Freshly cut grass - is it dangerous? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Freshly cut grass - is it dangerous?

Today when I was mowing the lawn I was thinking my horse would go absolutely nuts if he saw the heap. Fresh, juicy, yummy looking to the point I was jealous I couldn't have it myself lol We normally throw it onto the leaf mold but today for the first time I asked myself - could he have it? Would it be safe if I give it to him? Now I'm not talking about tons of grass, we have a small garden and mow it approximately once in 14 days so he would get it as a little treat once in a while, maybe a kilo, a bag or two. The lawn isn't fertilised or taken care of in any other artificial way, it's just shining green natural grass. I did some research but all I found were mixed opinions, some say they have been giving it to their horses for years and some say they'd never do it because someone told them it's unsafe. Is it? What can happen? This grass wouldn't be stored, it would be collected right after mowing and fed straight away, just like you'd give your horse 5 apples or half a kilo of carrots. It's not going to substitute anything, it'll be a treat. It's just an idea I got and I know absolutely nothing about whether there are any health risks with freshly cut grass. All I can think of is perhaps choking or the grass fermenting but that would happen hours after mowing. It just hurts throwing it away knowing he could have a nice snack out of it Oh and he's used to eating grass, although we don't have pastures I take him on a meadow behind the barn for two or three hours twice a week or so where he can eat as much as he wants.

This is what I'm talking about:



And my horse would not get more than what you see on the picture, probably a half.

May be a weird question but I'm very interested in the answers!
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post #2 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 10:04 AM
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I'm not an expert, but if you already take him a few times a week to eat grass to his hearts content, I don't see why this would be any different except that it's already picked for him!
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post #3 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 10:13 AM
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I would be concerned that my horse would choke on the small clippngs.
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post #4 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 10:17 AM
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When I was a teenager, my dad fed my 2 year old horse a wheelbarrow full of fresh cut grass. She gobbled it all up and foundered. I am sure he fed her way too much. Be sure you only feed a small amount. I had that horse until she was 18 and she had recurrant lameness problems after the grass event. If I feed fresh cut grass, it will be what I can carry in my hands. No more. I had a bad experience with it.

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post #5 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 11:04 AM
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What I read was that the clippings are already fermenting so not a good idea.
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post #6 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomic View Post
I'm not an expert, but if you already take him a few times a week to eat grass to his hearts content...
He can only eat as much as he wants in those two hours he's out Anyway I don't think that matters a lot...

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomic View Post
I don't see why this would be any different except that it's already picked for him!
The thing is the cut grass is very juicy, I don't know if it contains anything toxic right after it's cut etc, it's also cut into very fine clippings that a horse may choke on. I just googled a bit more and some people say their horse choked on them. Since I won't be giving him very much it wouldn't be a problem for me to sprinkle a bit into his trough, wait for him to eat it and add more so that he gets it in small amounts. Do you think that would work? Does anybody else know if there is anything toxic in the grass; could it cause him to colic?

Last edited by mumiinek; 08-16-2011 at 11:08 AM.
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post #7 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 11:10 AM
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I am not an expert. All I can tell you is we've always given our horses grass clippings and still have all of them. I wouldn't feed them a trough full, naturally, but a pile here and there is probably not going to hurt much.
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post #8 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
What I read was that the clippings are already fermenting so not a good idea.
If left in the bag in the heat so the moisture is just right - yes it will start to ferment.

HOWEVER, if dumped for the horse right away and spread - it will be fine.

As far as choking - a horse can choke on a single blade of grass if swallowed the wrong way. MOST choke is a horse eating too quickly due to being hungry.
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post #9 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all, I'll give him a bit next time we mow a lawn, I'm sure he'll be super crazy about it
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post #10 of 65 Old 08-16-2011, 11:33 AM
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I've heard you shouldn't give grass clippings because it can contain toxic items horses would ordinarily bypass but don't if it's all clipped and mixed together. Also, they could consume too much at one time and founder if it contained too much sugar. After dealing with founder, it's something I would avoid at all cost. Once it's done it's done, and you have to live with it. If there's a chance of founder, I would not do it. Prevention is always the best medicine.
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