Poisonous Cockleburs

Green cockleburs caused no end of trouble for Skidmore farmers. From the May 11, 1900 edition of the Skidmore Standard, page 1:

Poisoned Hogs.

About a year ago The Standard contained an article telling of a man losing a number of hogs from the animals eating green cockle burs.

Mr. Tilghman Medsker, three miles west of town, recently had an experience of like kind which cost him twenty nice shoats.

The hogs were turned into a wheat and oat field but they seemed to prefer the young cockle bur weeds which were just pushing through the ground, to the tender oat and wheat blades.

Mr. Medsker says he is satisfied that the cockle bur weed is a rank poison to the hog. Some of his animals became affected and died within a half hour after eating of the weeds.

Just the year before, the Standard had reported:

Poisoned Hogs.

From Mr. R. G. Medsker we learn that Mr. Abe Goodpasture living southwest of town lost about 25 head of hogs last week. He turned the hogs on pasture and the next day they were dead. There were lots of green cockleburrs in the pasture and it is supposed the hogs were poisoned from eating them. The stomachs of quite a number of the hogs were examined and green cockleburrs were found in them. Some of the hogs that he put in the pasture got out and none of those that got out died, which seems to indicate that the young burrs are poisonous. (Skidmore Standard, May 12, 1899, page 1)