Is it true that carrot tops
(ie the green leafy
bits) are not good to feed to horses.
I have always 'known' that
green carrot tops were bad for horses but I'm dashed if
I can remember what they contain that makes them bad.
MIGHT be the same as green in potatoes - (solanine)
(also present in the tops of carrots when exposed to
light and greenish) but I'm dashed if I can remember.
My trusty Hayes covers most things that cause
problems - onions, would you believe; brassicas, sorghum
grains, and lectins in beans, some members of the pea
family (lathyrogens) and certain glycosides (lima beans,
sorghum leaves) but nothing on carrot tops.
peas poisonous then ? I ask as a family friend who is retired
has a 'plot' for veg growing and I think he is
planning to grow sweet peas next year - I have told him
about potatoes and onions do I need to mention sweet
members of the pea family (Lathyrus) including Sweet
peas contain lathyrogenic agents which cause a rather
nasty type of poisoning which results in sudden and
transient paralysis of the larynx with near suffocation
brought on by exercise. Associated with
degenerative change in nerves and muscles of larynx and
profound irritation of liver and spleen. The whole
plant contains the toxin, although the seeds the most
What does the term brassicas
include. I feed the vegetable bits to my Dales
and this includes things like cabbage stalks and
broccoli stems. What problems do they cause? My pony
wolfs them down and doesn't seem to have come to any
harm yet - but I don't want to do her any damage.
brassicas - cabbages, rape, kale, mustard (and, I think
brussel sprouts are brassicas too) contain thyroactive
substances which, when consumed persistently -
particularly by young stock - can cause goitre. I
wouldn't think small quantities occasionally would do
any harm at all - but you wouldn't want horses getting
into a field of kale (or a garden allotment FULL of
cabbages.) Sheep grazed on kale are fed
supplementary iodine - because kale is such a cheap,
nutritious feed for grazing animals it's worth the
Beans are also dodgy - containing lectins - but again in
very small quantities are not likely to cause problems.