What Kind of Vegetables Can a Horse Eat?

Written by sara clark
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What Kind of Vegetables Can a Horse Eat?
Carrots are a safe treat for most horses. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Every horse needs succulents in its diet to help keep it happy and healthy. Succulents include fruit, vegetables, spring grass and other plants. Most domestic horses have a restricted diet, so it's important to supplement their feed. This is particularly important in the winter when they will have no access to natural succulents.

The most commonly known succulents are apples and carrots, but many other vegetables are suitable as fodder. Never feed too many vegetables at once, as it can cause digestion problems. If your horse is prone to laminitis or obesity problems, ask your veterinarian before feeding any vegetables.

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Vegetables That Are Safe For Horses

Providing that they have no health problems, horses can eat the following vegetables safely: rutabaga, carrots, broccoli, beetroot, celery, cabbage leaves, pumpkin, squash, parsnips, peas and green beans .Feed no more than one to two handfuls a day, depending on the size of your horses.

Vegetables That Are Not Safe For Horses

Vegetables that are potentially dangerous as horse fodder are onions and raw potatoes. There is little danger of horses eating onions because of the strong taste. Raw potatoes are also not palatable, and horses will not tend to eat them unless hungry. Raw potatoes can be poisonous to horses in large enough quantities, and should be avoided. However, boiled potatoes are both safe and palatable and can help to keep condition on a horse that is not thriving.

If you are in doubt about feeding your horse certain vegetables, it is always best not to do so.

How to Prepare Vegetables to Feed to Horses

When adding vegetables to horse feed, care should be taken over the preparation to avoid a choking hazard. Never slice vegetables into rings or small cubes, as they may lodge in the horse's throat. Vegetables should be cut lengthways into strips before being added to feed. However most healthy horses with no dental problems should be able to cope with vegetables such as carrots and celery whole.

Other Ways of Feeding Vegetables

In addition to adding vegetables to feed, they are also useful as treats or rewards, or for helping to keep a stabled horse occupied. Keeping a bag of sliced carrots in your pocket is a healthy alternative reward for your horse. Do not feed mouldy vegetables though -- if you forget about the bag, throw it away. If your horse is on box rest, hanging a rutabaga from a string in the middle of his stable will keep him occupied. Make sure that he can't trap it against a wall and pull it down.

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