Weed ...Cats,ear, false dandelion, flatweed ...what do you know about it?

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10 years 3 months ago #36706 by terralee
Hi all ...anyone know anything about it ....is it safe to feed hay with this weed in it ??? Have just been told about the stuff and we have a little in some paddocks ....I do not know much and google is pretty basic ....so wondering if there is a bit of hands on info from anybody on here.
One of our paddocks (long like hay paddock) does have quite a lot in it(no we can't make hay as our property unsuitable) and it is prolific all down the drive... it has got me thinking as there is a ton of the stuff around in what I assume are paddocks locked up for hay ...

Not sure what I am asking:confused:[:I] just wanting any info on this stuff and safety of animals (particularly horses) eating it ...as grass and hay.

Thanks in advance oh knowledgeable people[^]

Cheers

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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10 years 3 months ago #478000 by kai
perfectly edible. anything from the dandelion family is good for you (and animals) it is full of vitamins and minerals. The true dandelion is the best and tastiest, but the other members of the family are also good.

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10 years 3 months ago #478004 by muri
Actually, these weeds, apart from dandelion , tend not to be eaten by stock at all. I think they tend to indicate poor fertility and high nitrates and are implicated in stringhalt in horses [which is most uncommon
they are of little or no value and i see them growing around here particularly where hay has been taken off paddocks year after year without remineralising or fertilising.
Have you had soil tests on that property?

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10 years 3 months ago #478013 by kai
"these" -rather that should be "that" weed as the poster has given several names for the same weed. no need to pay for soil tests based on the fact you have false dandelion growing. It is harmless and nutritious to most grazers. It is more drought tolerant than the true dandelion, which might be why you have it.

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10 years 3 months ago #478023 by Stikkibeek
Sheep will clean up dandelion. they eat the flower heads, thereby preventing it from seeding and spreading. Also good fodder for bees.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 3 months ago #478030 by tonic
We have plenty of it, the flowers are obvious before grazing and gone afterwards so I guess the animals eat it happily enough. I know people use it like dandelion in salads, to make lemonade etc. Supposed to be less bitter than dandelion, but I haven't tried them.

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10 years 3 months ago #478201 by Cigar
Are you sure it's catsear, we find hawksbeard to be far more common in our area (Newstead), though they are all members of the same family. The cows seem quite happy to eat it - fresh, dried or ensiled.

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10 years 3 months ago #478209 by terralee
It is not a problem here ...tho" we definitely do have a little bit but no big worry ....it is where my daughter grazes her horses (Kazz being one of them[;)]) ...they'd set aside a paddock for hay ...growing beautifully ...lovely clover content etc and then this started to grow ...a friend went EEKKKKKK to Jo that is catsear ...which it is and after lots of google and asking around ..Jo and friend were trying to eradicate it by pulling ...it was growing faster than they could pull[:0] ...they have decided to flag that as a hay paddock now and the sheep are now feasting :rolleyes:
...I asked my Vet about it (she has horses) ...and she put it in perspective ...yes it can be a problem if it is too concentrated with little else to eat (stringhalt in horses a possible result) ...not toxic as such unless too concentrated but Jo and friend don't want to take any chances ...we do have a small amount here in a couple of paddocks but not near Mo and not bad enough to be a problem ...it is also self limiting ...taken hold in place because of last years drought ...but it has taught me yet another bit of useless info to hold in my brain[}:)]

Oh I should add ...our sheep eat it no probs ...and Mo (horse) really likes it when she finds it ...chomps out the whole bloody plant!!! ...since finding out about it tho" ..I now no longer let her eat it ...just in case :)
Cheers

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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10 years 3 months ago #478215 by little red digger
www.ukwildflowers.com/Web_pages/hypochae..._common_cats_ear.htm
From a UK web site but conditions are similar here and fits with my knowledge of the plant taught to me at agricultural collage many years ago.

Dave and Ruth, Oxford Contracting

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10 years 3 months ago #478218 by Stikkibeek
You also have to know whether or not it can still cause stringhalt if it has been dried as in hay. Dave's link tends to suggest it is when eaten green and in large quantities, that the problem can occur.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 3 months ago #478219 by terralee

Stikkibeek;481621 wrote: You also have to know whether or not it can still cause stringhalt if it has been dried as in hay. Dave's link tends to suggest it is when eaten green and in large quantities, that the problem can occur.

Pretty much what my horsey Vet said ...but apparently was very prolific in their hay paddock so they were better safe than sorry [^]

Cheers

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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10 years 3 months ago #478227 by muri
When I lived in Australia and my pony got stringhalt, i can assure it is something you wouldnt want for any animal and some dont survive it.
However, it is the fresh not the dried that is implicated.
When you see the dominance of a weed in a paddock it is often an indicator of a deficiency in the soil. As I said earlier, i see them a lot in hay paddocks where the hay has been taken year after year without putting something back.
Am pretty sure it would be fine in the hay but perhaps the hay is not of the best quality anyway if this is what the paddock is full of

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10 years 3 months ago #478229 by little red digger
I strongly feel that most toxins will remain in a plant when it is dried and made into hay and therefore it would not be best fed out with hay. most animals will not eat plants that are toxic when they have a field of grass to go at, a small amount of toxin is not a problem. If they eat a larger amount mixed with hay because it is more palatable therefore the toxin builds up in the body causing problems in later life. horses are longer lived than dairy cows so build up more toxins during their life with more damaging effects to liver and kidney function and so reducing life expectancy.

Dave and Ruth, Oxford Contracting

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10 years 3 months ago #478232 by kai
As it has such a low profile, I would be surprised if much of it could actually make its way into hay. Even mowing the stuff on a very low setting with a lawn moer would rarely clip the leaves.

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10 years 3 months ago #478235 by muri
leaves are only part of the whole picture, the flowers are taken up into the hay and part of it

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