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Pigweed and pokeweed

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BrangusUSA

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Have read that pigweed and pokeweed are poisonous to cattle. Don't have a problem on our place because we spray, however, on the pastures we rent some areas are full of pigweed and pokeweed. I try to cut two or three time a summer to help keep it back but not willing to pay to have rented land sprayed.
I can't believe it is that toxic because my cattle seem to treat pigweed especially like candy and love chewing the tips and seeds off. Have watched the same with pokeweed. Never lost a cattle to either one. Perhaps it is the brahma influence on our brangus that makes them able to eat anything, including acorns?
Have any of you guys lost cattle pigweed or pokeweed poisoning?
 

Bright Raven

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I have both. I mow and spray but they still occur. I have never seen any evidence that my cows eat either one so I don't concern myself with the toxicity of the plants.
 

Ky hills

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Same here as what BR said, we have plenty of it, and have never had any indication of a problem, other than the fact I hate hogweeds as we call them around here. I have also heard some folks say jimson weeds could be poisonous, but haven't had any issues from that either.
 

Rafter S

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I've always been told that the really poor folks in my part of the country used to eat pokeweed (they called it poke salad), but it had to be boiled several times (I think that was the process) to remove the poison, so I assume it's poisonous to cattle too. I don't know about pigweed. I know hogs love it, so I kind of doubt it would hurt cows. I even seem to remember a Jersey milk cow that liked it, but that was 40 or more years ago so I'm not sure.
 

Bright Raven

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Rafter S":2noe199w said:
I've always been told that the really poor folks in my part of the country used to eat pokeweed (they called it poke salad), but it had to be boiled several times (I think that was the process) to remove the poison, so I assume it's poisonous to cattle too. I don't know about pigweed. I know hogs love it, so I kind of doubt it would hurt cows. I even seem to remember a Jersey milk cow that liked it, but that was 40 or more years ago so I'm not sure.

If you pick it early as a sprig in the spring, it is not toxic. I have not had it since a kid but we picked it, boiled it once and ate it.

Remember the line in the song, "Poke salad, Annie, gator got her granny."
 

Bigfoot

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Most of your toxic weeds aren't something a cow would eat. Add drought to the equation, and then they get interested. I would avoid spraying toxic plants in the field with the cows. As the plant dies, it can spark their interest in it. If you feel the need to spray it, spray a field they're not in, and allow it to die, before grazing. Purple mint comes to mind, more so than the two weeds you've listed.
 

pdfangus

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I don't think either one is truly dangerous toxic....
my cows will nibble on pigweed but they wont eat it....
goats will eat it some...
neither one will eat the poke berry plant.
Jimpson weed they generally won't eat as well but it is also known as loco weed so if they eat it they do get pretty ill in more ways than one.
 

Rafter S

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Maybe jed could explain to pdf and dun how he trained his cows to eat pigweed? For that matter, I'd like to train mine to eat it too.
 

dun

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Rafter S":3pbv7mw3 said:
Maybe jed could explain to pdf and dun how he trained his cows to eat pigweed? For that matter, I'd like to train mine to eat it too.
Neighbor has Gerts and they love the stuff once it's baled. The vets mules eat like candy.
 

Bright Raven

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pdfangus":31rfmq3f said:
I don't think either one is truly dangerous toxic....
my cows will nibble on pigweed but they wont eat it....
goats will eat it some...
neither one will eat the poke berry plant.
Jimpson weed they generally won't eat as well but it is also known as loco weed so if they eat it they do get pretty ill in more ways than one.

I remember our pig pens. The only plant standing would be the solitary Jimpson weed.
 

MtnCows93

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my cows eat pigweed and if you rotationally graze they will seek it out first unless theres some real candy but mine will eat it down to the stalky part, i thought one of my cows was hurt because she had what looked like blood all over her face, upon further inspection it was poke berry juice haha i have it on the edge of my pastures everywhere. dont worry about either of those plants!
 

jedstivers

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If the pigweed is small it's disappears. If it's big you can tell they want to eat it but once it's got spines they just pick at it but they usually get it all.
And yes, mules love it. I think horses do too and I know hogs do.
 

pdfangus

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I do not have any pigweed where I have the horses and the mini donkeys. while I have not observed them eating it, I think the donkeys like the pigweed. I have different weeds on the horse side than I do on the cow/goat side...nutsedge and juncus on the horse side.

I have poke berry everywhere that I can not mow. I habitually carry a sling blade or a machette or a shovel when I walk the property just to chop down poke berry...
 

dun

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I rarely see poke on this farm. The birds and the varmints don;t seem to have that problem based on the purple stains I see.
 

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