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Are Apples Healthy For Horses

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Wednesday, 18 November, 2020
• 7 min read

Horses can eat apples as treats as long as they are fed in moderation and properly prepared. You should never feed a large amount of any treat in a single day, as this could lead to digestive issues in your horse.

horse apple apples horses eat feeding kid treats healthy lovebackyard
(Source: lovebackyard.com)

Contents

As with any new food, start small and only feed them a few pieces of an apple at first and monitor them for a day. While apples are generally safe, there are some instances where they could potentially create a problem.

You should feed any treat only in moderation to avoid upset stomach and colic in your horse. Horses digestive systems are extremely fragile if they are not fed the proper diet.

If you feed your horse a lot of apples at one time, it can definitely cause severe stomach distress and possibly lead to a vet visit. To avoid this and to keep your horse happy and healthy, stick with feeding just 1 or 2 apples per day.

If you want to, cut up one apple in the morning and feed part of it early and the rest later in the afternoon. This keeps your horse happy and helps them avoid any stomach issues.

Some horses suffer from metabolic issues such as Cushing’s and insulin resistance. Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPE) is a disease that makes the horse unable to handle potassium, and it actually leaks out of their muscles causing severe issues.

apples horses ranch horse truckload mischievous chance second truck these rescue pulls go bonkers animal they were
(Source: blog.theanimalrescuesite.com)

Apples contain potassium and are not recommended for horses that suffer from HYPE. They actually tend to love the peeling and since it is relatively thin, they have no problem crunching it up along with the rest of the apple.

The apple peel contains extra fiber that is beneficial to your horse’s digestive system. Some horses tend to eat too quickly and may swallow a whole apple too fast, causing it to be lodged in their throat.

This also helps to trick your horse into thinking that he or she is getting a lot of treats instead of just one that has been cut up. You can add chopped up apples to your horse’s bran mash as a special treat.

There are a number of baked treats that incorporate apples that you can prepare for your horse. Just make sure that any ingredients that you use are safe for a horse and that you don’t add too much or any sugar if possible.

Freeze it completely, remove the container and then put it out for your horse to lick on throughout a hot summer day. Again, make sure any ingredients used are safe for horses and that you don’t add too much sugar since apples already contain some.

horses eating apples
(Source: www.youtube.com)

You can cook and soften apples to make them easier to chew for horses that have dental problems. Just make sure they are cut up in smaller pieces and easy to swallow for those horses.

Apples, and any other treat fed in high quantities can cause colic which is potentially fatal to horses. A horse can eat the entire apple including peel, core and seeds.

Care should be taken to check the apple has not rotted and to feed only a couple a day. I have not found a horse yet that doesn’t like treats of some kind, but finding one they love can sometimes be difficult.

If you follow these two suggestions, you should have no problems feeding apples as treats to your favorite horse. An apple cut into pieces makes a wonderful treat.

A medium-sized apple may contain approximately 160 milligrams (mg) of potassium. Potassium is important for proper muscle contraction and nerve function.

horses baby horse foal cute foals pretty caramel animals colt buckskin fjord long gorgeous farm playing adorable haestar cookiesinbloom wild
(Source: www.pinterest.co.uk)

Horses with active HYPE (hyperkalemic periodic paralysis) leak potassium from the muscles into the blood stream constantly. It is very important potassium intake is controlled when feeding these horses.

So, feeding an apple to a horse with active HYPE may not be safe and is not recommended. Calcium is important for bone growth and maintenance, blood coagulation, muscle and heart function, milk production and activation of enzymes and hormones.

Phosphorus is important to bone structure and energy metabolism. As most horse owners know, fiber is very important to the equine diet.

An average sized apple, with the skin, contains about 3-5 grams of fiber, and that's good. Free- radicals are damaged molecules which may cause inflammation, infection and fatigue.

If your neighbor gathers the apples under his tree and throws them over the fence to your horse digestive upsets may occur resulting in colic or laminates. If a storm moves through and knocks a large amount of apples off a tree problems may result.

horses apples behance
(Source: www.behance.net)

If this occurs a veterinarian will be needed and possible surgery done to remove the apple. A. Apples make an excellent treat for a lot of horses, and many owners enjoy feeding them.

Hydrogen cyanide is highly toxic and prevents cells from being able to utilize oxygen. If a person or animal is exposed to a high enough concentration, it can lead to death within minutes.

In people, researchers estimate it takes 0.2 to 1.6 milligrams of cyanide per pound of body weight to induce severe poisoning and symptoms such as coma, paralysis, heart and lung failure, or death. This means it would take eating upward of 270 apple seeds to provide a lethal dose of hydrogen cyanide to a 200-pound person.

Moving that to horses, it would likely take a vast number of seeds to have a negative impact. You can safely offer your horse raisins, grapes, bananas, strawberries, cantaloupe or other melons, celery, pumpkin, and snow peas.

A few sugar cubes or peppermint candies (one or two) are okay, as are many of the commercially available horse treats sold in equine catalogs. For various reasons, these vegetables are less desirable: onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and any other food that tends to produce intestinal gas or belongs to the nightshade family.

horse apples park looking uses stephen austin state brazos river while down
(Source: livedoggb.wordpress.com)

Some horses like chocolate and a small piece won’t hurt anything, but avoid it if your horse competes in events where drug testing is a possibility, as substances in the chocolate can cause a positive test. All treats add calories that most horses don’t need, but the more important reason to limit treats is because the horse’s digestive tract contains a delicate balance of bacteria and other microbes that are essential to intestinal function.

It’s incredibly easy to upset this balance, especially by feeding things that aren’t part of the normal diet. Feeding too many treats of any kind can start a cascade of events that can easily end in colic or another malady.

Treats can be fed by hand or by putting them in a bucket or feed trough. This inadvertent action by the owner is often what causes the horse to lunge for the treat.

Your horse will be better off because you have limited his “extras” and fed treats only in moderation. Because horses don’t have to graze and chew the material for themselves, they may bolt the food and fill up on it much faster.

The sugars in freshly cut or slightly wilted clippings can cause an imbalance in the horse’s gut, leading to laminates. Put lawn and garden waste into your composter or manure pile, not over the fence into your horse’s pasture. Deadly Equines, The Shocking True Story of Meat-Eating & Murderous Horses by Cuchulain O'Reilly, the Founder of the Long Riders' Guild, explores the fact that horses can and do eat meat (and can appear to behave in quite a violent manner to get it).

horse orange fence osage eating living fruit hedge apples permies plants neighbor escaped permaculture fencing hedges shelter laying coppicing yard
(Source: www.permies.com)

Your horse may like an occasional bite of your hamburger or tuna sandwich and can eat it without harm. However, since we don’t know the long-term effects on most horses, a diet high in meat would be inadvisable (along with expensive).

A few leaves or sprouts may not matter, but dumping the old plants over the fence probably isn’t a great idea. Many people may be surprised to learn that bran mashes are not recommended except as an occasional treat. Horses eat a lot of fiber in their normal diet, so adding bran can actually affect the gut flora.

It can grow up to 30 inches/76 centimeters high and in addition to its clover-shaped leaves has a round flower head of pretty pink. If your horse snaps up a few stalks of alike clover occasionally, it’s probably okay, but prolonged consumption or a large amount at once may cause problems.

Feeding haulage (sometimes called bale age) and silage to horses are more common in the UK and Europe than it is in North America. There are some definite benefits to feeding these fodders, like higher nutritional value and low dust.

But the manner in which the hay is cut and baled can lead to the risk of botulism poisoning. Because the hay is baled at a high moisture content and is wrapped in plastic it is the ideal environment for botulism to grow.

guinea pigs eat food healthy diet human toxic unhealthy
(Source: can-pets-eat.com)

Soil carrying botulism, poultry manure, small animals and birds can be baled into the hay, contributing to the growth of the bacteria. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs points out the disadvantages of feeding haulage and silage to horses. A vaccine is available, but it only protects against one of the five types of botulism.

There is a possibility that frozen silage can lead to colic, and we don’t yet understand if there are long-term effects of feeding acidic (and treated or conditioned hay) fodders to horses.

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