Horses can eat bananas. Why not? It’s a source of potassium, an electrolyte for nerve functions and muscle contraction.
Runners and tennis players eat bananas. The reason behind it is the potassium that helps them to keep going with a good performance in their games.
Horses can follow suit. The owner or the rider of racehorses feeds them bananas before the event. But you can feed them bananas even if they don’t join any race. I do it to provide electrolyte supplementation for my horses.
Do you know that horses can lose potassium when they sweat a lot? Eating bananas is a way to replenish this essential mineral. Before including a banana in the diet of your horses, learn more about it by reading the rest of this article.
Is it OK For Horses to Eat Bananas?
It’s OK for horses to eat bananas. You can add bananas to the list of treats that you can give your equines. These fruits are safe for horse consumption.
The right amount of banana intake helps the horse’s digestion. It also relieves minor gastrointestinal problems. Bananas prove to be a good source of energy which the horses need when doing activities.
Give a small amount first to your horse. Let it try the banana and see if there are any adverse effects. In most cases, horses like eating bananas while having these advantages.
Use to Trick Horses In Taking Medicine
You can use this fruit to hide medicines that they need to take. Horses sniff the food given to them but they won’t detect the smell of medicine when you put it inside the banana.
Good For Older Horses and Those With Dental Issues
Older horses will have no problems eating bananas due to their mushy texture. Even those with dental problems can accept them as treats.
It’s ok for horses to eat bananas because they’re nutritious. These fruits have potassium, magnesium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6 in them.
The generous amount of potassium in bananas is useful for horses. This mineral nourishes every cell in a horse’s body. It also takes care of muscles and nerves.
Magnesium can do a lot for horses too. It’s both beneficial for bones and muscles. The function of magnesium does wonders in cases of insulin resistance. It can relieve metabolic disorders among horses.
The role of Vitamin C is to help the body absorb calcium. It promotes bone growth and healing. Horses need Vitamin C for growth, development, and necessary repair of body tissues. Vitamin B6 can supply the energy that a horse needs every day. It has effects on hemoglobin production and muscle mass building.
Why Do Horses Like Bananas?
I found out that horses are fond of sweet, aromatic flavors in a study about their novel diet. They like sucrose concentration of 1.25 to 10 grams per 100 ml of feed. It’s the reason why horses like bananas.
Many ranch owners prepare banana treats for horses that are picky eaters. This fruit is the ideal alternative if you don’t like the idea of using molasses as a sweetener.
Can Horses Eat Green Bananas?
A horse can eat green bananas as they’re healthy like their ripe counterparts. But it doesn’t apply to all horses because some are more sensitive than others. Be cautious and let them try a little before making green bananas a treat.
Green bananas contain vitamins A, D, K, and E. Furthermore, they’re rich in potassium and B-complex too. These vitamins and minerals have a positive impact on the health of horses.
Can Horses Eat Banana Peel
Owners of racehorses prepare banana treats by slicing the fruits with the peel on them. This is a common practice before heading to the race so horses can eat the banana peel. But some horses are only fond of the flesh.
To know whether your horse likes banana peel or not, have a taste test. Give them a piece of banana with peel. If your horse likes it, you can increase the quantity later on based on the suggested serving.
Remove any sticker on the peel if ever there is. When you make it a habit to feed banana peel to your horses, it’s best to buy the organic ones. There’s an assurance that no harmful chemicals come with the fruits.
Can Horses Eat Banana Leaves
Hay is one of the main foods in their diet. Banana leaves are not too different from hay that is from dried foliage and grass. Thus, these leaves won’t harm horses as there are no toxins or harmful substances. It makes sense why horses can eat banana leaves.
You can throw the leaves to the stable and horses can tear the leaves before chomping them. Again, the taste of banana leaves may not please all horses. Some love them as a treat but others will ignore them.
Can Horses Eat Frozen Bananas?
Frozen bananas can help horses feel comfortable under the summer heat. The crunch in every bite of the frozen treat is enjoyable. You’ll need to remove the peel before placing the bananas in the freezer.
The frozen treat is a fun treat from the ones that are at room temperature. But this is not good for horses with dental problems. They’ll find it hard to chew and their teeth can get worse.
Are Banana Chips Safe For Horses?
Unfortunately, banana chips are not safe for horses. Due to their hardness, they are a choking hazard even when in small pieces. Also, most of the nutrients are gone after the drying process. Banana chips have more sugar so they’re not great for promoting good health.
Are Bananas OK For All Horses?
As mentioned, bananas are ok for all horses, and most of them like the taste of bananas. Even those with dental issues can have the mushy part of these fruits. Aside from enjoying the flavor and texture, horses gain nutrition from bananas. But it’s a different story when these things happen.
Binging on bananas
Horses get all these wonderful things when they eat a moderate amount of bananas. It’s confirmed that bananas are not toxic for them. But these fruits can have adverse effects when they binge. As a responsible owner, you shouldn’t allow it to happen.
You shouldn’t forget about the sensitivity of the horse’s stomach. Too many bananas can disturb their digestive system. They can cause indigestion and other related issues.
Surge of sugar
Excessive intake of bananas heightens the sugar intake of horses. The surge of sugar in their system can cause them to be hyperactive in a short time. It seems that loads of sugar are harmless for healthy horses.
But they can injure themselves when doing a lot of unnecessary movements. A horse is like a drunk person when in a hyperactive state.
Processed Banana Products and Certain Conditions
More sugar content is not good for insulin-resistant horses. So, banana treats are not for them. Banana chips, banana puddings, and banana cakes are not good for horses. They’re processed foods that have more sugar.
Fresh bananas are better as the nutrients are intact. Still, bananas can worsen the condition of horses that are insulin-resistant. Horses with Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis must have a low potassium diet. Since a banana has a high potassium level, it shouldn’t eat it.
Are Bananas Good For Horses With Ulcers?
My curiosity about this matter led me to different methods of feeding bananas to horses. Some ranchers and equestrians believe that feeding their horses bananas can prevent ulcers. So, they would feed their horses two bananas a day.
Others give their horse one banana 10 minutes before meal time. I’ve met someone who told me that feeding bananas to a horse should go through transition. She said that horses should start eating normal bananas. As they get used to this treat, they can consume the ripe, mushy bananas.
But no veterinarian has advised this. Experts only agree with the safety of bananas when fed to horses. A study has revealed a noteworthy ability of bananas. It shows that dietary phospholipids and phytosterols in bananas protect and relieve animals from an ulcer.
Another study discovered the anti-ulcerogenic properties of this fruit. But they’re inactive in ripe bananas. The said properties are only in dried, unripe bananas.
This discovery only proves to heal ulcers of rats caused by aspirin. Indeed, the results of these studies are promising. But further research needs to confirm if bananas can prevent and heal horse ulcers.
Are Bananas High in Sugar For Horses?
The starch of green bananas turns into sugar when they ripen. You may wonder about its quantity. There are 12 grams of sugar in a hundred grams of banana. But it’s natural sugar with a composition of fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
They come together with fiber to create an energy supply. It’s the reason why bananas are filling and useful for athletes and racehorses. Also, it stabilizes metabolism.
Even though the sugar in a banana is natural, horses should only eat it in moderation. Based on my observation, they eat everything that I give them.
In this case, horse owners like me should be responsible for supervising their meals. You have to stick with the recommended serving so your horses won’t experience a sugar rush. Sugar overload can cause them to be hyperactive. They might hurt themselves from moving a lot.
It’s not good for insulin-resistant horses. You can put them at risk if you don’t know about their condition as you feed them more bananas.
How Many Bananas Can a Horse Eat?
Bananas are an occasional treat for horses so they’re not for daily consumption. The recommended quantity is three to four bananas per week.
How Should You Feed Bananas To Your Horses?
Here are the ways you should feed bananas to your horses.
With the Peel
You don’t want to waste the peel as it has health benefits too. If you do, make sure to wash the bananas to get rid of some things that can harm your horse. You have to check first if your horse likes the peel or not.
A frozen banana treat is ideal for summer. It will not only please the horses but cool them down. But it’s not good for horses with dental issues.
A mixture of Bran Wash
When you decide to feed your horse bran wash, you can upgrade it by adding some bananas.
Bananas are not only safe for horses but they’re nutritious as well. They’re known for potassium which is an excellent source of energy. Horses can get health benefits from the magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C in bananas.
Despite all the goodness, don’t forget that bananas are not the main diet of equines. They are treats that you can give your horses a few times a week. You have to know the limit and the conditions that can get worse because of banana consumption.