Horses and Acorns - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 11-05-2016, 01:35 PM
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I've spent a lot of horse owning years keeping them in pasture that was either adjacent to oak trees or had oak trees in it and in all of that time have had only two horses suffer ill effects from eating acorns - and both were so ill it's made me very cautious about allowing them to eat even a few now.
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post #12 of 19 Old 11-05-2016, 03:26 PM
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Yep, many years ago my champion mare had a feast on acorns and got sick. Vet said it was the tannic acid in the acorns. MY other 2 weren't interested, but then all mares are known for being eating machines!
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post #13 of 19 Old 11-09-2016, 08:16 AM
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Neighbours had several brood mares and come September they would turn out one of the stallions with the herd of mares. In two weeks this stud lost a lot of weight. I didn't think a great deal about it as he had been herding the mares a lot. However he then appeared very sick, it was acorn poisoning. He was dead two weeks later.

Tradition in the New Forest is that pigs are turned out to eat the acorns, they don't harm pigs, so the ponies cannot glut on acorns.
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post #14 of 19 Old 11-09-2016, 05:27 PM
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I guess it really depends. Some horses might react, others may not. Redz hasn't really eaten any, not sure if he ever has...hmm!

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post #15 of 19 Old 01-15-2017, 10:35 PM
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I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you heard something about acorn poisoning which started you worrying.

The thing about acorns is: yes, they are not good for your horse. The acids in them can result in kidney damage over time (more acorns, more damage sort of thing). Now some horses have a greater reaction to them and can get acorn poisoning (in which case you don't have to wait for the kidney problems since they're already having a reaction to the toxin) :). If they ingest small amounts while the bulk of they diet remains large quantities of the long fiber their system is designed for (grass and low quality hay) then it shouldn't have an effect (bit like us getting arsenic from various vegetables) unless they are already sensitive to them.

So the simple answer is that for their long term health (avoiding kidney damage from the acids) it's best to limit the intake of acorns. If they are sensitive to them then restrict their access to acorns.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #16 of 19 Old 01-15-2017, 11:44 PM
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Well, one less thing for me to worry about I suppose. I've got to worry about mountain lions, coyotes, rattlesnakes, cacti, rocks, sun exposure/overheating, water intake, lack of enough forage... but at least I don't have to worry about acorns.
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post #17 of 19 Old 01-16-2017, 12:33 AM
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Some horses might only eat a few, but others might become addicted, so , as in all things , prevention is best
I spent one summer making sure no hemlock was growing around our dug out, having lost a calf to it, years ago,, even though chances of horses with plenty of pasture, eating hemlock being remote
Hubby brought home a yew tree, from one of his construction sites. I planted it in the back yard, but after reading how toxic it was to horses, dug it up again, just on the off chance they would ingest some needles, allowed to graze on the back lawn, briefly
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post #18 of 19 Old 01-16-2017, 01:27 AM
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Horses don't get negatively affected by acorns like bovines do (it can kill them). At least, that's my experience.
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post #19 of 19 Old 01-16-2017, 04:34 PM
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It also depends on the time of year and amount of rainfall in your area. Green, fresh fall are the most toxic. The ones that have sat and had time to ripen (turn brown) and been rained on are leached of much of the tannic acid. Makes them sweeter and this is typically when most will go after them. I wish I had a pig to turn loose on the wooded areas but my husband hates pigs. We raised one (wild - mother was killed) from a wee baby until it started tearing the pen up and then we had to find it another home or he threatened to put it in the freezer.
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