Thought, fact and quote for the day 1/5/12
Seven Acre Horse Sanctuary - Giving horses/ponies a second chance..
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Thought, fact and quote for the day 1/5/12

Thought 4the day: We went through rugs on and rugs off as it was dry and hot then dry yet cold and kept changing! Now its wet and windy and we have many stuck in that do not like it or cope outside in it!!!!!!! Even Puzzle is in bless her. We have a few we cannot stable for their own good so the its keep changing the rugs so they don't stay wet etc. Where and when do you stop! We had a hot day yesterday yet some still had rugs on as they were too cold without them!!!!!!! How are your horses and ponies coping?
Quote for the day: Horses are like a bag of crisps... some salty and make you wince, a few cheesey and melt your heart and some beefy and more to cuddle!!
Fact 4the day: Ragwort thrives on wasteland, road verges and railway land and it easily spreads to grazing land and pasture.

Ragwort is a common weed that grows throughout the British Isles and Ragwort has always been a problem for horse owners.

Recently, though, it has become apparent that ragwort may be getting out of control and posing a real threat to the horse population.
Closely growing grass sward prevents ragwort growth but when the grass becomes thinned out, due to poaching or over grazing, the seeds are able to germinate in the exposed soil.

Most animals will avoid eating ragwort as long as they have an alternative source of good food.

This can be a problem on sparse, overgrazed pastures where ragwort can thrive.

There are reports that horses can acquire a taste for ragwort, especially if there is little else to eat.

Dried Ragwort - The Danger Zone ...

When cut or wilted (ie; when making hay or haylage) ragwort loses its bitter taste and becomes palatable to horses.

Drying does not destroy the toxins and dried grass, hay and haylage are common sources of ragwort poisoning.

Ingestion of the pyrrolizidine alkaloid toxin contained in ragwort usially results in the delayed onset of chronic, progressive liver failure.
Ragwort kills livestock and horses by causing irreversible liver damage.
The horse has to ingest enough to cause the damage, and quantities required can vary.
All UK landowners have a duty to control ragwort.

Ragwort is normally biennial.

It produces small rosettes in the spring and flowers from July onwards, in its second year.

Effects of ragwort poisoning

Ragwort toxins are cumulative and it is common for ragwort poisoning to occur following consumption of small quantities of the plant over a long period of time.

Development of the disease can be delayed from four weeks to six months after eating the plant.

Different types and sizes of horses have different levels of susceptibility to the toxin.

Symptoms of ragwort poison :
weight loss
poor and staring coat
staggering gait
impaired vision
inability to swallow

If long stems of ragwort are cut, the plant behaves like a perennial, (flowering every year)

Each ragwort plant produces 150,000 seeds that remain viable for years. It is easily spread by air turbulence created by passing traffic.

DEFRA & UK Law. The Weeds Act and The Ragwort Control Act ...

Ragwort is one of five injurious weeds covered by the provisions of The Weeds Act 1959.

Ragwort is poisonous to horses, ponies, donkeys and other livestock, and causes liver damage, which can have potentially fatal consequences.

Under the Weeds Act 1959 the Secretary of State may serve an enforcement notice on the occupier of land on which injurious weeds are growing

This will require the occupier to take action to prevent the spread of injurious weeds.

The 1959 Weeds Act specifies five injurious weeds:
Common Ragwort
Spear Thistle
Creeping of Field Thistle
Broad leaved Dock
and Curled Dock.
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