Weed Management for Small Horse Properties
Q. I keep my horses on a small, 5-acre property. This summer my pastures have grown a lot of weeds. I’m not really sure what has changed—I bought the property two years ago, and last summer the weeds weren’t so bad. Where would the weeds have come from, and why are they getting worse?
A. Pasture weeds can be a frustrating problem. Not only are some toxic to horses but they also gradually choke out the desirable grasses and reduce the pasture’s nutritional value. Additionally, some weeds are high in sugars and not suitable for horses with metabolic conditions.
Where Weeds Come From
Weeds can arrive from several means. Some seeds travel long distances on the wind, while others might drop in the pasture with bird or animal feces or fur. Some seeds might also have come from the horse’s hay or forage, either passing through their digestive tract and out in feces in a still-viable form, or from hay that contains weeds, especially when that hay is fed loose on the ground. This is just one reason to check your forage for
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