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5 Ways to Tackle Poisonous Plants

Summer has finally decided to make an appearance and you’re glad to see the back of the mud. As we head into the warmer weather you might be starting to see flowers popping up in the fields, but what do you do if they are poisonous?



1.       Remove them

There is a school of thought which thinks that horses are sensible enough to avoid plants which will be harmful to them. A lot of the time this is true, but is it worth the risk? If you come across a poisonous plant in your horse’s field, the best thing to do is to remove it by digging it up from the roots.


2.       Wear gloves

A lot of plants which are poisonous to horses are also poisonous to people. Make sure you wear gloves when you’re removing plants and wash your hands thoroughly before handling and food.


3.       Fence them off

Unfortunately it’s not just plants which are poisonous to horses, it’s also some trees! If you have any of these trees near your fields you won’t be able to dig them up, the best thing to do is to fence them off. Make sure you think about how far the leaves or seeds might fall and fence that area off too. If you can’t fence them off, then rotating the fields so you don’t use them when the trees are in seed, is the best option.


4.       Check their lifecycle

Knowing when certain plants are growing the most will help you know which ones to watch out for. For most plants, it’s the summer when you need to watch out for them, but acorns are around most in the autumn and Yew is poisonous the whole year round.


5.       Not sure if it’s poisonous?

Sometimes you might come across a plant you haven’t seem before or a plant which looks very similar to a poisonous plant. There are loads of great apps out there, including the RHS Grow App, which you can use to identify them and find out if you need to be concerned.

 

If you do think your horse has eaten a poisonous plant, then the best thing to do is to call your vet. Collect a sample of the plant so the vet knows the signs to look out for and monitor your horse until they arrive.

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