Goats Eat Weeds and Plants Poisonous to Grazing Cattle, Sheep, and Horses
Ewe4ic Goat Green grazing is adding benefits to the soil while goats graze on noxious weeds. In addition to weed management, goat grazing helps to heal the land through erosion mitigation, flood control and reduces tinder to help prevent forest fires. Goat hooves till and aerate the soil and trample in their own fertilizer, helping build soil nutrients through fertilization, reclamation, and re-seeding. And goats are an Eco-friendly fuel reduction benefit.
The following is a list of Noxious Weeds provided by the United States Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service.
Weeds Noxious to grazing livestock
Noxious weeds are any plant that is designated by a Federal, State, or county government as injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property and must be controlled by the legal owner of the land on which it appears. There are several poisonous plants that have also been classified as noxious weeds. The following is a partial list:
- Knapweeds: Diffuse, Russian, Spotted, Squarrose, Yellow Star Thistle
- Kochia Weed
- Johnson grass
- Leafy Spurge
- Musk Thistle
- Mustards: White Top, Hoary Crest, Perennial Pepperweed. Tansy Mustard has not been declared noxious as yet.
- Nightshades: Sliver Leaf, Buffalo Bur, Black Nightshade
- Poison hemlock
- Russian Knapweed
- St. Johnswort
Under ordinary conditions, these plants are seldom grazed. However, poisoning can and does occur under stress conditions such as on overgrazed pastures or after a frost. Noxious weeds compete with useful forages such as grasses, some legumes, etc. for space, nutrients, and moisture.
Some noxious weeds can be found growing in crops and may be harvested with hay or small grains. Care must be taken when these crops are fed to livestock. Most of these plants are aggressive and spread rapidly. It is important to monitor all range and pasture land for poisonous and noxious plants to prevent infestations and manage these plants. Early treatment to control these plants is the most effective. The spread of noxious weeds may signal the decline of entire ecosystems. They severely affect the biodiversity of natural areas and cause economic losses to those relying on range resources.
Plants Poisonous to grazing livestock
List of Poisonous Plants provided by the United States Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service.
Poisonous plants are a major cause of economic loss to the livestock industry. Each year these plants adversely affect 3% to 5% of the cattle, sheep, and horses that graze western ranges. These losses result from the death of livestock, abortions, photo-sensitization, decreased production, emaciation, and birth defects. In addition to these losses are those of increased management costs associated with such things as fencing, altered grazing programs, and loss of forage. This bulletin describes more than 30 of the principal poisonous plants growing on western ranges and the signs of poisoning in livestock. Suggestions are included for the prevention of livestock poisoning by plants.
- Bracken Fern (Western Bracken)
- Colorado Rubberweed (Pingue)
- Death Camas
- False Hellebore (Veratrum)
- Groundsel (Threadleaf and Riddell)
- Hemp Dogbane
- Nitrate-accumulating Plants
- Plumeless thistle
- Poison Hemlock
- Ponderosa Pine Needles
- Rayless Goldenrod
- Russian Knapweed
- Selenium-accumulating Plants
- Snakeweed (Broom and Threadleaf)
- Spring Parsley
- St. Johnswort
- Sweet Clover
- Tansy Ragwort
- Yellow Star Thistle and Russian Knapweed
This publication in its entirety is freely available on the website: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/np/indexpubs.html