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Farm Management
First Posted: Oct 5, 2008
Dec 10, 2014

Harmful Horse Pasture Invaders

When turning your horses out to pasture it is important to know that there are invaders (weed and flowers) hiding in the pasture. Many of these harmful invaders do not taste good to your horse, but many horses eat it anyway. Some horses are more susceptible to these harmful intruders than others. It is important to be aware that trouble might be lurking in your pasture.

Potentially Harmful Intruders in Your Horse Pasture

  • bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) Toxic Risk low
  • Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.) Toxic risk variable
  • Castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis) Toxic risk high
  • death camas (Zigadenus spp.)Toxic risk moderate to high
  • fiddleneck (Amsinckia intermedia) Toxic risk moderate
  • foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) Toxic risk high
  • hound's-tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) Toxic risk high
  • jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) Toxic risk moderate
  • johnsongrass (Sorghum halapense) Toxic risk moderate
  • larkspur (Delphinium spp.) Toxic risk low
  • locoweed (Astragalus and Oxytropis Toxic risk high
  • milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Toxic risk high
  • monkshood (Aconitum spp.) Toxic risk high
  • nightshade (Solanum spp.) Toxic risk moderate
  • poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) Toxic risk high
  • pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) Toxic risk low
  • ragwort/groundsel (Senecio spp.) and Tansy Ragwort Toxic risk high
  • sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) Toxic risk is low to moderate
  • Saint-John's wort/Klamath weed (Hypericum spp.) Toxic risk moderate
  • Bitter Sneezeweed aka Helenium autumnale and Yellowdicks
  • Stinging Nettles
  • water hemlock (Cicuta spp.)
  • Toxic risk is very high
  • white snakeroot (Eupatorium spp.) Toxic risk high
  • yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)/Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens) Toxic Risk low

For more information in helping you identify these potentially harmful pasture invaders and eliminating them the following articles will be helpful:

Poison Risk to Horses Increased During Dormant Pastures
Weeds Toxic to Horses
Manure and Pasture Management for Recreational Horse Owners
Five steps to a great horse pasture
Farm Management Weeds

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