Quick Answer: Is it OK for horses to eat thistles?

For the most part, members of the thistle family—those with blue, pink, or purple flowers—are harmless and safe for horses to nibble. … Thistles are a ubiquitous plant. Few farms in the United States are probably completely devoid of them. They are sometimes considered weeds because of their ability to spread quickly.

Are thistles harmful to horses?

Thistles – Non-toxic.

Why do horses eat thistle flowers?

Well-Known Member. Common thistles are a close relative of milk thistle so horses will often eat them as a bit of a detox.

Are any thistles poisonous?

All thistles in the genus Cirsium, and the genus Carduus, are edible. Or said another way, there is no poisonous true thistle, but not all of them are palatable. In the second year plant the inner core of the flower stalks is quite tasty and not that much work.

What weeds are bad for horses to eat?

Common Toxic Plants Found In or Near Horse Pastures

  • Tall buttercup. (Photo courtesy Sarah Ralston.)
  • Jimsonweed. (Photo courtesy Carey Williams.)
  • Horse Nettle. (Photo courtesy Carey Williams.)
  • Pokeweed. …
  • Japanese Yew. …
  • Wild Cherry Branch. …
  • Black Walnut Shavings (dark) in regular pine shavings. …
  • Red Maples Leaves.
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Can horses eat Spear thistle?

They are absolutely fine, should be no problems letting equines munch on loads of them.

Will horses eat Canadian thistle?

Canada thistle is a native plant to regions of Europe and Asia but is considered noxious everywhere else. It produces nitrate, which can be toxic to your horse if ingested in large quantities.

Is musk thistle poisonous to horses?

Musk thistle is not a poisonous plant; however, livestock will refuse to enter heavily infested areas and will not graze close to the spiny plants (Figure 1).

How do I get rid of thistles in my horse field?

An easy and effective way of getting rid of them for the longer-term is to spray with a herbicide, such as GrazonPro. This is ideal for spot-treating small patches using a knapsack sprayer, or under fence lines or around gateways and water troughs.

Is milk thistle safe for horses?

Milk thistle may also work by supporting natural digestive function in horses. It has been shown to stimulate gastric enzyme secretion and could be beneficial for horses with digestive concerns. Milk Thistle is generally well tolerated in horses.

Do any animals eat thistles?

Thistles are very good feed with 22-24 percent protein, and cattle will readily eat it once they start. We pour molasses on our thistles to encourage our cattle to eat them, and it works.

Is thistle good for anything?

Native thistles help to support healthy populations of beneficial insects that will also consume non-native thistles. Our native thistles also remain in balance with other native plants and do not aggressively displace other plants.

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What does thistle taste like?

Look for the younger thistles that are short and don’t have flowers yet. Those are tender and taste the best. Children in south Louisiana say thistles taste kind of like celery, only a little sweeter. They love the freedom of running through pastures in search of the spiky plants.

What grasses are bad for horses?

Always keep dallis and rye grasses mowed in your pasture, and never feed horses grass clippings. It’s also important to avoid overgrazing rye grass, as the fungus exists near the base of the plant and will be eaten if animals are grazing close to the ground.

What shrubs are safe for horses?

Other recommended shrubs and trees

While the black hawthorn, saltbush and bitter pea plants are some of the most tolerant, relatively common shrubs in the United States suitable for horses, plenty of other shrubs are acceptable as well.

What should you never feed a horse?

Here are some “people” foods you should avoid feeding your horse:

  • Caffeine: Coffee, tea and cola contain the stimulant caffeine (trimethylxanthine) which can cause an irregular heart rhythm.
  • Chocolate: …
  • Garlic and onions: …
  • Tomatoes: …
  • Fruit seeds and pits: …
  • Dog and cat kibble: …
  • Potatoes: …
  • House plants: