View Full Version : Klein Grass

10-21-2007, 10:44 AM

I am new to this forum and in the process of adopting some horses from Habitat for Horses. We have a pasture of klein grass with other grasses mixed in. The former owner of the property grazed his 4 horses on this pasture for 4-5 years and didn't have a problem that he or we could see. Can anybody give some insight to klein grass. Is it safe for horses?

Thank you,

10-22-2007, 10:46 PM
Klein grass is toxic to the liver. Your friends horses may not have appeared sick because the liver has such a huge reserve--until 2/3rds of the liver is non-functional, there are often very few if any outward symptoms.

"Kleingrass contains a secondary plant compound (a sapogenin) that can be toxic to sheep, goats and horses. The toxicity can be a problem both when feeding baled kleingrass and when grazing kleingrass with these species of livestock. The concentration of the toxic principle is greatest in the new basal growth of kleingrass that appears after spring and summer rains. Most toxicity problems in horses has occurred when feeding kleingrass hay. Horses will readily eat kleingrass hay, but most horses will not eat live kleingrass plants. Horses will eat kleingrass when it is dormant in the winter time. I have not seen any reports on burros but suspect they would likely be poisoned if they consumed live kleingrass or kleingrass hay. I also have not seen any reports on Barbado sheep, but white-face sheep are highly susceptible to photosensitization/swell head when grazing live kleingrass. Darrell Ueckert, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, San Angelo, d-ueckert@tamu.edu"

10-24-2007, 02:40 PM
In that case, we are going to our county extension agent to find out the best way to get rid of the klein and plant something that is more palatable to horses. Does anybody have an idea as to what type of grass would be best.

08-09-2008, 06:36 AM
Since you are in my area of Texas (Medina) I'm thinking that coastal bermuda would have to be your choice for pasture. It grows easily, spreads nicely (as long as it gets some water) and pretty much chokes out the weeds and other grasses. Seed is available in most all feed stores and it's pretty much all they grow around here for horses and cattle. My horses graze all day and get fat and sassy. You probably will want to shred (mow) it at least once every other month to keep the bugs down during the humid months but otherwise it is pretty much carefree and good feed.