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Mushroom #1:

Mushroom #2:

Mushroom #1:

Mushroom #2:

Mushroom #2:

Mushroom #1:

Lower left is #2 and center, upper right is #1:

I have tried and tried over the internet to find out what these mushrooms are that I have growing out in my horse paddock. I'll provide pictures soon but I have to go out and pull them up every other day. I fill a 5 gallon bucket each time. The last time I decided to go to bed and clean them up the next morning my quarter horse jumped the 4.5' electric fence before I cleaned up the mushrooms.

I am thinking he ate the dang mushrooms and went nuts. There are two different 'srooms; one is white capped, not a parasol, a bullet shape, with tan colored mottling, black gills and forms in groups and gets about 2" H X 1" W...also white stalks with no skirts or bands. All of this is in the horse's poop...(sprayed with pyrethrins for flies). The other is a bright white with a dusty coat, enlarging to a slight parasol with grey gills also forming groups of bullet shaped caps at first.

I have gotten headaches trying to ID these mushrooms off the internet. Fill a 5 gallon bucket every other day. Any ideas? Let me know if you need any more pictures. The mushroom #2 has pitch black gills, I can add more if necessary.

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Firstly let me say that mushroom identification is a precise art and that many fungi require a whole host of things to identify them 100%, sometimes including microscopes. Therefore take my identification with a pinch of salt.

I'm pretty sure mushroom #2 is a snowy ink cap (coprinopsis nivea/niveus), which is known for its preference of growing on manure. It's debated how toxic it is as it has both edible and toxic relatives but I would assume that eating it would not make you feel well.

Another close candidate for #2 is a shaggy ink cap (Coprinus comatus; also known as lawyers wig or shaggy mane), which is edible as long as you stay away from alcohol (don't try eating any of them though unless you're 100% sure it's a shaggy ink cap). The easy way to tell the difference between the two is by the texture of the caps.

I haven't got as good a guess for mushroom #1 but Panaeolus Semiovatus (a.k.a. separatus, possible edible) looks promising as it has similar coloring, likes dung and has a volva (there seems to be either a ring or volva on your third photo). Panaeolus antillarum (edible) is also worth a look. I will update my post if I find anything else.

It's also worth noting that horses may have different reactions to eating things than we would so whilst the edibility of fungi for humans is a good guideline it's probably not 100%.

  • Thank you Alpar! I guessed the inky cap but found no clear pictures. I've got a huge pile outside of the pasture now. I was never going to eat them but really didn't want my horses getting sick. Yup, they must love the dung. Have the spores always been in the soil or do they come in with the hay I feed? I will look these two up and I think I have another mushroom to have ID'd. I really appreciate this great answer!! Thanks for all your work! – stormy Sep 12 '14 at 20:33
  • As far as I know fungi appear because the spores have blown in from somewhere else and they've found a good growing environment or because the underground part of the fungus was already there. If the soil hasn't been disturbed much it may be from the feed or it could be from fruiting bodies further afield. – Alpar Sep 12 '14 at 20:39
  • This is the first year this ground has been used for a paddock (been a wilderness forest until we moved here). These mushrooms aren't growing anywhere else, must be the feed. Super, look for my new mushroom id question coming up in a day or two! – stormy Sep 12 '14 at 20:47
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    @stormy - I suspect they've arrived in association with the dung, rather than being the feed. Various mushroom mycelium cover the whole land surface of the planet, and the air is full of spores after they fruit, after all, so it wouldn't take much for them to 'forage' the dung, being opportunistic life forms. Its said every breath you take is laced with around 40 different fungal spores... – Bamboo Sep 13 '14 at 16:30
  • Well hi Bamboo! Yup, came in with the feed, hay but got pooped out! Grin! – stormy Sep 14 '14 at 0:43

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