We have seen a few cases of acorn toxicity in the last month. At this time of year there are very large numbers of acorns on the ground. Cattle can graze quite happily year after year in a paddock with oak trees without problems, but every now and then an animal develops a taste for acorns, or feed availability is scarce and they will start to eat them. It is a good idea to fence off areas that acorns can be eaten.
Unripe acorns are thought to be the most toxic, but ripe acorns and oak leaves can also cause poisoning. Ingestion leads to kidney damage, abdominal discomfort, diarrhoea and death. Illness and death may continue to occur in a mob for up to 4 weeks after the acorns were eaten. Sheep and horses may also be affected, and pigs when very large quantities are eaten.