The Horrors of Tansy: Our Story.

(Picture from the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, linked in blog below)

This plant, Tansy Ragwort, is going crazy! I see it in Pastures with livestock and I can’t understand why it’s left there. This plant kills all livestock, except sheep. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than having to put a horse down from tansy poisoning. PLEASE, IF YOU SEE IT IN YOUR FIELDS OR IN THE DITCHES ALONG YOUR PROPERTY, PULL IT AND DESTROY IT!!

Careful with spray as it makes tansy taste sweet to livestock and they’ll be drawn to it. (Read our story below the link)
If you see Cinnabar moth caterpillars, move them to plants that dont effect the pastures and snip off the blooms. This way we can encourage their mission in life!

Some helpful links:

Our story about Tansy poisoning by Connie Wheeler….

Years and years ago I was given a stallion, 2 mares and an 8 month old filly that were starving to death. The owner was in the hospital and had no idea that no one was taking care of his horses.

The stallion had broken thru the gate and was in the pasture with the 2 mares so we knew one or both of them were most likely pregnant. He was also eating the small bucket of grain that a neighbor was throwing across the fence for all of them. The mares and filly were getting nothing to eat.

We knew the field was full of tansy but didn’t realize they were eating it until the neighbor told us they thought they had food to eat cuz they were eating the yellow flowers.

Fortunately I knew the horses and had no trouble loading the older mare. The 8 month old was so stunted she was like the size of a 4-5 month old and we literally had to back her into the trailer so she couldn’t see where she was going. She wanted to get away from us more than she wanted to come close so she backed up into the trailer in about an hour. We took these animals to our place, leaving the stallion and younger mare after giving them a bale of hay. We were going to go get them in a couple days.

The next day I get a phone call from one of the neighbors. The stallion was okay but the little filly was acting very odd.

There is nothing worse than watching a 2 year old filly go insane enough to go thru a barn wall, then run with no sense of direction until she ran into an old barbed wired fence and get so tangled she couldn’t move but still struggled to get loose. She had to be shot from a distance because you couldn’t get close enough to shoot her otherwise. She would have bitten or kicked you. Fortunately the first shot put her down.

We found the stallion a new home where he was gelded, taken care of and he didn’t seem to be having any problems.

We kept the pretty black mare who turned out to be in foal. She was doing fine until her foal was about 3-4 months old; then she started to go downhill rapidly. Her favorite food was homemade biscuits .. now she wouldn’t even sniff them, let alone eat thm. She wouldn’t eat anything nor drink water. She went blind, would stagger into a wall . it was sickening to watch. We knew what it was and talked to OSU about it. The amount of tansy she had eaten had built up in her organs to the point where pregnancy put too much of a load on them and she was dying from tansy poisoning. We had her put down.

Later, we heard that the stallion had had to be put down also. His organs were shutting down.

We had the two fillies for some time and broke them to ride. They were both stunted; both about 14 hands out of a 15 hand mare and by a 16 hand stallion. Very sweet little horses.

We had 7 horses at the time so we sold them at auction. Bear in mind this was a long long time ago when auctions were good places to find good horses.

Tansy is a vicious nasty weed. Please Please, pull it up and get rid of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.