horse nettle in pasture areagreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
The current issue of Countryside mentions that horse nettle is poisonous to livestock. Is this positively true? Our back field is full of it, and we plan to get goats or a cow someday. Plus our next door neighbor currently hays the field and gives the hay to his horses. Any experience with this? How do I get rid of it? Intensive mowing?
-- Christina (email@example.com), March 02, 2001
whats a horse nettle?? anything like stinging nettles?
-- Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001.
My pasture is also loaded with horse nettles which are toxic. I believe the berries are the worst. I found that my horses naturally steered clear of them as long as they had alternatives. this of course allowed the nettles to grow even better. Have had them baled along with my hay which I am feeding to the horses. No real problems to date. I tried contacting my local cooperative extension group but got no real help. couldn't find much on the net either. Would love it if someone had an answer besides just plowing them under. (the only thing I could come up with barring the use of herbicides)
-- teresa (email@example.com), March 02, 2001.
We have them as well. The animals seem to avoid them on their own. They haven't been a problem.
-- Mona in OK (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001.
I wanta know too Stan, What's a horse nettle?
-- Cynthia Speer (email@example.com), March 02, 2001.
Solanum carolinense L.
A member of the Nightshade family, but unrelated to the true nettles.
-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 02, 2001.
I have heard that you can signficantly reduce nightshade infestations by frequent mowing and disposal of the material so that it does not reseed. I used to pull the nightshade by hand out of my pasture -- time consuming, but safer for the horses.
I have also read that not all animals show symptoms of poisoning from eating nightshades -- specifically, rabbits. However, they DO pass the poison on to whoever eats the rabbit. I'm not sure what this would mean in terms of goats or cows who may or may not pass it on in the milk. One site I visited suggested that burying hte seed deeply would prevent germination.
-- julie f. (email@example.com), March 03, 2001.
The bartleby.com description was good, but I would describe it by saying it's the size of a pepper plant with prickly stem and leaves. The fruit is more like a small cherry tomato. Thanks for the answers, everybody!
-- Christina (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2001.
I didn't know it was a nightshade!!! One word of caution then....
Tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes are members of the nightshade family, too... Careful if you wind up using any chemicals!!!!
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), March 07, 2001.