Jerry Plett of Lincolnville has discovered that his cows love the weeds growing in his empty cattle lots. He opens the gates, and in they go. He said they spend a lot of time in those lots even though they have access to grass.
Kathy Voth, owner of Landscapes for Livestock, said toxins usually aren’t a problem because animals use their internal feedback mechanism to decide how much of a food to eat. If cattle taste a bad weed, they won’t eat more of it.
According to the U.S. Extension Service, weeds are more nutritious than grass in mid-summer. They are equivalent to or better than alfalfa. The more nutritious a plant is, the more likely it is that animals will continue eating it once they have tried it. However, it is important to provide the animals with a mixture of plants.