What is this? - It's Horse Nettle

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by Epona142, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Does anyone recognize this plant? It's all under the big pretty oak tree in our field. It has weird little berries, and tiny thorns on the bottom of the stem near the ground too.

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  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    Re: What is this?

    dont have any oaks up here...could it be nuts/seeds? or are they berries?

    :? :)
     

  3. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Re: What is this?

    They look kind of like gooseberries, but the leaves are the wrong shape...I really don't know.
     
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: What is this?

    My first thought was gooseberries too, but its just not right.

    I am concerned they may be toxic. *Off to google somemore*
     
  5. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Re: What is this?

    It's horse nettle. A member of the nightshade family, and apparently very toxic. Also extremely hard to get rid of.

    Yay. :(
     
  6. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Try spot treating the individual plants with Roundup before your goats are on the property, this will give the weed killer chance to dissipate before the goats get there. With most toxic plants, goats tend to let them be....with the exception of rhodies, they seem to like those :wink:
     
  7. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Thanks for the tip. I tried pulling some of them up with gloves cause of the thorns, and man are they tough. I will pick up some Roundup next week - the goats won't be moved here until the fence is done, which will likely be next year at this rate. :roll:
     
  8. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    thats good you caught it early and can start getting rid of it.

    liz is right - most of the time goats will leave stuff be that is toxic IF they have plenty of other stuff to eat in the pasture
     
  9. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    There's plenty of safe grass and weeds. They'll have nearly the whole three acres to roam. I may plant some nice safe bushes for them too. They'll also have free choice hay, just in case they decide the crunchy grass (we're in a terrible drought right now, the grass crunches!) isn't to their liking.

    I'm glad I caught it early, too. I saw them because I just LOVE that tree and can't wait to see my goats snoozing in its shade, and was like, "what the heck is this?" I thought it was tomato plants at first.
     
  10. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    If you go to TSC or even have one handy, they do carry weedkiller that is safe to use around mature tree's Round up is a good one, I use the concentrate and mix as needed for spraying the electric fence line.
     
  11. Yeah its horsenettle. Its very prolific in our area on poor soils (I think it indicates a calcium deficiency). Its a member of the nightshade family (Solanacea) so its related to the tomato. Toxic. I wouldnt worry about them eating it though. Ive never seen our guys go for it and frankly there is way to much around here for me to try and spot-spray it.
     
  12. kornhypknotic

    kornhypknotic New Member

    273
    May 14, 2009
    Waco, TX
    I've seen some of my young kids eat it :roll: . A doe of mine has a taste for it and when she got into some that had berries she had GI problems, weight loss, and lower milk production for a two or three weeks. Goats will certainly eat it if they are starving and there's nothing else around, but it's usually not their first choice.

    If you mow nightshade twice (once before flowering and once after flowering) it doesn't come back that year. Just an organic alternative to consider :greengrin:
     
  13. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Thanks guys. I'm going to get it taken care of, for now it's outside the fence. :thumbup: