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.