Do any of you worry about chemical sprays?

Toz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2019
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This has never been something I worry about. My husband for many years was a sprayer operator and still drives one from time to time.
I’m never one to buy organic or worry particularly about what gos on my Food.
However, after such a run of bad luck with illness in my horses a friends constant nagging at me that it’s down to farmers spraying chemicals I'm starting to get worn down/believe her.
Hay for example, I have had organic hay with all sorts of weedy stuff in it whereas mine has the weeds sprayed out and is lovely. She says she’d rather her horse eat thistles than poison :( (I mean put like that of course but I’d rather not get stabbed every net I fill!)

Is it something that worries you, should I take it more seriously!!
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
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I dont know about horses but I do in gardening. And risk of Parkinsons. I stopped spraying. We dont eat entirey organic but I do wash everything.
 
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Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
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To be perfectly honest, just because something is 'organic' doesn't mean it's not been sprayed with something toxic. Some organic sprays are just as nasty as chemical ones, just that because they are plant based they are 'organic'
I've just found this to illustrate my point:
 
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newforest

Bring Out the Baileys
Mar 15, 2008
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Call me blind. But I have never seen the farmers here spraying the fields.
Muck spreading yes, but on the crops no. You would smell it in the air wouldn't you?
Our hay comes complete with prickles, as long as it doesn't come with dead ragwort.
Our yard isn't weed killed.

Do I worry, no. When did your friend qualify a vet? Sorry but I expect people who make claims to back them up. There are numerous things it could be with your horses. Have you had them allergy tested? I did this once and it was an eye opener!
 

Toz

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No I’ve not had them tested for anything. They haven’t all had anything in particular even it’s just been a string of terrible luck that she seems able to trace back (however bizarrely!) to sprays and chemicals
No you wouldn’t necessarily smell it. They are spraying across the road today, no idea what or what for but there’s no smell.
 

Toz

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I’m just beginning to wonder, even my husband commented yesterday how I “must be doing something wrong!” *yes that made me furious.
Im over analysing
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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No I’ve not had them tested for anything. They haven’t all had anything in particular even it’s just been a string of terrible luck that she seems able to trace back (however bizarrely!) to sprays and chemicals
No you wouldn’t necessarily smell it. They are spraying across the road today, no idea what or what for but there’s no smell.
Yes if you can visibly see farmers spraying then I would be concerned. Can you ask them what it is and try to find out when they are spraying?
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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...la la land
The arable farmer near us does spray his crops. Im not sure what with. It could even be liquid fertilizer/run off from slurry. Although hes not a cattle farmer, but could be getting it from somewhere. I know he gets pig muck and mushroom compost brought in too.
They were spraying the other week when we rode past with the horses. I did have to cover my mouth and nose as it was quite chemically in the atmosphere but you couldnt smell it about 1/2 mile on.
We dont blanket spray our grass fields, we do knapsack spray all our perimeter electric fencing and some years we have dot sprayed our fields for thistles and nettles if they start to get to much of a hold. Its usually done when they start to emerge so by the time we hay cut its quite often completely died back by haymaking.
I do think that sometimes we need to look at our own practices on how we keep our animals. Sometimes it is just shear bad luck and sometimes its down to the way they are kept. We all believe we are right in the way our animals are kept. Take for example stabling vs animals out 24/7. If you are a person that stables your horse then you can feel sorry for the poor horse thats out 24/7 in all the elements. Which ones the healthier. The one shut in where there might be dust spores in the shed where there pulling the hay out the nets, as opposed to those pulling hay out in the field where the spores can escape into the air better. Which horse is more likely to get copd cough. Equally whos better the one stood knee deep in mud or the one in a clean stable. Theres always two sides to the arguement.
I supplementry feed my horses with food i buy in and some supplements. We feed them as they say on the pack there good for our horses. But do we really know or understand the ingredients label of whats in the bag. I know i dont.
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
My next door but one farmer neighbour uses spray on some of his land. It doesn't smell and I have no clue what it is. I don't worry. Life is too short on that score, and I think it's too far away from Zi and the girls for me to bother. I am guessing it's just fertiliser anyways. I use weed killer in moderation. There are far greater risks to your health. Sensible measures and all that, like I wear disposable rubber gloves and make sure I change boots before going near the horses (because they eat off their byre floor). There are a eight million ways to die (and a lot more since that film was made I'll wager:p). So no, I don't worry over chemicals. As for the girls and Zi's hay supply - it's pretty good stuff we get shipped up. Meadow hay grown local is hard to come by. My girls are both so old now I doubt if anything in the hay chemical wise is going to hurt them or affect them.
 
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Toz

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Yes if you can visibly see farmers spraying then I would be concerned. Can you ask them what it is and try to find out when they are spraying?
Thing is even if I know I can’t do anything about it anyway.
The sprayer is often cleaned out by putting All clear in and just standing still on the yard spraying it’s never bothered me. (That said I do move
any haynets within spray distance!!)
 

Ale

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2012
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Thing is even if I know I can’t do anything about it anyway.
The sprayer is often cleaned out by putting All clear in and just standing still on the yard spraying it’s never bothered me. (That said I do move
any haynets within spray distance!!)
See problem is I'm in a built up location so we don't really get any spraying. I should probably worry about the actual pollution we deal with being right next to roads and the a3. But I don't worry about that and guess it's the same sort of thing really so ignore me!
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I'm aware of it, but don't stress over it. When trying new hay I'll often ask if it's been sprayed and some will proudly say yes, 3 times a year. My main guy sprays once if necessary, he's a seed producer and I've never had weeds in his hay. I quite like some weeds as they add variety to the diet so as long as their not toxic I see them as beneficial.

Most food products are treated in some way and as @Kite_Rider said some of the organic ones can be as nasty in their effects. A popular kill all organic solution is salt and vinegar, but it's actually terrible for the environment as the salt doesn't deactivate after xx days or contact with soil and it gets washed to areas it wasn't intentionally applied to and continues killing plant life.

I will be spraying my field this year, I try to avoid it but needs must occasionally, I will keep the neds off for at least double the recommended removal period just to be cautious and watch them when I put them back on but I've never correlated any issue to spraying as long as the instructions are followed.
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
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No I don’t think about it. My fields aren’t sprayed the hay we get had thorns etc I quite like that as do the boys.

We are in a village I can smell the slurry being sprayed it stinks but doesn’t bother me