March 23, 2020

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

This works for any animal – so whatever you’re raising, check it out! In 2004, I taught a small group of heifers to eat Canada thistle, leafy spurge and spotted knapweed. I was inspired by two decades of research on how animals choose what to eat, and by ranchers’ (perfectly reasonable) refusal to incorporate goats […]

March 16, 2020

Weeds Cows Can Eat

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March 26, 2018

Training Cows to Eat Weeds – Even in Very Large Pastures

It’s that time of year again when those special forbs start poking their heads up in your grassy pastures. That means it’s also the time of year when I remind you, “Those are not weeds. That is good forage!” And then I remind you that it only takes 8 hours spread over 7 days to […]

October 3, 2016

Congress Says “Cows Eat Salted Weeds”

On Pasture reader Kirk Cunningham wanted to know if I had ever found studies on cows grazing teasel. I knew of nothing off the top of my head, so I spent quite some time searching the internet. The only thing I found was from the 1945 Congressional Record. Sandwiched between remarks on the results of […]

January 18, 2016

Teaching Cows to Eat Weeds – A Farmer’s Perspective

Editors’ Note: Don and Betty Ashford of Ethel, Louisiana shared their experience teaching cows to eat weeds as part of Kathy Voth’s presentation at December’s National Conference on Grazing Lands. For those of your who couldn’t be there, here’s a little bit more about how it worked for them. This project involved 12 grown cows, […]

May 27, 2013

Is Teaching Cows to Eat Weeds a Beneficial Weed Control Technique?

One of the common questions I get from folks who hear me talk about training livestock to eat weeds is whether or not it is a good way to control weeds.  For the answer, I’ll share what was in my head when I started trying to figure out the process for teaching animals to try […]

May 2, 2022

Creating an Information System to Get You Where You’re Going

Something funny happened at On Pasture in April. Three OP authors all wrote articles on the same topic without checking in with me or each other first. each article was about some version of record keeping as part of being a successful grazier. That’s why this month we’re focusing on record keeping – or better […]

November 15, 2021

Being a Thinking Grazier Includes Understanding How Animals Choose What to Eat

In this month’s Thinking Grazier, Darrell Emmick points out the importance of understanding what a cow needs to be most productive and how she chooses those foods. It’s something I’ve studied for many years used to add nutritious foods to livestock diets. If you’ve spent much time at all at On Pasture, you know I’m […]

October 11, 2021

When You Move an Animal to a New Place, Don’t Make it Eat New Foods Too

New places cause stress, and stress can lead to animals picking the wrong foods, or not eating at all. Here’s some insight into the reasons why and how you can help.

May 31, 2021

Can Cattle Eat Leafy Spurge?

Some time ago, I got this email from Jamie in Nebraska: Dear Kathy, I am interested in your way of controlling leafy spurge with cattle, however, I was informed that leafy spurge was toxic to cattle. I guess my question is how much can they eat before they become sick? I have a 600 acre […]

May 31, 2021

Weeds Are NOT the Problem!

In the last few weeks I have attended a couple of field day, farm tour type of affairs. To my knowledge none of them were sponsored by any of the chemical companies directly, but listening to the folks putting on these things you could very easily believe were in the employ of these companies. At […]

December 21, 2020

When Your Livestock Graze Weeds You’ll Have 43% More Forage

I’ve been teaching cows to eat weeds since 2004. Over the years since I first developed the training method, I’ve trained over 1,000 cattle, some flocks of sheep and goats, and even some of Ted Turner’s bison. The method is simple, takes just 8 hours spread over 10 days, and anyone can do it. Weed-eating […]

September 14, 2020

Why Do We Believe Cows Prefer Grass?

If you’ve read On Pasture for very long, you know that before I created On Pasture, I was best known for creating a method for teaching cows (or any other ruminant) to eat weeds. Starting in 2004, I developed steps that anyone could use, testing them and then refining, until the process only took 8 […]

August 3, 2020

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 […]

July 27, 2020

How I Raise Great Beef on Pasture

Raising great beef is both easy and hard. Each day it’s pretty easy to go about doing the animal chores, moving cattle to new grass, setting them up with water, and making sure they have supplemental minerals available. Each morning I move the cow herd to fresh pasture so they can glean the highest quality […]

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