What hedge can you plant next to fence that is safe (non toxic) ?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by farmchick897, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    I just had woven wire fencing done and would like to plant something in front of it to hide it, the only thing is I plan to let my mini donkey and mini horses graze and would like something safe and something they won't nibble on. Any ideas? Would they eat raspberry or blackberry? Rose bush? How about a Clematis vines?
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Most ornamental shrubs and even many evergreens are poisonous to equids. You can get a list from your extension office, of plants to be careful of in your area.

    I have seen horses munching away happily on thorned plants and clematis, though I'm not sure it's really good for them.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The typical reason animals don't nibble on something is because it is BAD for them. While there are a few exceptions (tho they tend to be subject to the vagaries of individual animals' gourmet whims) by and large if you want something nontoxic they WILL eat it to some degree or another.

    Especially if there is not much else for them to graze/browse on. I mean, a 100 acre grassy pasture populated by three horses, yeah, they're not going to be leaning over the fence chewing on things much; but if you have a little paddock that is mostly dirt, or eaten down to little nubbins, for much of the year, they WILL try to eat pretty much anything they can reach, sometimes including toxic things.

    I would suggest selecting something nontoxic that suits your site/soil/zone/etcetera, and then either planting it further from the fence so that they cannot reach it, or just EXPECT them to be pruning the bits they can reach. If they will have strong incentive to try to nibble it (due to not much else to graze on) you might seriously consider running a few lines of electric wire on the inside of the fence, not to protect the plants but to protect the FENCE (and thus also the horses). I wouldn't do this in a tiny pen but as long as it's decent size it may be smart.

    Anything from the rose tribe (not just roses but also raspberries etc) is generally safe from a plant chemistry standpoint; as wc says, it may not do them *good* to be nibbling thorns but <shrug>. Clematis would be a bad idea, as you would have to grow it ON the fence and the horses would kill it pretty much dead pretty much right away. There are a variety of other choices but it depends on your zone (climate), soil type, sun exposure etc so I am not going to try suggesting anything at this point. Just pick something nonharmful and well suited, and protect it from the horses, and you will be ok.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    If you plant raspberries on the backside of the fence they may grow fast enough to avoid being eaten down. Our fences here get taken over by wild raspberry vines every year. Some have managed to establish themselves inside the fence.
  5. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Osage orange? Mother Earth News had an article about living fences and Osage Orange was on the list.
  6. farmchick897

    farmchick897 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    The fence was put up all around my wood line so it won't be permanent pasture for my animals. I will just let them graze down the grass to cut my mowing time. I was thinking of running electric about a foot in to keep them away from whatever I plant. It's 660 feet of fence so I'm going to try a couple different plants and see what works. Honeysuckle, raspberry, trumpet vine, rose vines ..
    Just want to make sure it won't kill anyone if they do manage a taste. Thanks for the responses!

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