Friday, April 23, 2010
Update on Weed Consumption
I mentioned in an earlier post that the cows weren't eating any of the weeds like the stockers had last year. Well, things have changed. I noticed the 192 head of heifer pairs I purchased from central Arkansas were eating leaves off of big tree limbs while we had them penned up before we turned them out. Since turning them out with the original 410 cows, I have seen a substantial increase in weed consumption. In fact, the cows are stripping the leaves off of all the tree sprouts (except the hedge), eating big chunks out of the musk thistle rosettes, eating leaves off of the blackberry, and occasionally taking a nibble of buck brush (although not nearly enough to make a dent...we have tons of the stuff). I have many more pictures of whats left of the weeds after the mob passes thru a paddock...but I've posted so many similar pics that it seems pointless to continue to post pictures of bare sticks and partially eaten weeds. I'm dubious that we will kill these weeds but at least we're getting some good out of them.
I have a theory...I think the Arkansas cattle have grown up in the brush and are used to eating brush whereas my original cows all came from South Dakota and most likely, never got the opportunity to eat brush while growing up. I'm likely done purchasing cattle out of the north.