Just seen a horse eating yew

(22 Posts)
EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 16:49:40

I phoned the farm to let them know, there was no reply so I left a message. Will it be OK? sad

Pixel Mon 20-May-13 17:14:21

I hope so. sad

From Horseweb :-
*Yew (Taxus baccata)
All parts of the yew tree are very poisonous, probably the most poisonous tree in Britain. The poison is not reduced by wilting or drying, so that clippings and fallen leaves are as toxic as the fresh plant. The poison is the alkaloid taxine, which affects the heart. In many cases the symptoms of yew poisoning are never seen, as the animal dies a few hours after eating it - one mouthful is enough to kill !
Symptoms include:

muscular tremors
staggering
convulsions
difficulty in breathing
collapse
death from heart failure
Prevention
There is no treatment and so any offending yew should be fenced off or cut down.*

Are you sure it was Yew?

EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 17:17:06

Fairly sure, I'm a gardener and read a lot about poisonous plants after DD1 had a brush with a foxglove a couple of years ago. The house has a yew hedge along the front and it looked the same as that. Plants are still quite small because it's a brand new house.

Holy shit, I didn't realise it was so poisonous sad I'll try phoning the farm again. If it is yew, is there anything that can be done?

EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 17:17:52

Fuck, just saw the last part of your message. They need to get out there and check, there are loads of horses in that field.

Can u put a note through the door?

EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 17:23:28

I didn't have any paper on me. I've texted a horsey friend, turns out her sister works there so she's going to pass along the message. She says that horses won't intentionally eat anything poisonous <crosses fingers>. I know next to nothing about horses so don't know whether this is deadly serious or whether I'm totally wasting their time. Best be on the safe side though, right?

You totally did the right thing. They will be pleased that someone let then know and cared enough to help no matter what the outcome is. They won't be laughing at you !!!

Pixel Mon 20-May-13 17:58:47

So are you saying it's a new hedge that the horses can get to, or that the new hedge is the same as one they've already had access to? Bit confused about whether horses have had it there and not eaten it (as your friend suggested) or if it's just appeared and they are being curious and having a nibble.

Personally I would never ever risk having my horses anywhere near it, even if they couldn't reach it. I read once that even a little bit blowing into the field or dropping off a branch that is being transported can be enough if it happens to get eaten whilst they are grazing, apparently it takes a matchbox full to kill a horse.

EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 18:11:53

All the hedges are new, it's a new house. The hedge has been there for a couple of months but the horses only moved into the field in the last few days (think it was empty before that). The plants aren't very big yet, but the ones at the front are definitely yew. There are only a couple along the side fence where the horses are.

So even if the trimmings from the front hedge blow into the field it could kill a horse? sad It's a livery stables so I think a lot of the horses are not theirs.

EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 18:13:58

Argh, I'm explaining this really badly. The field belongs to the farm but they haven't had any horses in it since the hedge was put in.

Pixel Mon 20-May-13 18:33:44

Ah, no it's ok, I get it now smile.

suchashame Mon 20-May-13 18:41:35

Oh hope horses ok ....I would get them out asap.

So glad you have spotted it and passed it on else first they might have known was dead horses. Good on you !

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 20-May-13 22:32:58

"Horses won't intentionally eat something poisonous" <<hollow laugh>>

EauRouge Mon 20-May-13 22:52:49

Yeah, I did wonder about that. I tried the farm again, still no reply. I don't think there's anything else I can do. I run past it a couple of times a week so if I find anything out, I'll update the thread. Fingers crossed.

Plomino Mon 20-May-13 23:12:06

Oh yes they will .

Ragwort poisoning , acorn poisoning anyone ? Two horses lost in my village alone to acorn poisoning this year .

suchashame Tue 21-May-13 00:00:02

Thats dreadful plomino.... acorns are just so plentiful / common and many horses eat some with no obvious problems. I fence off the part of my field that has two oak trres when the acorns start to fall then rake them all up. Most folk think I'm nuts....I don't care.

Butkin Tue 21-May-13 08:32:50

Not nuts (pun intended!) Suchashame - we put electric fence round our oak trees until well after the acorns have rotted or they will pig them down...

EauRouge Tue 21-May-13 17:30:47

Just had a message from my friend that all the horses at the farm are fine. Feel like a bit of a twat now blush

Pixel Tue 21-May-13 17:51:47

There's no need to feel like that! If my horse was near something dangerous I'd be really grateful if someone took the trouble to let me know so I could do something about it before it was too late. So many people are completely ignorant about hazardous plants so it's nice to know there are still observant people like you around smile.

Please please please don't feel like a twat!!! People like you are a gift. Not many people care enough to go to that kind of trouble to save animals belonging to strangers. Don't ever change !!!

EauRouge Tue 21-May-13 18:38:07

Aw, thanks smile I am an animal lover, but I know jeff all about horses apart from the stuff I learnt at riding lessons 25 years ago. Might take my secateurs with me next time I go for a run and check for yew.

suchashame Tue 21-May-13 23:06:09

oh \i amsoooo glad to hear that they are all ok. i hope they have fenced off the hedge area.

well done eaurouge............... and please please dont feel like a twat... I too would be sooo grateful if someone pointed out summat I had not seen that might harm my horse... better you said than they died eh !!!

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