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I'm in south west Colorado, on a large ranch, we have some patches of foxtail in our organic hay meadows, looking for a way to get rid of it. I've been pulling it up when I come across it, but can't get it all, and I don't know if that will be effective in the long run. We flood irrigate.
 

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My cattle eat most of the plants listed, except poison hemlock and bracken fern. Most of the plants listed are just good high quality feed, that when managed properly are an asset. Managaed grazing systems eliminate a lot of these types of problems. unmanaged grazing systems, will sometimes have problems with these plants.

What little poison hemlock that we had was easily eliminated from our pasture using timely animal impact and herbicide treatment. Don't have or know what bracken fern is, if I have it, it is a non-problem.
 

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Hay Master
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I see oaks listed? Definitely not arguing, but this is the first time I've heard that. I know deer & hogs love 'em. Just about every pasture around here, unless its improved, has oak trees in it. Or is it one of those things that the cattle have to eat a boat-load for it to harm her?
 

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Interesting article just came out in Acres magazine about cattle eating plants. The research shows that cattle are very good at eating plants that are good for them and not eating plants that are not good for them.

Their research said that with few exceptions, unless the animal is starving they will not eat plants unfamiliar to them and when they first try a new plant they take a small amount at first to see if there is any adverse reaction then if there is non they will go ahead and eat them. It also said that off spring will learn from their mothers what to eat.

I mob graze and shoot for 100,000 lbs/ acre moving every twelve hours. My cattle will strip the tops off milk weed and eat other plants that other cattle do not usually eat when open grazing.

They are by no means starving or even vey hungry. They do however clean up stuff. Does not hurt them a bit.
 

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Hay Master
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I guess I am lucky. Cows are trained to eat weeds, Buttercups are a specialty for them and that little weed that has a central root like white clover and spreads out like a tree that comes out in the fall, dark green with little purple and white flowers with a yellow seed pod. Guess I don't have any poisonous ones as they keep the place pretty clean. Mildweed, a skinny little tall growing plant with small lavender flowers, and a white flowered big stem plant that grows to about 2' and comes up in the fall are usually avoided.

Mark
 
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