Cows Can Eat Multiflora Rose

If you're one of the folks who hate multiflora rose, you're not alone. It's been declared a noxious weed in almost all of the states where it's found. Yet, it has many fine qualities. It makes a good rootstock for developing ornamental varieties of roses. That's why it was originally imported from Japan. It's also good at preventing erosion and acting as living fences, which is why the U.S. Soil Conservation Service promoted it in the 1930s. In the 1960s, the Virginia Highway Department planted it in medians to make drivers safer, reducing headlight glare and preventing cars from crossing into on coming traffic. Finally, birds and wildlife appreciate as habitat and a food source. But there can be too much of a good thing. Since one multiflora rose can produce as many as 500,000 seeds per year, and seeds can remain viable in the soil for 10 to 20 years, it eventually became a problem for many farmers who would prefer more pasture than flowers. But here's hope. Your livestock, no matter what you raise, can eat it, and control if for you. The beauty of multiflora rose as a forage is that its protein values run from 10 to 13 percent and it has no problematic toxins. That makes it a very palatable plant. I've seen goats, sheep and cows eat it without being harmed by the thorns. Grazing could also be a good way to control its spread. According to numerous fact sheets, frequent, repeated cutting or mowing at the rate of three to six times per growing season for two to four yea

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One thought on “Cows Can Eat Multiflora Rose

  1. Multiflora rose is abundant in my pastures and does not seem to be going away even after a few years of mowing and grazing. My sheep do eat it, neatly plucking the leaves from the thorny stems.
    Do you have more information on the nutritive value of multiflora rose in addition to its protein content? And more generally, any advice on estimating available dry matter, crude protein and TDN in wild pastures containing a large variety of weeds of different heights and growing habits, which may or may not be palatable to sheep? I want to use grazing to manage the weeds but I want to be sure the sheep have enough of the right kind of food too.

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