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Author Topic: Bracken  (Read 1629 times)

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Offline nix

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Bracken
« on: July 20, 2014, 01:17:06 PM »
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  • Vido has developed a taste for bracken :sad:, last night when I let him into his paddock he went straight for the bracken over the electric fence, instead of the grass. He'd just had a feed and has access to soaked hay pretty much 24/7.

    He's fed Pure Feed Fibre Plus which has a pretty good vitamin/mineral spectrum.

    Of course I'm cutting back all the bracken but there's tons in and around his paddock, which keeps on popping back up. Any ideas, particularly as to why he's developed a taste for it? Thanks.

    Offline ros

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    Re: Bracken
    « Reply #1 on: July 20, 2014, 03:12:49 PM »
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  • Bracken in small quantities is OK, and Merly will very occasionally snack on a bit. It contains an enzyme which destroys Vitamin B, and in larger amounts is poisonous. Tbh I wouldn't tend to worry if he's got plenty of other feed around. I had horses on rough grazing up in the Lakes, and there was quite a bit of bracken around there too. We used to have "bracken bashing" sessions to keep it down, but we didn't have any problems with it.

    Offline Alice

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    Re: Bracken
    « Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 11:22:38 AM »
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  • This might sound a bit  :o . But to me , as long as my horse has access to enough clean grass or hay and water  then it is none of my business to what he decides to eat .

    But then you have to take in the factors of how he is detecting the poisonous plants , if for instance you have just fed him his feed , and in his feed you have given him some supplements that may mess-up his taste / smell ( garlic for example ) then I would start to think about either waiting for a little while after he has eaten his dinner ( or maybe until he has eaten some hay or drank some water ) , so he can detect the wrong plants easily as they do naturally  .

    It is very easy for us humans , to start trying to control ( for the good of the horse ) what the he decides to eat.
    But in the end , in the wild horses manage fine.

    Bracken in very hard to control , but I think  perseverance will get them down to a manageable level

    Best wishes

    Alice  :)

    Offline Mossy

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    Re: Bracken
    « Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 12:05:20 PM »
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  • Mine are on the edge of the moor on a gradient of about 1 in 3, level top and bottom. Bracken control is impossible. Yes they eat a small amount but they select grass, gorse, branches and moss preferentially. As Alice said the feral ponies manage fine.
    Mossy

    What am I, that one so big and powerful as you should trust me and do my bidding?

    Offline Tiber

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    Re: Bracken
    « Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 11:38:55 PM »
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  • If he's only eating a little bit and has plenty of other stuff to eat too I wouldn't worry about it too much. Pip went through a phase of eating a few acorns every day last Autumn - not bucketloads, just five or six every day and he was actively seeking them out. It happened to coincide with his worm count and he had a medium egg count for the first time in a while so I asked my friend who is a zoopharmacognosy therapist/herbalist about it and we think he may have been self-medicating with acorns to get rid of some of the worm burden. There are only a few plants I remove from the field; ragwort (which we don't have thank goodness), cuckoo pint and foxgloves (not to say I wouldn't remove other things as well, I just don't have them in this field). The rest they can nibble if they really want to, including bracken.

    Honey, Pip and The Duckies in soggy mid-Wales.