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Question and Answer

Is milkweed harmful to grazing livestock?

Milkweed does contain toxic cardiac glycosides, but rarely pose a significant threat to people or animals. A small taste of milkweed is typically not fatal to animals, but can be dangerous if large quantities are consumed. If sufficient forage is available in grazing lands, milkweeds are generally not sought after. According to the USDA, poisoning typically occurs in areas of poor forage where milkweed is abundant. Prepared feeds and hay should not contain high concentrations of milkweed. For more information, please refer to our MJV handout: Monarch and Milkweed Misconceptions.

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