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Discuss Can horses eat grass clippings? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Last summer I rode over to our neighbors and they had just mowed their lawn. ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member+ Finallyownhorse's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Southeastern South Dakota

    Can horses eat grass clippings?

    Last summer I rode over to our neighbors and they had just mowed their lawn. They don't live on the property yet, so the grass was really long.

    When I got over there, my mare started in right away on the clippings that were laying there. She REALLY like them.

    I didn't let her eat much because I didn't know if it was OK.

    So now I have this board, is it ok to let horses eat grass clippings?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member+ paintlver's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    The great white north,,,,, Canada
    I was watching a program and grass clippings are not recommended for horses to eat....Couple of reasons for sure..They start to ferment right away when cut and also the toxins from the grass......Bottom line I know unless they are instantly fresh don't feed them

  3. #3
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    I don't let my horses eat grass clippings, for the same reason I won't let them eat green hay.
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  4. #4
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    Like said, they start fermented very very quickly.

    Also, most clippings are very very fine and can easily cause choke because the horses eat them pretty fast, don't have enough saliva, and they will ball up.

    My neighbors used to dump their clippings into my corrals, until I finally told them to STOP.

  5. #5
    Senior Member+ Ms.Cinderella's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot View Post
    I don't let my horses eat grass clippings, for the same reason I won't let them eat green hay.
    why dont you let them eat green hay? I though green hay was good?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member+ Dusty1979's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Minnesota (rural area)
    And, no, because when a horse is grazing on grass he can pick and choose what to eat and what not to eat (weeds/undesirable plants). When these plants are ground up in mower clippings, the horse may ingest a plant that may cause health concerns.

    Also, lawns may have fertilizer and weed treatments (sprays) that the horse should not be eating.

  7. #7
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    My horses have always eaten grass clippings... it's said you just shouldn't let them eat the clippings after they have dried.
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    I had a friend who's horse died after eating grass clippings. The vet said it was because they are moist and warm and when the horse ate them they fermented in his stomach and caused gas buildup which caused colic. IF the grass clippings are spread out and dry then I have heard it's okay--although I still wouldn't unless you know for certain no fertilizers etc have been used on the lawn. I also know someone else who throws the grass clippings over the fence to his horses all the time and so far hasn't had any problems. IMHO I just wouldn't take the chance.

  9. #9
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    Grass won't ferment in the horse's stomach.

    However, if the horse eats fermented grass, THAT is a problem.

    If they eat it *right away*, that is often fine, as long as they don't have access to clumps of it which can cause a choke problem.

    After it's dried, it's just hay anyway, so that is fine too.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member crazymink's Avatar
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    my gelding died of cholic 2 years ago because my nieghbors dumped their clippings into my corral!!
    Vet said the clippings balled up and also caused a gas build up. Vet said it was because he was not used to fresh grass ( i dry lot )

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