poisonous plants from HF member locations - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-01-2018, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Olds Alberta Canada
Posts: 12,041
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poisonous plants from HF member locations

MOD NOTE (Jaydee)
Please could we keep this thread purely to list plants that are toxic to horses rather than as a discussion thread.
If members want to ask questions about specific plants that can be done in this sub forum in a 'stand alone thread'
Try to keep one plant per post. Include photos, videos, as much info as possible including links to info articles, latin names as well as 'common' names and where plants look similar to non toxic plants add photos that show the differences
Thank you.
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I thought it would be a good idea for members here to inform each other of the various posionous plants in their areas, that are of a concern for horses.

I know that list can be extensive, esp in places where plant species are more diverse, but we all have a few in particular, that pose a greater risk.

I will start with a few.
The Death Camas is a concern, because of where we ride, esp since it can be confused with Wild onions. Stopping to let horses graze in some nice mountain meadows, I am paranoid of any leaves that look like onion leaves, which makes finding a 'safe'place to stop, difficult at times
So, for those that share this concern, here is a video i posted in the other thread, on telling wild onions from Death Camas

I check the areas around our dug out for water hemlock

Wild lupine are also toxic to horses, and often abundant in mountain meadows
JoBlueQuarter and k9kenai like this.

Last edited by jaydee; 01-02-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-01-2018, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: New Mexico
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The most common around New Mexico is Braken Fern, several nightshade species (Jimson Weed, Datura, etc.), Locoweed, Milkweed, Oak, Hemlock, Sagebrush, and Ponderosa Pine. I have seen all of those out on the trails I ride, and I'm sure more that I don't recognize right off the bat. We are currently battling a nightshade infestation in my mom's backyard and need to do a walkthrough of the six acres of property before we move in any horses to make sure there are no toxic plants where they can get to them.

One of our local universities (NMSU) has a great article about plants that are toxic to livestock and range animals and includes signs, symptoms, management, etc. Obviously it is geared towards New Mexico and surrounding states but I'm sure some of these plants are found in other areas and the basic info may prove helpful.

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-02-2018, 09:04 AM
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For those that live in the the southeastern region of the United States this is a handy guide to have access to. It isn't limited to horses but covers other livestock as well. These are the most common. It isn't fully comprehensive but it is a good start. Realize even if these are found in your area if you manage your pastures to prevent over grazing and feed hay from a reputable source then your animals won't intentionally eat these plants and will in most cases avoid them. If you have an area though that is covered then you'll want to eradicate. Many of the plants are found throughout north America so even if you aren't from this area it may be useful.

Two notes about Redroot Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) - weed killers make this plant more palatable and increase chances of poisoning. Applying nitrogen fertilizers in fields they inhabit can lead to nitrate poisoning when livestock graze them.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-02-2018, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 7,177
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The red maple is one we have to worry about a lot.

According to University of Minnesota, among other sources:
When toxic: Ingestion of dried or wilted, but not fresh, maple leaves is associated with the toxicosis. Although dried leaves may remain toxic for 4 weeks, they are not generally believed to retain toxicity the following spring. Toxicosis normally occurs in the autumn when normal leaf fall occurs. Although studies indicate that leaves collected after September 15 are more toxic, the authors are aware of cases of toxicosis in horses due to wilted leaves after summer storms.

Toxicity: Red cell damage has been reproduced in horses ingesting 1.5 to 3 pounds of dried leaves per 1,000 pounds of body weight.

More resources: https://www.extension.umn.edu/agricu...pasture/maple/ or https://equusmagazine.com/management...e-menace-29635
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