Debunking Oak Trees & Horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-06-2015, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Debunking Oak Trees & Horses

Hi all:

We recently moved and have approximately 3 acres for our horses pasture. It consists mainly of oak trees - primarily white oak with a couple of red oak. We plan to cut down all of the smaller oak trees which will leave several larger oaks.

I've tried researching oak trees / leaves / acorns and their potential toxic nature to horses. My understanding is that they can be most deadly to cattle since they are not as particular when it comes to acorns.

With all that said, t seems the opinions vary greatly. Does anyone here have experience pasturing horses with oaks? And, what is recommended? Yes we can square off the trees so horses are not directly in contact, but ultimately, the oaks are large enough that they will drop leaves / acorns in the area.

Just looking for other individuals experiences. My plan would be to do a smaller dry-lot with minimal oak access when the trees drop the acorns... as that is my largest concern based on what I have read.

Thanks in advance,

ETA: Red oaks will not be part of the pasture whatsoever, but will be nearby.
JosieGirl is offline  
post #2 of 9 Old 04-06-2015, 10:39 PM
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We have oak trees, cows and horses. The cows love the acorns and the horses will sometimes eat them, too. Never had a problem, but I don't know what type of oaks we have.
gigem88 is offline  
post #3 of 9 Old 04-06-2015, 11:25 PM
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If you do a google search it does say oak leaves and acorns are toxic to horses.
churumbeque is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 04-06-2015, 11:32 PM
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We have oak trees in out horses pasture when acorn start dropping,horses are put in dry lot. Acorns are toxic to horses,a friends horse died from eating acorns.
jazzy475 is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 04-07-2015, 12:05 AM
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It would depend on amount they ate, and it's only the acorns(like many other seeds) that are toxic. Leaves are fine & horses love them, never known of a problem. If I had oaks in my paddock I'd fence them off when the acorns were dropping & rake them up before horses had access again.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-07-2015, 07:22 AM
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We have oaks, live oaks and laurel oaks I think. I know the leaves are tiny compared to many other of the species...

So, my neighbors horse loves to eat the acorns that fall....
In abundance they caused her horse to cough and he also became lethargic and wasn't interested in his feed. He was pretty sick actually....Vet care was needed.....
As a kid we had white horses ate a few leaves if there was nothing else to munch on but I never saw them eat the acorns....

And here is why you should never let your horse eat acorns ....
The Way of Horses - Acorns, Oaks and Horses: Tannin Poisoning

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horselovinguy is online now  
post #7 of 9 Old 04-07-2015, 03:46 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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We lived in an oak woodland area in the UK and found that some horses just totally ignore acorns while others seem to get addicted to them and can't stop eating them to the point that they make themselves ill
If you have a horse that falls into the last category you'll need to keep them away from them until they've all fallen and been raked away
We found that the acorns only seem to get produced in large numbers every other year
jaydee is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 04-07-2015, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Tehachapi Mountains, CA
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Per The Horse:

Oak trees--more specifically, their acorns, buds, leaves, or blossoms--are toxic to all livestock, including horses. Oak poisoning is not very common in horses, but is seen more commonly in cattle and sheep, which are less discriminate eaters. The acorns, leaves, and blossoms contain tannins, which when digested are converted into toxic metabolites inside the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants and horses.
It goes on to state that horses can develop colic and bloody diarrhea from oak poisoning.
kewpalace is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 04-07-2015, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
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I have white oaks and red oaks all over the place. Some of the white oaks are 3 feet across. Horses have been on the place for 40 years and I never had a problem that I am aware of. Acorns are eaten by the deere. I have seen the horses eat a few but not a lot. I would watch them in the fall. If they get hungry they will eat anything.

We also have a few cherry trees. I try to cut a few every winter, when we don't have to worry about the horses eating the leaves.
mred is offline  

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