Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “Apply spray when the plant is putting food into the root; you have to get herbicide into the root to kill the plant. The biennial burdock is not technically a toxic plant for horses to eat, but its presence can cause other health concerns. The second year, it grows a deep taproot and tall stalk, producing flowers that become burrs. Always do this prior to turning out horses in a new area for the first time, and continue to watch for encroaching weeds. Of course, you can eat the boiled stems without the batter and frying, but it might taste too ‘healthy’ for most people. For comprehensive information (e.g. “The best time is after the stalk is budding but before burrs are ripe. Burdock and cocklebur produce prickly seed heads that stick to manes, tails and fetlock hair. We haven't had horses in the field for a while and burdock and thistles and HUGE bushes that are prickly like thistles, but have burrs (some are almost 6' tall) were growing in the field. In about 90 percent of these cases, one treatment is enough and the condition resolves. Now days, whether it’s due to how we manage our horses or something else, Cushings is a common condition. “We see eye problems starting about August, when burrs become ripe,” she says. There are a vast number of plants located throughout Canada that are toxic to horses in some respect. If the sliver remains embedded, the constant irritation and damage usually results in the cornea turning blue, often with a white spot or ulceration in the irritated area. The sliver is so small that the tools used by a veterinarian to examine an eye (focal light and magnifying lens) may not be powerful enough to locate and identify the foreign object. It’s almost impossible to find the microscopic sliver with an on-farm examination. Your vet or a knowledgeable local agricultural extension agent are helpful resources for any questions or concerns you have about plants or trees that may be in your horse’s environment. If possible, it’s also a good idea to inspect a bale or two of hay before you buy it. This article originally appeared in the May 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. Burdock's butter taste keeps most mammals away, although livestock and deer will eat it if they have little else. Click here to subscribe! Our pasture is loaded with burdock and our two horses manes are always loaded in it! Burdock a sticky eye issue for cattle and horses, Ask the Consultant: ‘Winterizing’ your cows: Nutrition going into the dormant season, On the Edge of Common Sense: Pleasure horse, Industry feedyard audit tool now available, Record production in second-half 2020; 2021 unchanged. “Often the inside layer of the mucosa of the nictitans has a local blood vessel pattern that looks like rivers and their tributaries. The burrs are what you will find sticking to your clothing as you walk through your horse's field. Read our, The magazine for people who are passionate about horses. The food is going up, and it’s harder to get the herbicide down into the root.”. Another plant that is toxic to horses are bracken ferns. The affected animal has tell-tale burrs stuck to the hair coat. While other effects of walnut tree exposure may not be as severe, walnuts are a definitely a tree to keep away from your horses. “I have good success treating these eyes just presuming the burdock sliver is caught in one of those areas. There are several different types of sagebrush found in the United States, especially in the western states. After the stalk comes up, it is harder to kill with herbicides. In moderation and only if the bread was not made with ingredients that are dangerous for horses. misspaperwait is offline Quote Quick Reply. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. The first year, it doesn’t grow tall or bloom; it grows leaves and accumulates food reserves in roots, like a carrot (also a biennial). Recognized mainly for its burrs, burdock is an interesting biennial plant because it consists primarily of carbohydrates, volatile oils, … Burdock may cause an allergic reaction in people sensitive to certain flowers and herbs. It can grow more than 5 feet tall and its huge, expansive, heart-shaped leaves can reach over a foot in length. I scrape that area until it bleeds. Despite the challenges facing the industry at the beginning of the third quarter,... Progressive Cattle provides practical beef operation management articles, timely news, cutting-edge technology information and thought-provoking opinions to you at no cost. As a result, horses who over-indulge in buttercups may suffer from blisters in their mouths or mild to severe digestive issues. It looks a lot like pinkeye, but burdock irritation is common in fall/winter whereas pinkeye is a summer problem. ... My horses find most of the burdock plants in our pasture. Buttercups contain ranunculin—an ordinary harmless glycoside which, unfortunately, breaks down into an irritant when it is disturbed, such as by the chewing motion of a curious horse. Since it starts to grow earlier than many other annuals, its leaves can provide an early treat and a vitamin boost for chickens, rabbits, goats, cows and sheep. The sliver is usually caught under the lid and scratches the eye at every blink. Milkweed is popular with monarch butterflies as a place to lay their eggs—in fact, it’s the only place monarch butterflies lay eggs. That concoction is even more bitter than Moxie, which is flavored with gentian root. Pastures that are in full sun and away from wooded areas will likely be free of ferns. Burdock contains many vitamins, minerals, fiber, flavonoids, tannisn, essential oils, polyacetylene and phytosterols. Some equines seem to actually enjoy thistle flowers (it works for Eeyore), but certain varieties can be toxic. Though keep in mind they are carnivores and their bodies are not designed for digesting raw vegetables like us humans can. Controlling burdock. This should kill the plant. “I’ve found that almost any topical antibiotic is sufficient to deal with possible infection while the eye is healing. Dr. Don Morishita with the University of Idaho’s weed science department, says the best way to control burdock is to attack when it’s most vulnerable. Burdock is a common weed native to Europe and Asia. Burdock, also known as gobo or Arctium lappa, is a edible plant native to Asia, although it now grows wild over much of North America and Europe and is considered a weed by many gardeners. These tips should give you a starting point, but every region has its own list of concerns, and some plants can be hard to identify. The large lobe-like leaves look like overgrown Rhubarb leaves. Create an open forum for industry discussion and an easy-to-read magazine of expert information about the beef industry. I sedate the horse heavily, prop its head up on bales of hay and use a topical and local anesthetic so the horse doesn’t feel anything. distinctive seed head The root can be used externally in a poultice to speed up the healing of wounds, sores, boils or any septic conditions. It’s fairly easy to remove by hand-pulling; just be sure to wear gloves. If you suspect that your hay may contain unwanted weeds, perform a simple inspection of each flake before feeding. Do wild horses eat birds? This wonderful clinging ability is great for kids’ boot closures and other uses – but not so great when burrs stick to your clothes, gloves or animals’ hair. By contrast, in spring the second-year plant is taking food from its roots to produce leaves, tall stalk and blooms. Another toxic plant for horses is Milkweed. And while milkweed may be a fine food source for young caterpillars, it’s definitely not fine fodder for horses, and not something you want to see growing in your pasture. “Most cases in horses occur underneath the nictitans (third eyelid membrane). As with buttercups, one way to keep milkweed at bay is to avoid overgrazing your pastures and to routinely mow areas where the plant wants to grow. It’s very important to educate yourself on miniature horse care so that you can keep them healthy and happy. Many need to be eaten in large doses to cause much of an effect, while others require only a few mouthfuls. Seedheads mature by mid-August in southern areas and later in northern climates. Then I scrape both the inner aspect of the cornea where we see the lesion, and the inner aspect of the nictitans to remove the sliver,” says Dwyer. Guest. Posted via Mobile Device. Wear heavy gloves, grab a shovel, and be careful as you remove these plants. Chickens, pigs, cows, horses, sheep and goats also can benefit from eating dried stinging nettle. Burdock Removal and Control. Besides adding beauty to your farm property and ambience to your pastures (what’s nicer than a few horses grazing happily under a single large tree? Buttercups are poisonous to horses if eaten fresh, but a horse would need to eat large amounts to die from eating them. Rather than merely looking at the areas between each flake, you may want to actually tear a flake open to quickly check the interior for obvious weeds. Thank you for choosing this service. There are two times when you can cut down burdock to stop its growth. If a sliver gets into an eye, it can cause inflammation. The entire buttercup plant is toxic, although the yellow flowers (when present) are the most potent. Keep in mind that a poisonous tree doesn’t have to be in or directly next to a pasture in order to become a problem, as wind can carry leaves, seeds, and branches a good distance under the right conditions. Wads of burrs encase a cow’s tail and ears. Some additional plants to beware of include: It’s a good idea to perform periodic checks of your pastures to make sure that no toxic plants have gained a foothold unnoticed and can be in reach of your horses. You can also make burdock vinegar, which is a great substitute for over-the-counter medications like Pepto Bismol when your stomach is upset. Perhaps you can help. All rights reserved. Is there any tricks to getting out easier? You can purchase fresh burdock root and include it in a vegetable stir-fry or stew. I have also seen it in other parts of the eye, such as the junction between the white part of the eye and the cornea, but at least 85 percent of cases are a sliver caught under the nictitans,” says Dwyer. Harmful Plant: Burdock and Thistle The biennial burdock is not technically a toxic plant for horses to eat, but its presence can cause other health concerns. The foliage may be toxic to rabbits. It is a plant of waste places, fields and waysides. “Fall is a good time to spray burdock (as long as it isn’t water-stressed) to kill young plants that are storing food reserves for next year’s growth. If you spray in the fall, you are killing this year’s rosettes – plants that would mature and create burrs next year. Use a broad-leaf herbicide like 2,4-D that can move down into the root. Despite its name, poisoning from nightshade is not normally fatal to horses but can cause unconsciousness, dilation of the pupils and convulsions. While burdock can be incorporated into your normal recipes, I can assure you that knowing how to cook and eat burdock can give you some badly needed nutrients in a survival scenario as well. A person could try it, however, if burrs are stuck to their cattle, horses or pets,” Ralph says. Bracken ferns often grow in the transitional areas between woods and fields, and if a horse consumes large amounts of the ferns, it can cause a vitamin B1 deficiency, which in turn can lead to various neurological symptoms. The burrs of this plant aren’t toxic, but … The plant is sending food up from the roots instead of down, according to Morishita. Your pastures aren’t the only place that your horses may have access to unwanted or poisonous weeds; these troublesome plants can also occasionally be found in your horse’s hay. However, horses will eat anything when they are desperate or during drought conditions. Burdock stems were bitter when cooked. Seek professional advice on spraying to remove from grazing areas. While the complete list of poisonous plants is extensive, here are some common plants that are toxic and may cause health issues in horses. Cattlemen have treated these eyes with topical medication, injections of antibiotic/anti-inflammatory drugs into the inside membrane of the eyelid, and stitching the eye shut. Surprisingly, horse bedding with even small amounts of black walnut wood has the potential to spark a case of laminitis in horses. If you have thistle or burdock in your pasture you might notice your horse’s infatuation with these plants. If burdock is taking over your pasture, it may be time for some soil testing. Some plants can be quite toxic to horses, so it’s important to watch out for them in pastures and hay. Fly masks might help keep horses’ eyes protected,” she says. You can even eat the stalk of a burdock plant, although this requires a quick boil. What is Equine Cushings Disease?. My goats like it too. Blood is not a problem on the surface of the eye, so it doesn’t matter if there’s some bleeding from that membrane after I scrape it,” she says. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) self-seeds copiously and comes up in dense mats. It can be expensive to treat an animal for this eye problem because it takes sedation and local anesthetic (and a few weeks of follow-up treatment), so prevention is important. Nightshades contain a compound called atropine, which can affect the autonomic nervous system. Special Precautions & Warnings: Miniature horses do have different needs than big horses when it comes to their care. Eat it! Mowing is one way to control the plant, as this may encourage grass growth which will help choke out the buttercups; overgrazing an area may in turn encourage the buttercups. Luckily, buttercups (in theory) taste quite terrible, so most horses will avoid the plant unless there is little else to munch on. Horses that eat a significant amount of sage, especially sand sage and fringed sage will experience intoxication. You may also like: 16 Wild Edibles You Didn’t Know You Could Forage For. Burdocks—which go by a host of other names—are those large-leafed bushes that look a bit like rhubarb, grow a few feet tall, and put out burrs with tiny hooks that stick to everything. Burdock is considered to be safe to eat, but you should only buy it from reputable sellers and should never collect it in the wild. “If you use too much, it quickly kills the leaves and doesn’t get down into the taproot. Saddlebag. I consider myself, among other things, a former horse mechanic. A burdock sliver is often called a pappus. In some cases, the dried version may not be as toxic—as is the case with buttercups—but they still aren’t desirable and should be avoided if possible. Arctium lappa, commonly called greater burdock, gobō (牛蒡/ゴボウ), edible burdock, lappa, beggar's buttons, thorny burr, or happy major is a Eurasian species of plants in the Aster family, cultivated in gardens for its root used as a vegetable.It has become an invasive weed of high-nitrogen soils in North America, Australia, and other regions. Oak leaves and acorns can be problematic since they contain tannin, although a horse would need to consumer a large amount of material before symptoms would occur. “A large plant can produce 200,000 to 400,000 seeds that may survive two to 10 years. Join Date: Jan 2011. After the stalk comes up, it is harder to kill. Buttercups. There may be some chemical influence that makes it more irritating to the eye,” she says. Provide content to help all segments of the cattle industry produce successful and healthy livestock. These are what gives Burdock it’s various medicinal properties. When ripe, the burrs contain hundreds of tiny hooked slivers. We use cookies to help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience. You can eliminate burr problems by chopping the plant before it’s mature enough to make seeds. The horse liked it before it flowered, the cows liked it before it flowered too. Definitely avoid planting these species, and you might even consider taking down existing trees if you’re building a new pasture in their vicinity. I presume that where blood vessels are showing, this is pointing the way to where something is buried and causing the irritation. Each issue of Progressive Forage contains articles which focus on a particular topic area within the forage industry. User; Horses . Only under unusual circumstances! His favorite is probably Misty (1961). The Burdock plant … Besides watching out for wild plants, don’t forget about ornamental and garden plants that people may plant near homes, garages, and other areas of the property. Reply. Dogs can eat burdock root, as there is nothing poisonous or toxic about (quite different than grapes which can kill them). The magazine is published monthly with a sizeable portion of articles unique to Canadians. 6. In cattle, the problem may be mistaken for pinkeye, but pinkeye is a summer problem when face flies spread infection from animal to animal. A native of Eurasia, this hardy plant was brought to North America by burrs stuck in the hair of imported animals. Burdock is easiest to kill the first year, in the rosette stage (circular cluster of leaves, no tall stalk). Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). ... .we have Burdock growing ALL over the place. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. He’s the author of several books, including How to Raise Horses: Everything You Need to Know, (Voyageur Press, 2014). Fresh burdock root can often be found in health stores and Asian specialty stores. Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Idaho. Bran has little nutrition, so there are much better things to feed a horse than bran or bran mashes. This herb can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried and put into capsules. A lot of people get miniature horses because they are easy to manage, they’re cute, they eat less and they don’t require as much room as a big horse. Ring necked pheasants eat some burdock seeds, but they're not a primary food source. Progressive Cattle magazine captures the essence of the cattle producer and ranching experience. Burdock has a mild diaphoretic action which assists in eliminating any build up of toxins via the skin and disperses excess nervous energy in a … They haven’t touched them all year and now they are eating on them every day. Photo courtesy of Heather Thomas. This isn’t actually a toxic plant, it’s really just a dangerous one. 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