Did You Know Your Herd Has Its Own Culture? Yep – And That’s Why They Eat What They Eat!

As most of our On Pasture readers know, I created a method for teaching cows and other livestock to eat weeds. I started in 2004 and for the last 11 years, I've been training animals and showing others how to train theirs. Along the way, I began to notice that the cows I trained to eat weeds, also began eating other things. In fact, I was pretty excited when I realized that "educated cows" were every bit as good at eating brush as the goats I'd worked with on brush management for 7 years. (Head over here to see the video of how excited I was, along with some great information on why brush is great forage for cows.) After seeing what good brush managers cows can be, I started telling folks that I would prefer using them to goats to manage brush in some circumstances.  Murray from Texas saw one of my quotes about this in Farm Show magazine and wrote me with a question: “I presume you are working with Texas longhorns.  They thrive on brush and will give you a very saleable product when you are done.” I wrote Murray back. I told him I had worked with some longhorns, but most of the cows I've trained are Angus, Angus-cross, and some herefords.  What I’ve found after a decade of doing this, is that while some individuals are better than others at eating weeds and brush, it has not been breed specific.  In fact, one of the longhorns in my first group of weed trainees was the worst weed- and brush-eater of the group. [caption id="attachment_15219" align=

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