Frosty grass and horses

Discussion in 'General' started by Tiggy02, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Tiggy02

    Tiggy02 New Member

    I was always told not to turn ponies out on the frosty grass and have never done so but was wondering is it really going to cause lami or colic?? What about the ponies that live out 24/7. Mine are stabled overnight and we turn out around 7am if we don't do it then they have to stay in all day with just a quick turn around the concrete yard. Would be better if they could go out but with the weather we are having at the moment the field has been frosty yesterday and today. Any advice please.
  2. angelfben

    angelfben New Member

  3. Tiggy02

    Tiggy02 New Member

    Thanks for the link - sounds like I should be okay to put them out in future.
  4. angelfben

    angelfben New Member

    Yep ours all go out, I just give those that don't normally get breakfast a small chaff feed so that they're not stood around with an empty stomach while the ground is frozen. Not a problem if you're putting hay out mind :)
  5. RockChick2007

    RockChick2007 Lindsay "N" Bangle

    my mare's out 24/7 all year round and doesnt get breakfast / any feed at all in a morning , but there is Ad lib straw (not hay) always available in the field in a "ring" feeder where all the horses are usually stood round 1st thing in the morining and last thing at night

    also 80-90% of the riding school ponies live out all the time and they've always been fine
  6. Loopslou

    Loopslou New Member

    I had a panicked phone call from a good friend about 2 winters ago. She had turned out her 2 horses as normal early morning which is crisp and frosty. Anyhow, on her way to work she stopped at the feed merchants and just happened to be chatting to the girl behind the counter and mentioned she'd just turned them out. The reply she got was "omg, you'll have 2 dead horses by the time you get home!" Hence the panicked call from me. She wouldn't listen to my reassurances so I rang my vet, asked him and he said that there is no proof that it will cause lami or colic and that horses that live out 24/7 don't actually stand around eating the whole time and at some point will be eating frosted grass.

    It put my friends mind at rest but needless to say, the girl doesn't work at the feed merchants anymore!
  7. redcomet

    redcomet New Member

    just turning out on frost wont automatically make them drop to the floor with severe lami! the risk of them getting it is just higher because the fructin/sugar levels in the grass are higher on frosty mornings. so if u have a pony that is prone to lami then its probably best to try and keep them off frosty pasture
  8. Smartie Pants2

    Smartie Pants2 New Member

    Mine go out on frosty grass, but I leave them with a bit of hay and hopefully they eat that until the grass thaws abit.
  9. goeslikestink

    goeslikestink New Member

    i have been turning mine at 5.30am frost or not for over 34yrs none haveever been ill with colic or laminitus
  10. evilgiraffe

    evilgiraffe Mwahahahahaaaa

    How does that work? Trying to figure out the plant biology that leads to lower temperatures causing a higher sugar content in leaves. I'm struggling!
  11. friesianfan69

    friesianfan69 New Member

    Ours both live out ,long as got hay :D
  12. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

    by the time frosty grass reaches the horses stomach its like anyother grass......

    it is slightly higher in fuctose levels and so a pony prone to laminitis shouldnt be turned out in frost if it lasts for a long period. but one or 2 frosty days shouldnt be a problem
  13. artemis

    artemis New Member

    It's not so much the frost on the grass, but the SUN on the frosted grass that raises the fructan levels. Only a problem with laminitis prone horses.
  14. Portia

    Portia New Member

    Fructans are considered non structural carbohydrates (NSC) which plants produce in larger quantities when stressed. They are similar to starch, but the horse does not have the ability to break them down in the same way it does starch, therefore the fructans end up in the hindgut where bacteria multiply and break down the fructan. The overgrowth of the fructan-digesting bacteria upsets the normal balance in the hindgut, resulting in toxins being formed - which may in turn trigger laminitis.

    Fructans are produced following photosynthesis in grass, which is dependant on sunlight, and are lower in grass during cloudy weather.
    Fructans occur as a stress response during periods of drought, over-grazing, rapid growth (spring/autumn) and when frosted in the winter. Frosted weed may have even higher levels of fructans than grass - dandelion being a prime example of this! From what I can find, increased production of frcutans is designed to protect and preserve the plant in order that seed production can take place in more clement weather. Think botanical anti-freeze!

  15. Fizz

    Fizz New Member

    mine get hay after their breakfast while i then remove the water in the field & replace with buckets, tally used to colic on ice cold water.
  16. evilgiraffe

    evilgiraffe Mwahahahahaaaa

    Aha! Thanks, Portia :)

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