Burr clover

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Tom E

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We have it all over the place and don't spray for weeds. It seems to be the favorite of our wild cottontails too.
Thinking about picking a bunch and drying it out for hay. Is that a good idea? They also get a complete pellet..
 

MaggieJ

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Many wild plants can be dried like hay for rabbits or fed fresh. More information will be found in the Natural Feeding Forum. If you can provide a botanical name (Latin name) for burr clover it will be easier to confirm that it is safe for rabbits. The fact that cottontails eat it is a good indicator, but checking is always a good idea.

From May to the end of October, the bulk of my rabbits' feed comes from the fields in the form of weeds, grasses and twigs and leaves of certain trees. They also get hay and a bit of grain, but much prefer the greens. Always start slowly if feeding fresh greens... Dried ones can be treated like hay as they are unlikely to cause digestive upsets.
 

Tom E

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Looks like medicago polyforma.. Makes those spiky balls that get caught in (around here at least) dogs fur..<br /><br />__________ Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:19 pm __________<br /><br />Sorry, polymorpha, not polyforma...
 

hoodat

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I have quite a bit of burr clover around me also. It keeps popping up in my garden. I've hesitated to use it because I wasn't sure how much toxicity it had. Some of the legumes can be quite hard for buns to handle. I guess I could try introducing some a bit at a time and see what happens. If they have a wide choice of greens buns are pretty good at rejecting the ones they find unacceptable. I see the sites on pastures and wildlife recommend it as a food source so I guess it can't be too bad.
I think I'd be careful of it once the burrs form though.
 

eco2pia

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Jack":3eagz49y said:
Well, mine isn't. it has clover shaped flowers, very tiny and yellow, and it makes a spikey seed head, but it doesn't "cling".

I have oxalis too. the chickens like it, but the buns don't and there is oxalic acid in it, so technically not good for them any way.

We have something we call "trefoil" so that is what I figure it is, but I notice it looks A LOT like "burr clover" but they have different latin names...
 

Frosted Rabbits

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eco2pia":32wdor43 said:
We have something we call "trefoil" so that is what I figure it is, but I notice it looks A LOT like "burr clover" but they have different latin names...

Bird'sfoot trefoil is also 'the poor farmer's alfalfa' Interplanted in hay crops- most animals do not like it fresh--
 

eco2pia

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Frosted Rabbits":1bhonmic said:
eco2pia":1bhonmic said:
We have something we call "trefoil" so that is what I figure it is, but I notice it looks A LOT like "burr clover" but they have different latin names...

Bird'sfoot trefoil is also 'the poor farmer's alfalfa' Interplanted in hay crops- most animals do not like it fresh--
Ah, ours would be "lesser trefoil". it lays down close to the ground mostly... not much of a hay crop.

Chickens, however, seem to eat anything the buns don't love...
 

eco2pia

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wow, those 3 all look alike to me...and I usually feel pretty good about being able to spot differences.
 

Frosted Rabbits

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the first rule to identifying plants is to LOOK at the flower-
Regular, irregular,
number of petals
complete, incomplete,
Size of blossom

THEN one looks at leaves, size, growth habit, location found, etc. If you miss the bloom time, you may have to wait another year!!
 

hoodat

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I tried some burr clover on my rabbit. I mixed it in with fresh cut grass. She nibbled it a bit and then rejected it in favor of the grass so I'll listen to what she tells me and not try feeding it. When it comes to fresh forage I let the rabbit choose. Nature has given them a lot of wisdom when it comes to diet.
 

Tom E

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Hey guys, sorry I didn't see that there were any replies on this!
I don't know how else to describe it except that looks just like clover- flowers and all- definitely not the trefoil, flowers are all wrong. To me the most telling thing is the burrs. I'll try and find a picture of it. My rabbits definitely love it, have been eating it for weeks now. I've decided that as a legume, maybe I shouldn't offer it in place of hay (is that right?) so I bought some wonderful smelling hay at the feed store, and the rabbits still prefer the burr clover. So much that I've had to be the boss and take away the clover to make sure they are eating hay too.
Looks like it's also called burr medic. (medicago.. interesting) In this picture our burrs are the ones on the left. http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_92768.html?s=1001
I have literally an endless supply of it, but I will have to fight the cotton tails and gophers for it, lol.
 

MaggieJ

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You may find some information here:
http://informedfarmers.com/spineless-burr-medic/

I'm inclined to think that you could feed it fresh or dried as hay... just as you would clover. They will turn to the hay when the burr medic runs out, so you might want to limit the amount fed at one time. Talk to your Extension Agent... They may be able to advise you.
 
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