Dandeloins in the pasture - friend or foe
Are dandelions bad for horses?
We’ve got a bumper crop of dandelions popping up this year in the horse pasture. After seeing the horses coming in with yellow noses the other night I figured it was worth doing a bit of research to find out just what they are getting from munching on all those yellow flowers.
Here’s what I’ve come up with…
Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions are great for assisting with cleaning and detoxifying the liver. Since the liver has the job of filtering toxins out of the blood the timing here is pretty handy as we just got through spring vet work which can add to the toxins in the body.
Nutritionally they are pretty fantastic too. They’re loaded with vitamins and minerals and high in beta-carotene which is great for skin health.
They also contain inulin fiber to help aid the digestive tract and keep microbiome balanced. Inulin can also help keep blood sugar down, which is great for horses that may be getting extra sugars this time of year on lush pastures.
Dandelions can help reduce inflammation too. This salve recipe, from my friend Jill at the Prarie Homestead, is great for putting them to use on sore muscles and skin issues.
Too much of a good thing-like just about anything horses eat too much can cause excess gas and loose manure.
If you feel like you’re being overrun by them remember their temporary so no need to go around blasting them with weed killer. Worst-case scenario just buzz them down before they seed out.
I’ve gone over only a few of the many benefits but if you want the full scoop on dandelions this article here can fill you in on everything in more detail.