The Rangelands West collection includes articles, websites, reports, and multimedia resources focused on issues relevant to the Western U.S. Also included are resources emanating from the 19 land-grant universitires that are members of the Rangelands Partnership and made available throught their respective state Rangelands websites.
Ingestion of Toxic Plants by Livestock
Utah State University Extension
Toxins exist everywhere in nature. We define toxins as chemicals that naturally occur in plants and can cause illness or death if eaten in sufficient quantities. Toxins occur in all grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees around the world. Even the vegetables we grow in our gardens contain low levels of toxins. Tomatoes and potatoes contain alkaloids, corn contains cyanogenic glycosides, and cabbage contains glucosinolates. Eating plants means dealing with toxins. Fortunately our liver and kidneys are able to detoxify and excrete most levels of toxins commonly found in the vegetables we grow and eat. In addition, few toxins are eaten in amounts large enough to cause illness or death because animals and humans can regulate their intake of toxins. Eating plants is a matter of regulating toxins rather than avoiding them.