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View Full Version : LAST question/concern (I promise) about these d@mn locust posts



dmalbone
Dec. 2, 2009, 12:52 AM
I'm worried. I wasn't, but now I am. It seemed like when I was looking to buy them EVERYONE I talked to said how great it was that I could find some so cheap (to me not so cheap, but I'm poor after building a barn!) since they were such great fencing. Now I'm worried about the toxicity. Am I being a worry wart? Please be honest. Tell me to get over it and enjoy finally having my horses home or tell me I should do everything humanly possible to fix it. I know black WALNUT is the killer, but google easily tells you black locust is dangerous as well. These still have the bark on. It's fall and the bark will be hard as nails I'm sure so I was just going to wait until they got older and loosened. Now I'm worried about horses eating peeling bark, or bark falling in the pasture and them eating it, etc. etc. and dying. I looked up and found a debarker that goes on a chainsaw that is $200 :eek: as well as needing to buy a chainsaw to put it on,... even a cheapo one is another $140. PLUS, the fence guy is going to be here on Saturday to put them in. What would you do? Once they're up I can still do something to them before the fencing is up, but not with the chainsaw debarker and I'd be worried about sending bark flying into the pasture. Each hot wire will be 8" apart. Can coated hotwires all be installed off the fence at all to keep them farther away? Any help? I'm just having a bit of a nervous breakdown picturing dead horses the day I bring them home. :rolleyes:

Obi
Dec. 2, 2009, 01:15 AM
If you are using hot wire on the post, I find it very unlikely that a horse will choose that to chew on. I have electric on my wood post and not one horse has ever touched one of the post to chew on it, or even think about chewing on it.

DebbieB
Dec. 2, 2009, 01:26 AM
I used to keep my horses on land with MANY MANY black locust trees. I also used them as posts.
They might have eaten some bark. I don't really recall them being attracted to the bark, they prefered the grass.
Nobody got sick or died.

The old timers who told me that black locust make good fence posts also said that they should be seasoned before being put in the ground, otherwise they quickly rot.

dmalbone
Dec. 2, 2009, 01:33 AM
good to know, thank you. Keep 'em coming!

Mali
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:13 AM
Not only have I never had any issues with the bark on my posts, but many many farms in my area also have used black locust over the years. Locust is very prevalent in my neck of the woods and I've never heard a negative peep about them in the 39+ years I've been on this earth.

Mali
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:14 AM
If you are using hot wire on the post, I find it very unlikely that a horse will choose that to chew on. I have electric on my wood post and not one horse has ever touched one of the post to chew on it, or even think about chewing on it.

ditto. the only chewed posts on my property are the ones lining my un-electrified arena. those horses aren't going near the electric.

shakeytails
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:57 AM
Black locusts posts are fine, we used them a lot in NY with no problems ('cept for nailing into the #$%^& things). And not that you'd want to use Black Walnut for posts, but it's not a killer. If there's Black Walnut in your shavings, you may have a bunch of foundered horses, but the trees in your pasture aren't dangerous. The "killer" is wilted (not fresh, not dried)leaves of the Cherry tree- just a few can kill.

Tamara in TN
Dec. 2, 2009, 09:44 AM
[QUOTE=dmalbone;4532338]I'm worried. I wasn't, but now I am. It seemed like when I was looking to buy them EVERYONE I talked to said how great it was that I could find some so cheap (to me not so cheap, but I'm poor after building a barn!) since they were such great fencing. Now I'm worried about the toxicity.

toxic ? there is a reason BL last forever and it's not because they are tasty;) but toxic ? maybe the nasty prickers on the branches are something to worry about...but the bark? I have never seen a horse who'd go near it living or as a post...


yes,you are being a worry wart;)

SaddleFitterVA
Dec. 2, 2009, 02:27 PM
Supposedly they are toxic. My horses used to eat the leaves of black locusts, like the bark of black walnut until I wrapped it in chicken wire, and killed an entire grove of honey locusts by eating the bark off those, but they did not like the wood of the black locust.

They never did have any issues, and we lived there for almost 12 years.

Standing on black walnut shavings is what is toxic. It doesn't appear that eating the bark hurts them, but I did prevent it once i figured it out because horses are like beavers and will kill trees fast.

SMF11
Dec. 3, 2009, 07:50 PM
I've never heard of black locust being poisonous to horses, though I don't doubt that info is out there. All my pastures are fenced with it, without any hotwire, and there is no chewing and there are no sick horses. On the other hand, the pressure treated pine posts I used for my sacrifice area are clearly quite tasty to the horses.

I'm with Tamara, you are being a worry wart :-) (I still can't get the smilies to work in my posts!)

crazy gray horse
Dec. 3, 2009, 08:40 PM
('cept for nailing into the #$%^& things). .

Cripes these posts are hard to nail into!! We have all locust posts in our fencing - we cut them off the property and had them cut into posts. While they were green, they were easy to nail/screw but once they cured forget it :lol:

My horses have never bothered the posts - and I have a cribber!

DressageFancy
Dec. 3, 2009, 08:59 PM
The horses WILL chew the bark!!! The bark is where the poison is. The wood is fine. Keep these posts well clear of the horses until you have stripped the bark. Then either burn the bark or dispose in your local landfill if you cannot burn it. KEEP THE BARK AWAY FROM THE HORSES! Cost my dear friend $6000 at the Ohio State Univ Horse Hospt to save her two horses. They both went down with colic within a couple hours of injesting locust bark---and only a nible of it. She had the posts (bark on) off the side of the lane that the horses come into the barn from. They both stoped to check out and nible on the posts as she was closing the gate behind them. She turned around and shooed them on to the barn but those little nibbles were enough to almost kill them. Without the O.S.U. veterinarys they definately would have died.

DressageFancy
Dec. 3, 2009, 09:02 PM
Please, please, please everyone read my above post!! I cannot say enough about how toxic the cut locust post bark is. I have seen the results.

dmalbone
Dec. 3, 2009, 09:41 PM
sigh.... just when I was convinced I was being a whacko. The posts are coming tomorrow and are scheduled to go in this weekend.

Chall
Dec. 3, 2009, 09:51 PM
Wow guys, I have lots of black locust trees and they seem to absorb every drop of rain and rot out on the tree. I never thought anyone would use them for fencing - the ones in my yard don't seem strong enough to use for anything. They are the ones with the small oblongish leaves and the heavenly smelling white flowers in the spring, right?

dmalbone
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:06 PM
Wow guys, I have lots of black locust trees and they seem to absorb every drop of rain and rot out on the tree. I never thought anyone would use them for fencing - the ones in my yard don't seem strong enough to use for anything. They are the ones with the small oblongish leaves and the heavenly smelling white flowers in the spring, right?

I believe black and honey locust are very similar looking. Sure it's not a honeylocust?

Tamara in TN
Dec. 4, 2009, 09:37 AM
Wow guys, I have lots of black locust trees and they seem to absorb every drop of rain and rot out on the tree. I never thought anyone would use them for fencing - the ones in my yard don't seem strong enough to use for anything. They are the ones with the small oblongish leaves and the heavenly smelling white flowers in the spring, right?

these are covered in spines big enough to puncture tractor tires ;) nothing pretty about them

dmalbone
Dec. 4, 2009, 11:16 PM
Well... update. Our posts were delivered today. We also drove 2 hours to pick up a "log wizard" which is the quickest way for us to debark them without scouring to find someone with a big portable one to bring. I'm sure they're fine, but we have small acreage for now and I think I'd just sleep easier. A few days and a couple hundred I guess is worth it as opposed to a small chance of toxicity. It's probably nothing, but I guess a little money and time investment is worth the sleep. I'm obviously a worrier to begin with. The barn isn't going be done within the next two weeks so I guess pushing the fencing back a week won't kill us.

Tom King
Dec. 5, 2009, 10:13 AM
I hope you got the cutterless chain to run the Log Wizard.

I think with the Locust bark, you will need a saw with enough horsepower so you can run it not at full throttle. I'm not sure a small, cheap saw with work very well.

I order all such chainsaw equipment from www.baileysonline.com (http://www.baileysonline.com). I hope that's the right link.

I'd probably just use a draw knife after the posts are set to get it out of the way where the fence attaches. Locust bark comes off in long strips once it releases.

dmalbone
Dec. 5, 2009, 10:22 AM
I hope you got the cutterless chain to run the Log Wizard.

I think with the Locust bark, you will need a saw with enough horsepower so you can run it not at full throttle. I'm not sure a small, cheap saw with work very well.

I order all such chainsaw equipment from www.baileysonline.com (http://www.baileysonline.com). I hope that's the right link.

I'd probably just use a draw knife after the posts are set to get it out of the way where the fence attaches. Locust bark comes off in long strips once it releases.

Thanks, Yep we ordered a cutterless chain and a chainsaw last night. DH talked to the guy at the store last night all about saws, etc. Apparently there's a fine line with these about getting one too weak and too strong (read: HEAVY with the way you have to hold the thing). I don't know exactly what he ordered, but it's a midrange between the really wussy ones and the powerful ones. We won't use it for anything other than this except for on the rare occasion. My dad also has a broken Husqvarna that he said we were more than welcome to fix up and borrow if the other doesn't work out.

I was going to just strip it where it stood, but the post above my update one about the toxicity just sent me into panic mode. :sigh: On the bright side, at least my anal retentive self will then be able to paint them black to match everything. :rolleyes:

Tom King
Dec. 5, 2009, 11:07 AM
If your Dad's saw is a 3.75 cubic inch one or above-I don't remember the Husky model #'s- I'd fix that one instead of buying a designated one for this use. Most of the time if one just won't start because it's been sitting around a long time, it just has a gummed up carbuerator and needs a kit. Whole new carbs are about 55 bucks from Bailey's if you don't have the inclination to put a 10 dollar kit in a carb, but it will probably cost more than a new carb to get someone else to do it.

I think horses would have to be pretty hungry to eat locust bark but I'm sure there are some wood eaters who might. Our spoiled ones would never lower themselves.

If everywhere there is no horse access to the side that the fence boards or whatever is on, the way Locust bark comes off in long strips should keep it all on the outside.

In any case, regardless of what saw you end up with, only use gas that doesn't have ethanol in it (for any small engine that sits for that matter) and use Stihl oil which has stabilizer in it. Ethanol absorbs water and will cause gumming many times faster than straight gasoline.