Monday, July 25, 2011

Horses Eating Mesquite

I received a comment from Anonymous regarding a previous post on knowing the plant life in your area and effects on horses eating it. "We live near Phoenix, Arizona and have three mesquite trees in our horse pasture. Our horses LOVE the mesquite pods. They taste sweet. (FH note: see picture left). Some horses have become impacted from mesquite pods, but our horses have been fine eating the pods that drop from our trees in addition to their regular diet of bermuda grass and bermuda hay."

Thanks for your comment. If it wasn't for Mesquite beans a lot of cattle in West Texas would go hungry in this current drought we're in. Can't say as I remember any of my horses eating Mesquite beans, which are plentiful where I live. My horses have ate dried Desert Marigold plants, Chamisa (which is another cow staple), dried Yucca bulbs all without ill effects, however they eat very little of it at any given time....and it's not a feed I routinely let them have.

Several of my horses got out of the corral the other night and ate a row of corn that was about two feet tall and all that was left the next day was nubbins. I also noticed a number Cucumber plants conspicuously missing. I watched the horses pretty close for the next day or two and noticed no bad effects.

I think the key for horses eating any new feed intentional or not, especially in any quantity, is the gradual introduction of it. As you know changes in feed can cause a horse to colic and this goes for processed and natural grain, new cuts of alfalfa or grass as well.

Glad you are feeding Bermuda grass. I know what a pain it is to get sometimes, but I think horses are better off with a grass diet or a mixed grass diet. Again, thanks for the comment. Safe Journey.

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