I googled poisonous plants for cattle, and as someone said, EVERYTHING came up! I was concerned about a few things out there, but shes been on pasture twice and isn't dead ;) She ate johnsongrass, cherryleaves and poke. She still has an attittde, but no illness to speak of. Why to the cooprative extentions have to freak out new animal owners? I was about ready to burn the whole field(as it was looking like a toxic landmine field). sigh.