You are here:  Home  >  Livestock  >  Behavior  >  Current Article

How To Teach Livestock to Eat Weeds

By   /  April 9, 2013  /  2 Comments

You can turn your weeds into alfalfa quality forage by spending about 8 hours over 10 days training your livestock to eat them. Here are the basics on how it works.

    Print       Email
Kathy Voth developed a method based on animal behavior science to teach cows or any ruminant to eat
    Print       Email

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    ROFLMAO! It’s like hiding the kale in a toddler’s lunch.

    Do you have to do refresher training? Or is the herd’s “culture” changed enough that the herd as a whole continues eating the target plants?

    • Kathy Voth says:

      No refresher training is necessary. As the cows wander their pastures they add more and more weeds to their diet all on their own. The only time I do any additional training is when there is a weed in pasture that I know they could eat, but they haven’t tried yet. Then I bring back a few tubs, set them near the weeds and put a few of the weeds in the tubs. Because they know that everything I put in the tubs is good to eat, they try the weed, and then go to eating it in pasture.

      Glad you enjoyed this! And thanks for writing!

You might also like...

Calling and Leading Cattle is More Time and Cost Efficient Than Herding

Read More →
Translate »