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Poisonous Pastures By: John E. Woodmansee Extension Educator Agriculture/Natural Resources Purdue Extension – Grant County Reviewed by Glenn Nice, Extension.

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Presentation on theme: "Poisonous Pastures By: John E. Woodmansee Extension Educator Agriculture/Natural Resources Purdue Extension – Grant County Reviewed by Glenn Nice, Extension."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poisonous Pastures By: John E. Woodmansee Extension Educator Agriculture/Natural Resources Purdue Extension – Grant County Reviewed by Glenn Nice, Extension weed scientist Purdue University


3 Introduction Your veterinarian will be the person to check with for symptoms/treatments/cures Some sources of information you find on this subject may contradict each other We’ll discuss most common plants as referenced in Purdue Extension publication WS-9, “Indiana Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets” – supported by many references/research

4 Source: Purdue Extension publication WS-9, Indiana Plants Poisonous to Livestock and Pets Available on-line at:

5 Introduction In Indiana, poisonous plants far outnumber poisonings Animals generally prefer other plants to poisonous plants – may only eat poisonous plants when nothing else is available Poisonings most common in early spring, second most common in winter

6 You suspect a poisoning Eliminate all other possibilities Positively identify suspected plant Match symptoms to those reported for plant

7 Prevention is the key! No antidotes for many of the poisons in plants Know the poisonous plants in your pasture and control or keep animals away with fencing Supply good forage or feed Avoid overgrazing

8 If an animal appears poisoned… Avoid disturbing animal as much as possible Contact your veterinarian If practical or advised: move animal(s) to fresh pasture or give fresh feed/water

9 Animals react differently Individual animals within a species may react differently Different types of animals react differently (e.g. cattle may be killed, but swine fine)

10 Possible Symptoms Birth defects Bleeding Blood clots in stools Blue coloration Breathing difficulties Death (sudden) Diarrhea Drooling Dullness, depression Excitedness, unusual behavior Gangrene Heart or pulse problems Jaundice Nausea Prostration Rash, sunburn Staggering, incoordination Stomach upset, colic Throat irritations Trembles, convulsions

11 WS-9: Plants that cause physical injury (skin, eye, mouth, stomach, or hair-ball problems – mechanical injury to animals) Foxtail barley Common burdock

12 WS-9: House/Garden plants that poison Aroids (Jack-in-the-pulpit, philodenron, etc.) Bulb-bearing plants (lily-of-the-valley, amaryllis, hyacinth, iris, daffodil, etc.) English ivy Lupine, wild and cultivated (bluebonnet, Quaker- bonnets) Catnip Christmas plant (poinsettia) Rhubarb Azalea, rhododendron Castorbean Common tansey

13 WS-9: Forage and crop plants that poison Cultivated oats (nitrate poisoning) Ergot (a fungus parasite on heads of grasses) Tall fescue (varieties infected by Acremonium endophytic fungus – a “mold”) Sweetclover, yellow and white Tobacco Alsike clover

14 WS-9: Woodland plants that poison Jack-in-the-pulpit (Indian turnip) Larkspur, dwarf and cultivated Dutchman’s breeches, squirrelcorn (staggerweed, bleeding heart) White snakeroot (white sanicle, richweed) Brackenfern (brake fern) Groundsel (butterweed, ragwort) Green falsehellebore (white hellebore, Indian poke)

15 WS-9: Marsh and streambank plants that poison Milkweeds Spotted waterhemlock (waterhemlock, spotted cowbane) Poison-hemlock Field horsetail, scouringrush Buttercups Nettle, stinging and wood Common cocklebur

16 WS-9: Plants of fields, roadsides, and open areas that poison Redroot pigweed Mustard family (wild mustard, pennycress, peppergrass, etc.) Hemp (marijuana) Jimsonweed (thornapple) Spurges (prostrate spurge, cypress spurge, etc.) Common St. Johnswort (klamath weed) Star-of-Bethlehem (snowdrop, nap-at-noon) Common Pokeweed (pokeberry, pokeroot, inkberry, poke) Bouncingbet (soapwort) Nightshades (eastern black nightshade, Carolina horsenettle, bull nettle, bitter nightshade, climbing bittersweet) Johnsongrass

17 WS-9: Trees and shrubs that poison Ohio buckeye Black walnut Wild black cherry Red oak Black locust Yew, English and Japanese

18 WS-9: Most common toxic plants in Indiana Alsike clover Bitter nightshade Black nightshade Common cocklebur Dutchman’s breeches Dwarf larkspur Groundsel Johnsongrass Poison-hemlock Redroot pigweed Field horsenettle, Scouringrush Spotted waterhemlock Sweetclover White snakeroot Wild black cherry Yew Source: WS-9. All line drawings and pictures to follow are from WS-9 unless noted.

19 Alsike Clover Animals affected: dogs, sheep, cattle, poultry, caged birds

20 Bitter nightshade (also called bittersweet nightshade, climbing nightshade) Line drawing: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database Bottom photo credit: George F. Russell @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database Animals affected: Calves, goats, sheep, swine, poultry, rarely horses and cows

21 Black nightshade Animals affected: calves, goats, sheep, swine, poultry, rarely horses and cows Photo credit: Purdue Extension CD-ROM, CD-AY-3, “Broadleaf Weed Seedling Identification.”

22 Common cocklebur Animals affected: cattle, swine, sheep, poultry

23 Dutchman’s Breeches Animals affected: cattle, horses

24 Dwarf larkspur Animals affected: cattle, horses, sheep

25 Groundsel (Senecio spp.) (also called Cress-leaved groundsel, Butterweed, Ragwort) Animals affected: cattle, horses

26 Johnsongrass Animals affected: all types, especially ruminants

27 Poison-hemlock Animals affected: cattle, dogs, goats, swine, horses, sheep, poultry

28 Redroot pigweed Animals affected: cattle, goats, sheep, swine

29 Field Horsetail, Scouringrush Animals affected: horses, rarely cattle and sheep

30 Spotted waterhemlock Animals affected: all livestock, especially cattle

31 Sweetclover Animals affected: cattle, horses, sheep, rabbits

32 White snakeroot Animals affected: cattle, horses, goats, sheep, swine (if they eat roots)

33 Wild black cherry Animals affected: cattle, horses, dogs, goats, swine, cats, caged birds

34 Yew (also called English or Japanese Yew, Taxus spp.) Animals affected: all livestock (especially horses), dogs, caged birds

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