Saturday, April 25, 2009

Invasive Horse Nettle

I believe it was Kristi who had asked for photos of invasive Horse Nettle. This is a really great photo of it. If you get a patch of this stuff in your pasture, get rid of it before it spreads. It is a b**** to get rid of once it gets a toehold.

"HORSE NETTLE (Solanum carolinense)

Adverse EffectsHorse nettle contains solanine, a toxic alkaloid. All parts of horse nettle are poisonous, and ingestion of the fruit can cause death. Symptoms of poisoning include fever, headache, a scratchy feeling in the throat followed by nause, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ingestion of the unripe fruit causes abdominal pain and can cause circulatory and respiratory depression (Lewis 1998)."
Thankfully, the sheep are smart enough not to touch it, but I don't like it being out there and I'm laying in wait for it to start coming up this year. When it does, it will meet certain death because I'm going to spray the heck out of it.
On the deworming front, I have been following Becky U.'s suggestion of deworming the brood ewes in the jug. This gives me the opportunity of not only cleaning up shed parasites as I always clean out the jugs between lambs, but I can take a good look at the poopies while I'm at it. I am happy to see no tapes in the poops, and we haven't dewormed our brood ewes since last fall! Yippee!
Unless a ewe needs it, I won't deworm my mature ewes until next fall, before breeding season. This will put them to the test so I can select for parasite resistance and see how they hold up.
So far, everyone is in really great condition and has nice pink eyelids and no scours.
Still waiting for Netty and BabyBee to lamb, then we'll be done with lambing for the year.

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