Wildflower mixes: toxicity to livestock?

Asked March 28, 2018, 11:58 AM EDT

hi there! we are doing a big septic drain field project and i'd like to take advantage of the disturbed soil by plannting some pollinator habitat.BUT i will have poultry grazing this area intermitently and want to be sure that none of the species in this mix are toxic. We may also be adding sheep, goats and a llama to this area in the future. I hope you can help! This is the mix i'm considering at this time: https://northwestmeadowscapes.com/collections/specialty-native-seed-mixes-for-pollinators-and-more/products/native-pollinator-seed-mix but feel free to also advise of any 'red flag' plants i should watch out for when choosing mixes. i know that lupine is no good, but that's about it. Also not sure HOW toxic lupine is....

Polk County Oregon plant toxicity planting over septic drain field

2 Responses

Nothing jumps out at me as toxic except the lupine and it is considered very low. https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_luri.pdf

Livestock of any size can damage a drainfield if allowed to graze and be on the area during the rainy season, and keep in mind that this mix won't last long with grazing. You will have to add in some grasses that can tolerate grazing - most of what is listed on this mix won't so well with lots of grazing.

Make sure you do buy a mix from a local source to avoid plants that are not native to the area.

Thanks, Chrissy! Yes, we know to avoid grazing by any critters larger than a duck over the drainfield, esp in winter. I'm planning on doing wildflowers mostly in the 'hardly ever grazed' area of the construction and focusing on pasture fodder for the grazed areas... just wanted to be sure nothing in the mix would kill the creatures. and yes: def plan to choose local seeds. Thank you!