Horse Food You Shouldn’t Feed

There are many things horses enjoy nibbling at, so don’t be surprised if they are mischievous and very inquisitive. Getting acquainted with the world around them is one way, but it can also be attributed to their voracity. It is still your responsibility to feed them quality foods, and only quality foods. Horses can be seriously harmed by anything that is not confirmed safe to eat, so follow the rules. Nevertheless, a reminder is always useful, so here are five things you shouldn’t feed your horse!

1. A meat product

In light of the fact that horses eat plants – i.e. herbivores – this might seem obvious. Plant-based diets are natural to them, so you should follow them. Don’t get any funny ideas and offer horses meat or meat-based products. Sinewy and chewy meat isn’t good for horses’ teeth, and their digestive system can’t handle it either. It is therefore recommended to avoid all products that contain even a small amount of meat. It can cause more harm than good.

2. Hay that is old

If your horse’s food is running low, you reach for that old bunch of hay or roughage that’s been standing in the corner for ages. This would be a fatal mistake. The respiratory system of your horse can be irreparably damaged by old hay that has been left standing for too long and has become dusty, dirty, and moldy. Horses will often eat anything, even if it is bad for their health, so it is your responsibility to provide them with quality food. Avoid exposing your horse to moldy and stale hay over the long term.

3. The chocolate industry

A good horse might be rewarded with chocolate by some owners. Why shouldn’t your horse enjoy it if you do? That’s not true. Horses shouldn’t eat chocolate. Chocolate is dangerous for horses, just like it is for cats and dogs. Theobromine can cause illness in most animals. When consumed in large doses, cocoa can kill horses, and even a little bit of chocolate can enter their bloodstreams. Even a square of chocolate can be dangerous to a horse, so avoid it at all costs.

4. Clippings from lawn mowers

You mowed the lawn, and now you have grass clippings. They seem minced and fresh, and easy to eat for horses. This would be a mistake, and a potential health hazard, even though it is just grass. Often, bunched up cut grass contains unhealthy and poisonous plants, as well as a higher concentration of harmful parasites. As a result, horses eat large quantities of such “mushed” grass – this causes colic and bloating, along with other problems. Grass that has sat for just a day or two will quickly develop dangerous mold. Instead of feeding it to your horses, it is best to throw it away or use it as compost for your garden.

5. Fruits and vegetables

For us, these are delicious veggies, perfect for salads or sandwiches. Horses, however, are very sensitive to tomatoes, which are toxic to them. Tomatoes belong to the Solanaceae family of plants. There is also the Deadly Nightshade in this family, which is notoriously poisonous. All of these elements are part of the nightshade family, including atropine, hyoscyamine, and solanine. A single tomato can cause tomato poisoning in a horse, which results in increased heart rate, diarrhea, constipation, and severe digestion issues. You should avoid them at all costs.

To ensure a balanced diet for your horse, stick to the classics and follow the advice of your veterinarian. Throughout the day, horses should be fed according to their weight, age, and level of activity. Trying to experiment with odd and unorthodox foods can actually do more harm than good. 

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