Multi-Species Grazing of Leafy Spurge

Multi-species grazing is the practice of using two or more livestock species in the same grazing system. Where cattle and horses will not consume leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), sheep and goats will. Sheep or goats can be added to an existing herd without large reductions in cattle or horse stocking rates as the different animals use different forage resources in the pasture. Goats will preferentially graze leafy spurge, while sheep will graze it after becoming accustomed to its taste. Sheep overlap the diet of cattle by 20 to 40%, and goats overlap by only 5 to 20%. With proper management, in 3 to 5 years, leafy spurge can be reduced by as much as 90%. Implementing grazing is the only control that is revenue-neutral or even revenue generating.