Monday, September 21, 2009

worrisome weeds

I've been reading an interesting book, Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states, and finding names for things that I've called "that stuff" for years. Unfortunately I took the names back to the library with the book.

What surprised me was how many common plants, that I've seen growing by the side of the road and along fences, are labeled "poisonous to cattle/horses/sheep" (not many things seem to hurt hogs) besides the few I knew about, like jimson-weed. Boneset, one of my favorites, and plentiful around here, is supposed to be the cause of Abraham Lincoln's mother's death, from drinking too much milk from cows that had been eating it (and apparently without getting sick enough to be noticed themselves.) I wonder if that happens with goats? since I don't plan on drinking any cow's milk.

Probably I need some pasture advice from the county agent, and probably the advice will be too expensive and troublesome to follow, even for four to five acres. We'll see.


  1. You might want to check that book out again before you put any cows out to pasture on your land! Just to be on the safe side.

  2. Goats do lots of browsing (bushes/trees) and do not graze as much as cattle and sheep. If there are goats living in your area, you are probably fine. Livestock has a tendency to avoid plants that are harmful to them as long as they have other options available. Check out to learn LOTS about goats.