The sheep and donkeys come close to eating the violets growing in the pasture, but they must not taste good to them, because they don’t seem to eat them. We have plenty growing on the farm.
It’s always a wonder to me how the sheep and donkeys look as if they’re gobbling up anything green that is in their path. But they are really very discriminating about what they eat. They mostly use their sense of taste to find the sweetest grass. If they eat something disagreeable they won’t swallow it.
They also use their sense of smell and sight to choose what to eat. Sheep don’t see color but can distinguish plants by size and shape and the shades of gray they do see.
Ewes teach their lambs what they should and shouldn’t eat. But they also learn by experience.
I saw Asher sniff at a Blue flag Iris leaf as he walked past it. The animals seem to know that they are poisonous and soon those pretty purple flowers will be blooming along the edges of the marsh.