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Is Sudan grass toxic to horses?

3 min read

Asked by: Donta Aleman

Sorghum-sudangrass can cause cyanide poisoning in horses after a fall frost, especially nonkilling frosts. Less mature sorghum-sudangrass tends to contain higher amounts of cyanide. Don’t allow horses to graze new growth after a frost. The plant’s leaves contain more cyanide than the stems.

Can horses graze on Sudan?

Can horses safely graze sorghum/sudan grasses and be fed sorghum/sudan hay? No. These types of grasses can cause cyanide poisoning in horses.

Is sorghum the same as Sudan grass?

Sorghum and sudangrass plants contain a compound called dhurrin, which can break down to release prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide, HCN). Sudangrass has low levels of this compound and rarely kills animals. Sorghum has the highest levels and sorghum-sudangrasses are intermediate.

Is sorghum good for horses?

Avoid feeding horses crops from the sorghum family in all circumstances. In the green growth stage, these crops can cause cystitis syndrome, a urinary tract disease.

What is Sudan grass good for?

Sudangrass is grown in the United States for pasture, grazing, green chop silage, hay, or seed. The crop is used as pasture for dairy and beef cows, sheep, and hogs, and as a range plant for poultry, especially turkey.

Is Sudan grass poisonous?

All parts of the plant are poisonous especially if wilted or in regrowth. The cyanide blocks the action of the cellular enzyme cytochrome oxidase thus preventing hemoglobin from releasing oxygen to the tissues. Death results rapidly from anoxia. Sudan grass may also accumulate toxic levels of nitrates.

Does Sudan grass make good hay?

Forage sorghum, sudangrass and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids (sudax) are exceptionally heat and drought tolerant annual crops that are used for cover, grazing, green chop, hay, and silage. Because of the drought and hay shortage, many acres of these crops have been planted this year for emergency forage in Michigan.

How do you graze sorghum-sudangrass?

When grazing sorghum-sudangrass, move animals so they leave 6 to 8 inches of stubble. However, they might waste 20 to 30 percent of the forage through grazing. Lastly, sorghums and sudangrasses are luxury consumers of potassium and shouldn’t be used for dry cow forages.

Is Sudan grass invasive?

sudangrass: Sorghum bicolor (Cyperales: Poaceae): Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States. Spikelet(s); Spikelets in ventral view.

Does Sudan grass come back every year?

It is a finer stemmed warm season annual grass when compared to forage sorghum and will regrow after each harvest.

When can you graze Sudan grass?

It is best to start grazing when grass reaches 18-30 inches. Sudangrass should not be grazed at less than 18 inches in height and should never be grazed after a frost or severe drought. A few weeks after a frost, it is safe to turn livestock out. An adequate rest period is needed after grazing or cutting.

How do you get rid of Sudan grass?

Use sorghum-sudangrass to help control nutsedge infestations, suggests Cornell Extension IPM vegetable specialist John Mishanec. Allow the nutsedge to grow until it’s about 4 to 5 inches tall but before nutlets form, about mid-June in New York. Kill the nutsedge with herbicide, then plant the weed-smothering hybrid.

How do you cut Sudan grass?

Hay — harvest is difficult with sudangrass and sorghum- sudan hybrids. Cut the crop at a 30 to 36- inch height. Leave 6 to 8 inches stubble height for best regrowth and aeration of the cut forage swaths.

How many times can you cut sudangrass?

Many summer annual forages grown in Kansas may be cut for hay multiple times. With reasonable care, those forages — sudangrass, hybrid pearl millets, and even sorghum-sudangrass hybrids — can produce two and even three cuttings with excellent feed value, said Kansas State University agronomist Vic Martin.

Is Sudan grass hay good for cattle?

Sudangrass and sorghum are two of a group of plants that produce cyanide, which can poison livestock under certain conditions. These plants, called cyanogenetic plants, produce cyanogenetic glucosides during their growing stage.