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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,004

    Default Blueberry bushes in horse pasture - toxic or no?

    I'm helping a friend re-configure her horse pasture. One of the possible reconfigurations would put her two blueberry bushes inside the pasture, where the horses would have access to them.

    Friend doesn't care about losing the blueberry bushes. But she asked me if the plants might be toxic to her horses. To which I replied:

    So I thought I'd appeal to the font of knowledge that is my fellow COTH'ers. Anybody know the answer?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,402

    Default

    I don't know but the row of blueberries we have are going inside a small fenced area, mostly because horses can really tear up vegetation and I want those blueberries!
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,041

    Default

    I don't know about toxic either, but I can just imagine the stains a creative light colored horse could make with access to blueberries
    ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,053

    Default

    I've never heard of blueberry bushes being toxic to horses. I have 2 (had 3) high bush wild blueberry bushes in my pasture. They will gnaw on them a bit and eat some of the greenery but they aren't that interested. They mostly like to scratch on them, which led to the demise of bush #3. None of my horses have had any ill effects from the bushes. In fact, my horses seem to be immortal



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    Pendleton, SC
    Posts
    318

    Default

    If she isn't really interested in the bushes being ok, why doesn't she just pull them out? Not that they are toxic but as someone else already mentioned blueberry stains are really hard to get rid of.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    Anybody that has blueberry bushes and doesn't care if they lose them should be slapped.

    Seriously, if they aren't too big to transplant, offer them as free stuff on craig's list or someplace. There's folks that would KILL to have blueberries.

    If I was close enough, I'd be there with a shovel in a heartbeat.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    5,004

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    Anybody that has blueberry bushes and doesn't care if they lose them should be slapped.

    Seriously, if they aren't too big to transplant, offer them as free stuff on craig's list or someplace. There's folks that would KILL to have blueberries.

    If I was close enough, I'd be there with a shovel in a heartbeat.
    Friend's original idea was to give them to my DH, if he'd come dig them up. But DH already has six bushes, and we just used up the last of last year's blueberries this weekend.

    When I mentioned it to DH, though, he said he thought it was too late in the year to transplant the bushes. Our blueberries are already in bloom, and DH says you're supposed to transplant when they're dormant. (I don't know if this is true or if it sounded like a good way for DH to get out of digging up blueberry bushes. ).

    But Friend's blueberry bushes may be suffering from neglect. Hers don't have the first bloom on them yet.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
    Friend's original idea was to give them to my DH, if he'd come dig them up. But DH already has six bushes, and we just used up the last of last year's blueberries this weekend.

    When I mentioned it to DH, though, he said he thought it was too late in the year to transplant the bushes. Our blueberries are already in bloom, and DH says you're supposed to transplant when they're dormant. (I don't know if this is true or if it sounded like a good way for DH to get out of digging up blueberry bushes. ).

    But Friend's blueberry bushes may be suffering from neglect. Hers don't have the first bloom on them yet.
    Your friend's blueberries might be a later variety that won't bloom until later in the season.

    If it's a choice between letting the horses kill them and trying to transplant them and maybe having them die (unlikely -- more apt to just cripple this year's production), I'd say transplant.

    It's better if they are transplanted when dormant, but greenhouses around here sell them in pots, often already blooming. Somebody will want them.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
    Posts
    2,519

    Default

    I have blueberry bushes in a pasture where I often turn my horses out. They've never tried to eat them....however a creative horse can make a great butt/belly scratcher out of a blueberry bush. My horses killed two of them that way. They do the same thing to some azalea bushes I have. I know azaleas are poisonous but they've never even thought of taking a bite.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



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