Can Cattle Control Oxeye Daisy?

A few summers ago I worked with Trish McKinney and the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee in British Columbia, Canada.  The project included taking some ranchers through the Coaching Program to help them train their cows to eat weeds, and then doing a presentation to share information with all the area ranchers and to show them some cows trained to eat spotted knapweed. One of the training challenges for the ranchers in that area is that they turn their cattle out onto Crown Range.  Crown Range pastures are large, and are often far from ranchers’ homeplaces, so they may not see their cattle again until they round them up and bring them home in the fall.  But Bob Godfrey of Horsefly, BC proved that with a little perseverance and some adaptation, even that challenge can be overcome. Bob has a small herd of 20 cows that graze on 8,000 acres.  Normally he doesn’t see much of them all summer long.  Occasionally they show up at the fence line near one of his hay pastures.  Since he wanted them to learn to eat Oxeye daisy, I wrote up a training plan for him, and we agreed that when the cattle showed up at the fence line, he would start the training.  Here’s how it went: 7/18/2011 Hi Kathy, We finally got started on the program on Saturday at noon. Sunday we got a morning and evening feeding. I couldn’t believe how fussy the cows could be for unfam

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