Hello all! My husband and I have been dying to get some goats and chickens but I keep worrying about all the Mimosa seed pods laying around. These trees grow like wild fire here in Alabama. I love them but I have read mixed reviews about their seed pods. Some say they will poison your goats as they have a toxin in their beans. Other people claim the seed pods can be used as fodder for your animals. Has anyone actually fed the seed pods to their animals? I have also read that burning the wood is toxic as well while others claim it is a wonderful fuel source. To clarify, I am referring to the Persian Silk tree that has the lovely silky pink puff like flowers. Thanks so so much!
we have a lot of these trees where I live, various varieties, and some are definitely used to feed goats in dryer areas. I looked for this specific variety you`re talking about and there are plenty of studies of it being used with goats (https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/tree/albjul/all.html scroll down to management considerations) but there are also plenty of reports of seed pod toxicity in grazing animals when large amounts of pods are consumed (even though squirrels and birds seem to eat the seeds just fine). I would imagine this is sort of a moot point since you need to cut the trees to give to the animals as forage, and so you just cut it before the season when the pods are formed. I would imagine the studies have more info on that, and I would call your cooperative extension if they are helpful and ask for sure.
It could fall under the old phrase "too much of a good thing can be bad." I wouldn't feed them (or anything else) as a sole source of forage material, but the wind is always blowing hundreds of pods into my chicken & pig pens each winter, and they seem to eat them when the opportunity arises with no ill effects.
It's similar with Nandina berries. Supposedly they're toxic and, while they do stay on the bush longer than things like beautyberry, they ultimately get eaten by birds/rodents once other food sources get scarce. I assume this is how they've gotten a reputation for being "invasive" in the south.
I'd just provide access to them as a component of the feed, and trust the animals to know if it's safe, and in what quantity; as they'll avoid toxic stuff(usually) if they have other options. My pigs will refuse to eat poke salad plants/berries if they have other things to eat, or will just nibble on it and leave the rest as to not overdo it.
Kc Simmons wrote:I'd just provide access to them as a component of the feed, and trust the animals to know if it's safe, and in what quantity; as they'll avoid toxic stuff(usually) if they have other options.
I don't know every plant on my land. (We've only owned it for 14months, and only lived here, for the last 10, with traveling, some truly crazy weather, and a my physical 'schtuff' keeping me for getting out there as much as I wanted.) So, I don't know what-all my free-ranging critters are getting into - but, my instinct tells me their instinct will tell them, 'nope - yuck!'. Since I don't know, I just refrain from throwing things into their food supply or bedding, that I've foraged. I don't restrict them, though, when they're free-ranging.
The only thing...more expensive than education is ignorance.~Ben Franklin
posted 2 months ago
Thank you so much for the responses! I wasn’t planning on feeding them much from the trees. I was mostly worried about the seed pods falling into their area and them chancing to eat the pods. But if they are only toxic in high amounts, I can quit worrying!
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