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Round Up- is there a safe(r) alternative?

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  • Round Up- is there a safe(r) alternative?

    The owners of the small private stable where I board my horse recently treated the fence line with Round Up- my OTTB, who has to taste EVERYTHING ate the grass with Round Up and he got poisoned and had to be seen by a vet.

    He is well now, but I was hoping someone would know of a safe option.

  • #2
    I doubt your horse got poisoned by RoundUp. What can happen is that when vegitation dies it can change in pallatability. What tastes bad while alive and growing might not be so bad while dying. We pull "mouthy" horses away from dying lines until it's really dead.

    RoundUp is as safe a product as there is when used correctly.

    If you're really concerned about this, then use a weedeater.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
      I doubt your horse got poisoned by RoundUp. What can happen is that when vegitation dies it can change in pallatability. What tastes bad while alive and growing might not be so bad while dying. We pull "mouthy" horses away from dying lines until it's really dead.

      RoundUp is as safe a product as there is when used correctly.

      If you're really concerned about this, then use a weedeater.

      Well the vet saw him and confirmed it was poisoning, and the ONLY thing different was the Round Up-
      I don't think that the owners are prepared to weed eat a 10 acre field where he is turned out.
      But thanks for your thoughts


      • #4
        It sounds like you took Ghazzu's words negatively. It was not flippant to say that weed eating is the primary alternative, because Roundup is considered one of THE most safe herbicides because it degrades in sunlight quickly. However, it is not immediately degraded, so it was poor management to leave the horses in the field at the same time it was sprayed.

        Other alternatives are to let the weeds grow, which if the field is 10 acres, there are probably areas that are outside of view where this is reasonable. Old timers around here also use a small torch to burn the weeds but this seems horribly dangerous in the middle of summer.


        • #5
          We use a flame weeder a lot. My husband also drags around 400-500 feet of water-filled hose with him just in case.
          Laurie Higgins
          "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."


          • #6
            I use Round-up on 30 acres and my horses do not touch the crap growing along the fence line.

            We also choose very dry sunny hot days since it water proofs in 30 minutes. I use the heavey duty stuff and we only spray along the outside perimiter.


            • Original Poster

              I bet they would be ok with just using it on the outside perimeter. I am sure they did use it on both the inside and the outside, but one side would be good enough I bet
              thx for the great idea


              • #8
                How did the vet confirm that it was the Round-up? What tests did he run?

                I think what Guiherme is saying is the your horse may have eaten a weed that he would not have normally eaten. That the Round-up started to kill the weed and in the dying process your horse did not recognize that it was one he shouldn't have eaten. He then reacted to the weed.

                I don't see how most vets would be able to state it was definitly the Round-up poisoning rather than a reaction to another source such as a toxic weed. My guess is that the vet is assuming that it is a reaction to the Round-up based on timing. But I have been known to be wrong.

                I use Round-up in my yard. I have a lab puppy that eats everything. I just make sure we put it down on a dry day and wait 2 hours before letting him back in the yard.
                If the farm owner left the horses in the field while they were spraying or immediately after I would not be happy. If they turned them out a few hours after or the next day I would not have a problem with it.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                • #9
                  If not herbicide, use a weed eater, or pick by hand.

                  You could try mowing real close, but that doesn't always work to make it look just perfect.


                  • #10
                    I don't belive Round Up was the problem. I think I would be checking my pasture for other sources of poisoning. The offender may still be out there.

                    I couldn't find horses specifically but they are mammals. Quoted from http://www.monsanto.com/products/tec...de_scipubs.asp

                    Wild mammals
                    Glyphosate and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicides have been extensively tested for adverse
                    effects on laboratory mammals, primarily rats, mice, and rabbits. In addition to laboratory
                    studies, the scientific literature contains many field studies in which the effects of glyphosate
                    use on wild mammals have been examined (Sullivan and Sullivan, 2000; Santillo et al. 1989;
                    Hjeljord et al. 1988; Sullivan 1990; Hjeljord 1994; Cumming et al. 1996; Cole et al. 1998).
                    These studies indicate that glyphosate and glyphosate herbicides, when used according to label
                    directions, will not cause unreasonable adverse effects to mammals. An ecotoxicological risk
                    assessment of glyphosate (Giesy et al. 2000) reported estimated exposures that various
                    mammals might encounter from potential use of glyphosate. The authors concluded that
                    mammals, including the tiny meadow vole, would not be expected to encounter harmful levels of
                    glyphosate through multiple possible exposure routes, including food, water and direct contact.


                    • #11
                      This would not work on a 10ac field (unless they sell it in vats)- but we use white vinegar around the house/barns. The salt content is what kills the weeds - and any other living thing it soaks into. At $2/gal- it is wicked cheap!


                      • #12
                        Hey Diablos Halo

                        Thanks for the tip. I jsut ried a test strip to see how much I need to use. At 2.00 a gallon it beats Roundup. And we use it a lot for around the barn and the jumps.

                        Thanks again
                        RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                        "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                        • #13
                          Here's another tip for weed killing. Road Salt. Client showed me how she uses at her home fence line. She stocks up on regular road salt bags over the winter and just tosses it out dry right on the weeds and grass along her yard fence. I'm not sure if it needs to be rained on to soak into the roots or what but her fence lines are weed free.
                          ...don't sh** where you eat...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cruiser12 View Post
                            Well the vet saw him and confirmed it was poisoning, and the ONLY thing different was the Round Up-
                            I don't think that the owners are prepared to weed eat a 10 acre field where he is turned out.
                            But thanks for your thoughts
                            Poisoning, if indeed it was, can come from mutiple sources. What kind of poisoning was it? Did you walk the entire 10 acres and confirm that there were no noxious or poisonous plants in bloom? That there were no foreign objects or matter in the pasture? What poison was suspected? What tests, if any, did the vet run to confirm the diagnosis? What treatment(s) did he use and how successful were they?

                            If the owners won't weed eat, can you do it? You do seem very concerned about it.

                            These comments/suggestions are not flip, sarcastic, or in any fashion meant to mock your concern. They only reflect a knowledgeable skepticism about the vet's diagnosis and your assumptions.

                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                            • Original Poster

                              The vinegar thing sounds like a great idea. I could buy a pump up sprayer and apply it just like spray on weed killer.
                              Thank you for your suggestions! They do mow around the fence line, but use weed killer to get what the mower can't get.
                              Perhaps it wasn't the Round Up, but the vet said that he's seen it before and I just assumed he was correct.
                              It really is the only thing that made any sense, but I suppose it could have been something else.
                              You do have to understand, my horse will eat anything, and put anything in his mouth, he's just odd that way. So I had no reason to doubt the vet. I certainly didn't know why he was walking around like he was drunk, it was not like a colic or anything. Anyway thanks again for all the great thoughts.


                              • #16
                                It is well known that certain plants when wilting are toxic.

                                Black Cherry will kill. Cyanide.

                                Johnson grass and red maple leaves will kill during frost or wilt.

                                Certain plants when sprayed with Roundup become good to the taste whereas they are ordinarily avoided by livestock.

                                That said, I have used it since the first year it became available. I have used it in cattle pasture (I no longer have cattle) and I have used it in horse pasture leaving the horses in the field while I sprayed.

                                I have never had a problem.

                                One reason is that I am very careful about Black Cherry, maple leaves and Johnson Grass.

                                Your vet made a snap decision based on what you told him.

                                Unless he puts the horse down and does a PM on him, I doubt that he can back up his statement.

                                That does not mean that he is not qualified to practice, just that he spoke too quickly.



                                • #17
                                  If you decide to try the vinegar, you can get "horticultural vinegar" which is much more concentrated that grocery store vinegar. I had to get mine online.
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                                  • #18
                                    I would not put road salt out -- very often, chemicals are added to the mixture that you do not want anything ingesting. It also soaks into groundwater and runs off into surface waters, poisoning any animals that live there and degrading groundwater to toxic levels.
                                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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                                    We Are Flying Solo


                                    • #19
                                      well, here the road salt is about $2 a bag on sale at the end of the cold season, so I buy about 6 bags to keep our driveways and gravel paths clear of weeds for the summer. By next spring it has to be done again. But there are no added chemicals- its just plain old NaCl.
                                      "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                                        If you decide to try the vinegar, you can get "horticultural vinegar" which is much more concentrated that grocery store vinegar. I had to get mine online.

                                        I just googled horticultural vinegar and the cost ranged from $14.00 to over $26.00/gallon. Are you able to get it cheaper somewhere? If so, where/what brand as I'd love to stop having to use either Round Up or Ortho products or Ground Clear.

                                        I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.