Ad-hoc feeding of surplus fruit, veg or herbs to livestock in neighbouring fields

can be a killer!

Listed below are plants commonly found on allotments up and down the country that are either toxic, high in sugar content or have a high risk of choking livestock.

 

 We all know the old saying;  It’s only a small bit, it won’t hurt”.  But is that really the truth of it?

Owners of equines up and down the country often hear that old chestnut when they catch someone red-handed, merrily feeding their ponies tip-bits through the fence without having first asked permission.

Unfortunately, such an “act of kindness’ of feeding livestock ad-hoc this way may actually result in the death of someone else’s animal. It could certainly have a detrimental effect on the health of a pony that is on a strict diet, or has special dietary needs.  Either way, an animal’s suffering would most definitely have been avoided in the first place, if only the pony had not been fed unsuitable, or toxic treats from a stranger in the first place.

It is, therefore, GOOD PRACTISE NOT to simply throw surplus crops from your allotment straight over the dividing fence, into the neighbouring field where livestock is housed.  Instead, hand any surplus crop DIRECTLY TO THE OWNER, should you wish to treat the ponies.  That way, the owner can ensure that:

 

a)    The fruit, veg or herb in question is not toxic to equines

b)   The consumption of fruit or veg with high sugar content can be monitored to ensure the recommended daily intake for the individual animal is observed

c)    All choke hazards are removed prior to ponies gaining access to the plants or fruits.

d)   Removal of any known plants that either/or pony have an allergy to. (Yes, some horses even have an allergic reaction to carrots!!)

e)    Thank you for your kindness and generosity for which, I’m sure, the ponies will be most grateful.

 

SO PLEASE : Help the owner to fulfil their legal obligations of practising good equine husbandry by NOT feeding the animal without the owner’s consent.  After all, how can the owner possibly know EXACTLY what the livestock have consumed each day, if the animal has been fed extra tip-bits without the owners knowledge?

 

POISONOUS OR UNSUITABLE PLANTS – never feed to horses under any circumstances

Advocado

Allergic reaction

Causes respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the heart

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Asparagus

Bitter to taste

May cause colic

 

Low to medium risk

Broccoli

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Brussel Sprouts

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Cabbage

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Cauliflower

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Cayenne Peppers

Contains the compound atropine

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Cherries (pits, leaves and bark)

Produces arsenic

Contains cyanogenic glycosides

Causes Colic and arsenic poisoning

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Eggplant

Contains the compound atropine 

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Grass cuttings

Fermentation

High in sugars

Poisonous (from fertilizers etc)

Causes Colic

 

Acute reaction to chemicals from fertilizers etc - various

Immediate effect

Extremely High risk of death

Horseradish

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Lawn clippings

Fermentation

High in sugars

Poisonous (from fertilizers etc)

Causes Colic

 

Acute reaction to chemicals from fertilizers etc - various

Immediate effect

Extremely High risk of death

Leeks

 

Causes anaemia

Prolonged effect

Low to medium risk of death

Kale

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Mustard Family

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

Onion

 

Causes anaemia

Prolonged effect

Low to medium risk of death

Paprika

Contains the compound atropine 

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Pepinos

Contains the compound atropine 

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Peppers (all)

Contains the compound atropine

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Persimmons

Obstruction to the gut

Causes Colic, or ruptured gut

 

Immediate effect

High risk of death

Pimentos

Contains the compound atropine  

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Potato

Contains the compound atropine

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Pumpkin stem and leaves

*cautionary

*insufficient information

Possible reaction to mildew or fungus infestation?

Possible allergic reaction

Symptoms, if any, vary

varies

varies

Rhubarb

Contains the compound atropine 

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Tamarios

Contains the compound atropine

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Tomatillos

Contains the compound atropine

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Tomato

Contains the compound atropine

Blocks the neurotransmitter that controls autonomic nervous system functions, such as the functioning of muscles, and fluid and sweat production.

Prolonged effect

High risk of death

Turnips

*some horse owners feed Turnips with no ill effects

Cruciferous

May cause colic

varies

varies

Winter Cress

Cruciferous

Causes Colic

Immediate effect

Medium risk of death

 

 PLANTS THAT CAUSE CHOKING – correct preparation prior to feeding can mean the difference between life and death

Apples

If incorrectly cut or shaped, causes blockage of airways

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Apricots – unpitted

Blocks the airway

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Brussel sprouts

*toxic – never feed to livestock

Shape causes blockage of airways

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Carrots

If incorrectly cut or shaped, causes blockage of airways

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Cherry – unpitted

Blocks the airway

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Parsnip

If incorrectly cut or shaped, causes blockage of airways

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Peach – unpitted

 

 

 

Plums – unpitted

Blocks the airway

Asphyxiation

High risk of death

Swede

If incorrectly cut or shaped, causes blockage of airways

Can be fed whole

Asphyxiation

 

 

(good for cleaning teeth)

High risk of death

 

 

No risk

 

 

 

 

 

FRUIT AND VEG WITH HIGH SUGAR CONTENT – should be fed sparingly to avoid health risks

 

Apples – pitted

High in sugar and acid

Colic

Obesity

Laminitis

Medium risk of death

Apricot

High in sugar

Obesity

Laminitis

Medium risk of death

Carrots

High in sugar

Intolerance to beta-carotene

Obesity

Laminitis

Allergic reaction

Medium risk of death

Cherry fruit only – pitted

High in sugar

Obesity

Laminitis

Medium risk of death

Peach – pitted

 

 

 

Pears – pitted

 

Obesity

Laminitis

Medium risk of death

Plums – pitted

High in sugar

Obesity

Laminitis

Medium risk of death

Pumpkin

Pumpkin seed

High in sugar

High in fat/oil

Obesity

Laminitis

Medium risk of death

 

These lists are not conclusive but, as a general rule, all plants from the nightshade family are deemed dangerous to livestock, and the pitts and seeds of most fruit and veg come with a choking hazard.

The rule of thumb to follow is; if the livestock would not have been eating it in its natural habitat, then most likely the plant or fruit will be detrimental to that animal’s health, to a lessor or greater extent, if the animal is exposed to it.

Should a fruit or vegetable not be listed here and you need further advice, please speak with the livestock owner who will be able to assist you. DO NOT assume that just because it is not listed, it is perfectly safe to feed to livestock.

 

Thank you