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Nutrition

What Not to Eat

Our horses are surrounded by toxic plants. The good news is they tend to avoid them, provided there is enough decent food around to eat.

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By: Shannon Pratt-Phillips, Ph.D. |

Our horses are surrounded by toxic plants. The good news is they tend to avoid them, provided there is enough decent food around to eat. If the pickings are slim, or they aren’t careful, though, horses may consume some bad plants. So, it’s best to be aware of which plants are poisonous and remove them from pastures and hay. The plants I’ll go over here are ones that tend to be more common in Canada, though there are some excellent guides online that include others. Many of the severely poisonous plants are ornamental, such as azaleas, rhododendron and Japanese Yew, and are less likely to be in horse pastures, so they won’t be discussed here. Hemlock (notably water hemlock, or poison hemlock) is one of the most common plants that causes sudden death. Plants are commonly found near water, such as ponds, streams or swampy areas. The toxins in water…

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