Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The curious horse

....whilst driving along the narrow country lanes.. captured this rather curious horse.......
later in the day the weeds were identified to me as "Ragwort"....a poisonous food for horses....
  • Poisoning can occur at ANY time of the year Ragwort poisoning destroys the liver, leading to slow, painful death Poisonous to most animals but horses and cattle are most susceptible
  • Once symptoms have appeared in an affected animal little can be done and it will usually die
  • Acts in a cumulative fashion - a small amount eaten over a period of time is just as damaging as one large dose
  • Animals eating 5 percent or more of their total daily diet of ragwort for periods exceeding 20 consecutive days can be expected to die within a 6-month period
  • The plants
    1st year - rosette stage - most poisonous
    2nd year - stem/flower stage - each plant can produce 150,000 seeds, with a 70% germination rate
  • A horse can get ragwort poisoning without actually having any plants in their paddock! Seeds/spores from plants in neighboring fields can blow over and contaminate a paddock apparently free from plants. A horse can eat or inhale these - and cumulative poisoning can begin. 


Blogger longneys said...

Is Ragwort what we call Ragweed here in Canada? I know Ragweed was harsh on allergies but I didn't realize it was such a harmful weed.

26 June 2010 at 02:52  

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