What food is poisonous to horses?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by fergiaj, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. fergiaj

    fergiaj Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2005
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    I was just wondering... Is there anything you absolutely cannot feed to horses? I mean, of course, in moderation. Too much of anything can be a bad thing, but in small doses is there any fruit that horses that is poisonous to them? Thanks (from a nervous new horse mom)!
    texasreb likes this.
  2. WashingtonBay

    WashingtonBay Senior Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
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    There's lots of plants that are poisonous to horses and you want to become familiar with them and walk your pasture frequently and look for them. Some are higher risk than others, and others might be particular to your area.

    Here's one list I found that has pictures.

    Poisonous Plants
  3. DiamondRio

    DiamondRio Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2003
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    I think that red maple leaves can be poisonous to horses but i could be wrong. I'm pretty sure i heard a story about a horse who ate a whole bunch in the pasture and got really sick.

    Peanut butter isnt poisonous but shouldnt really be fed to horses because it has been known to cause colic as well.
  4. CJ

    CJ Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2004
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    No tomatoes, they are in the nightshade family. Fruits with big pitts must be depitted, things like peaches, apricots, mangos, and cherries. The flesh is ok (not sure @ cherries) but the Pitts are dangerous, traces of cyanide when they break down. Watermelon is ok, despite the lots of lil seeds, in fact I have a rind headed for my barn as horse treat today!
  5. WashingtonBay

    WashingtonBay Senior Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
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    Apple seeds also have cyanide, and a cup of them (the seeds) would be enough to kill a horse. So apples in moderation are OK, but I'd avoid letting them overdo it. And if you're slicing them up... removing the seeds is easy and makes sense.
  6. MyhorseAnnie

    MyhorseAnnie Senior Member

    Dec 9, 2007
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    ~ Avocado
    ~ Onions
    ~ Potatoes
    ~ Persimmons
    ~ Rhubarb
    ~ Tomatoes
    ~ Any other members of the nightshade family which includes peppers

    Hope that helps some. :) I got it off from a differant thread, I don't remember what one though.
  7. Gypsy Rose

    Gypsy Rose Senior Member+

    May 20, 2008
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    Pantha 11 put this up in a thread awhile back, and I saved it:

    Here is some info for you that may help.

    Oddities often consumed by horses on pasture.

    No problem, assuming fairly limited quantities and otherwise balanced ration:

    • Dandelion
    • Thistle (NOT Russian Knapweed or yellow star thistle–Centaurea spp)
    • Sunflower seeds and plant
    • Peanut plants
    • Raspberry/blackberry bushes
    • Wood/bark of most trees (NOT Prunus spp or black walnut or locust)

    Potential problem if eaten in large quantities:

    • Buttercup
    • Morning glory
    • Pokeweed
    • St. Johnswort
    • Gum-weed
    • Astragulus and Oxytropis spp/(vetches and locoweed)
    • Avocado leaves
    • Bracken fern
    • Most bulb type flowers (tulip, iris, etc.)
    • Wilted red maple leaves
    • Acorns/new oak leaves

    Avoid at all costs (Lethal or severe toxicity potential)

    • Lily of the Valley
    • Larkspur
    • Tomato or potato plants
    • Rhubarb leaves and roots
    • Poison hemlock
    • Foxglove
    • Leafy spurge
    • Mustards
    • Jimsonweed
    • Alsike clover
    • Blue flax
    • Sorghum (Johnsongrass and Sudan grass)
    • Oleander
    • Privet
    • Japanese Yew (all Taxus spp)
    • Azalea
    • Rhododendron
    • Mountain Laurel
    • Pits of peaches, cherries, or avocados
    • Horsechestnut
    • Russian Knapweed or yellow star thistle–Centaurea spp

    Potential Treats
    Perfectly acceptable treats (fed in limited quantities (<1-2 lbs/feeding)

    • Carrots, apples, grapes
    • Bananas
    • Peas
    • Green beans
    • Lettuce
    • Celery
    • Dried beans, such as pinto, red, fava (however should be cooked or heat treated)
    • Watermelon rinds
    • Squash
    • Mangoes (not the seeds)
    • Raisins
    • Bread/bagels/cake (NOT if they contain chocolate or poppy seeds)
    • Pasta, macaroni
    • Potato chips and potato products…(do not give raw potatoes to pregnant mare it is toxic……gives them blood poisoning).
    • Rice products (not raw rice)
    • Barley products
    • Corn products
    • Dairy products
    • Eggs
    • Fruit juices
    • Hot dogs, hamburgers, tuna fish, ham or even roast beef sandwiches!
    • Most dog and cat foods
    • Zucchini
    • Watermelon
    • Parsnips
    • Pumpkin

    Beware large quantities, but probably acceptable in very small amounts (<2 to 4 ounces/day)

    • Cabbage, broccoli, kale, chard, collard greens, brussel sprouts
    • Spinach
    • Rhubarb stems (NOT the leaves or roots)
    • Garlic and onions (large amounts may cause anaemia) When lower doses are consumed on a regular basis, or Large amounts are consumed this may cause anaemia...(the same goes for onions.... to much can cause anaemia).
    • Turnips
    • Radishes
    • Avocado (NOT skins or seeds)
    • Lathyrus spp. beans (India)
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Sugar candies such as jelly beans, gummy bears, peppermints, etc.

    Safe in very limited quantities BUT WILL CAUSE POSITIVE DRUG TESTS

    • Morning glory plants
    • Sassafras
    • Willow leaves and bark
    • Yucca
    • Tobacco (consumed, not inhaled)
    • Valerian root
    • Carrots in very large quantities only (over 5 lbs day)!
    • Persimmons (seeds also may cause impaction)
    • Chocolate in any form
    • Liquorice?
    • Cinnamon products
    • Nutmeg
    • Hot pepper/chilli flavoured products (Nacho chips, etc)
    • Non-decaffeinated coffee or tea in any form
    • Caffeinated sodas
    • Alcoholic beverages?
    • Some dog/cat foods (Beware “bakery waste” as an ingredient-may contain chocolate)

    There are obviously a wide range of things that our horses may enjoy consuming, not all of which are good for their health. Many horses would refuse to even sniff many of the items listed above. Knowing which potential treats are safe, at least in limited quantities, is important for horse owners. You never know what might be offered to your horse!
  8. WashingtonBay

    WashingtonBay Senior Member+

    Jul 19, 2008
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    You know what I don't want to fail to mention? Mold. Moldy anything.

    Even if we've checked the pasture and controlled these weeds, even if we've bought the best hay with none of these weeds in it.... if it's allowed to get wet and mold, it can still cause colic and worse. My rule on moldy hay is NONE. I don't feed round bales or hay that's been out in the weather for that reason, and I inspect it for mold before I feed it.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
    Gypsy Rose likes this.
  9. BettaBlossoms

    BettaBlossoms Senior Member

    May 29, 2007
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    yea on the mold, Velvet coliced on musty hay last year, we threw out which equated to half the harvest, and while we are on a bit of a hay shortage now, at least they have some pasture, but we can't afford to loose any of this upcomming harvest..
  10. fergiaj

    fergiaj Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2005
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    Thanks! This is great! Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks everyone!!!

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