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Turn Your Livestock Into Weed Eaters

In 2004, Kathy Voth began developing a method to teach cows to eat weeds. Her first attempt was with a small herd at Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site in Deer Lodge, Montana. She taught them to eat Canada thistle, Leafy spurge and Spotted knapweed. Since then she’s trained over 1,000 cattle, some sheep, goats and a herd of Ted Turner’s bison to eat many of our most problematic weeds.

The process is based on animal behavior principles and takes just 8 hours spread over 7 days. Trained animals teach their offspring and herd mates and go on to try other weeds in pasture. They remember for years, so do it once and you’re done. (Have you ever heard that from an herbicide sales person?)

Training Resources

Train your livestock to eat weeds with this two-ebook set:

Cows Eat Weeds covers the science behind the training process and the challenges and solutions to them from my ten years of training livestock across the U.S. and Canada. Check out the Table of Contents and download a book excerpt.

Edible Weeds & Training Recipe is a quick start guide to putting together your own training process. It includes a list of 142 weeds describing whether they are edible or not with tips for how to approach training for them. If you don’t find your weed here, email Kathy and she’ll look up your weed for you!

Together they’re everything you need to successfully turn your livestock into weed eaters.

$24 for the two ebook set

Want More?

Click here to see Videos of the Training in Action

Read On Pasture Articles

How to Teach Cows to Eat Weeds in Just 8 Hours Over 7 Days

43% Better – The Economics of Getting Your Livestock to Eat Weeds

Why Cows That Learn to Eat One Weed Will Choose to Eat Others

I Know You Paid A Lot of Money to Manage Weeds, But It Just Doesn’t Work

Have You Discovered the Benefits of Canada Thistle?

High Density Grazing for Spotted Knapweed Suppression

Can Cattle Eat Leafy Spurge?

Can Cows Eat Woolly Croton (Goatweed/Doveweed)?

Yes! Your Livestock Can Eat Horsenettle! (and Mimosa/Chamberbitter weed, Teaweed/Spiny Sida, and Goldenrod)

Multiflora Rose Makes a Great Alternative Forage!

Whitetop/Hoary Cress – Whatever You Call It, Livestock Love it!

Overcoming Our Brush Prejudice

Adjusting Assumptions When Training Livestock to Eat Weeds

Want even more weed-eating articles? Explore the category here.

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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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