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Old 11-24-2010, 11:16 AM   #1
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Are acorns toxic for horses?

Apollo crunched a few before we loaded him into the trailer. He didn't have any ill side effects, but I still let the vet students know that he had eaten some.

Are they toxic for horses? I looked online but i got mixed answers, some safe, some toxic.

Anyone know?

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Old 11-24-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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A few acorns probably won’t hurt your horse.
But if he has regular access to acorns it can cause him to lose a lot of weight and even colic.

Acorns seem to be especially hard on older horses.
We allowed our daughter-in-law to borrow one of our older horses.
We didn’t know that her back pasture had Oak trees.
Within a month the gelding had lost weight.
So we brought him back to the house.
Of course our gelding LOVES acorns.

Here is a useful site: TOXIC TREES & PLANTS
Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean. ~ Job 37:21
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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I remember reading in a british magazine about horses, much like our Equine Today, a women had fenced in a new area and after a while her horses were getting sick, she had to have 2 put down and 3 were really bad. others that were in another part of the property were fine.
Hay and grain were analyzed and they were fine.
so she kept the sick horses in the barn and than began to notice the acorn shells. Well that was it, an over abundance killed the two horses, and would have the others.
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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Good to know. There aren't any oak trees in his pasture so that's not a problem. We had the trailer in my boyfriend's yard to keep it out of the mud and we walked him up, cleaned the mud off him and then went to load him in the trailer. While we were hitching the trailer to the truck he ate a few before I started walking him around.

Needless to say he won't be given access to the acorns anymore!
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:31 PM   #5
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My entire property is covered with oak trees, oak leaves, and acorns. From what I have ascertained from vets and reading on line. Oak poisining in the US in horses is rare. Tannins in the oak is what is assumed to be toxic. If there is nothing else to eat they may ingest a toxic quantity. From what I have looked up, while all oaks are potentially toxic, most livestock poisoning is releated to Gambels Oak, Shinnery Oak and Shallow Lobed Oak. Oaks are most toxic in spring and ripe acorns are less toxic than green acorns.

I am not an expert just picked this up from my own concern. Knock on wood, I have not had any toxicity in my horses from the numerous oak leaves and acorns in the pastures.
There's some info on oaks on this site from the Ohio State Univ ext svc.
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