What to do about trees...
I recently got my first horse and having a few acres, I naturally let my horse graze in the field. But I've been researching online and people say a few thing about toxic trees and plants. So is it true that cherry trees are deathbeds for horses? And are plums toxic as well? I've heard a lot, so I don't know what's garbage or whats not. Help?
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If there is plenty to eat, you do not need to worry about most of the toxic trees. If you have a Pg mare, then be very careful with Cherry trees. Other trees to watch (and not put feed around) are Black Walnut trees. The leaves and walnut hulls are toxic and can cause founder from just walking on them.
I have had horses that ate acorns and pecans for many years. I have one mare that really hunts them out and they have never hurt her.
If you are really concerned, go to your local County Agent and find out what the problem plants are in your specific area. He can give you a better ides and probably has publications from the State University with an Ag program. They have a lot of good (and locally specific) information available and most of it is free.
What type of tree's and plants do you have on your property?
I have just a bit less than every kind of fruit tree. Apples, pears, plums, you name it. I just don't know which ones are toxic :(
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Wild or Black Cherries, Prunus serotina, are very toxic to horses and cows. the dead and dying leaves hold the most toxins. So if a branch falls off the tree or in the fall is the most concern. Plums? same family of trees as cherries, Prunus, but I don't know, peach trees are also in the Prunus family. Apples, if they eat too many they will get colicy/ Same with pears. Persimon seeds will cause colic and horses love the fruit, mine will eat them all day.
Ditto "cheri". My horses have all sorts of tree leaves available to them.
We have plenty of Oak, Walnut, Birch, Cedar, Pine; I don't know what else is in the pasture and in three neighbors' woods that hang over the fence boundary.
My horses are on 22 acres with plenty of pasture and the only thing I ever see a tree get used for is a rubbing post.
That being said, when the Fall leaves get thick in the yard, I will mow/mulch everything away so they can eat grass without coming up with a mouthful of dying leaves (those are toxic). If I can't get the leaves taken up, they can't come out and play in the yard.
If you don't have a lot of pasture, it's the dying leaves that I would keep picked up.
As long as you have ample hay and some pasture, and they aren't bored or hungry, they most likely will leave the green tree leaves alone:)
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