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Copyright 2010, Kathy Voth, Livestock for Landscapes, All rights reserved
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Cow Pointer

Educated Cows Eat Weeds!

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site Project

2004 and 2005, Funded by a CCI grant from the National Park Service

Developing the Training Process

This was my first attempt to train cattle to eat weeds. The number of days for the training process has decreased dramatically since this first effort, but the foundation remains the same.

We trained a herd of 19 mixed breed cattle to eat Canada thistle, leafy spurge and spotted knapweed in dry lot. They grazed Canada thistle and spotted knapweed in pasture in 2004, but riparian area use restrictions prevented us from testing them on leafy spurge in pasture.

All cows but one had a calf in 2005. I returned in to see if the cows would train their calves to eat the weed and to test them on leafy spurge in pasture. Calves did learn from their mothers and they ate leafy spurge in pasture.


Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site is adminstered by the National Park Service. It is a working, 1600 acre ranch, displaying our ranching heritage.

This was a cooperative project with the National Park Service, Utah State University, the town of Deer Lodge, the Perkins Ranch and the R Bar N Ranch.

eating knapweed in pasture

eating canada thistle


Grazing spotted knapweed (a herd favorite) and Canada thistle in pasture.
Before and After pic
Before and after photo of leafy spurge patch in trial pasture.
Ah Ha! Moments