Horses can eat carrots. In fact, it’s one of their favorite treats. Horses are fond of eating carrots while they get nourishment.
Carrots provide health benefits, but horses should only eat them in moderation. They’re treats, so it’s not good that horses will consume them in high quantities. Even though I see my horses enjoying carrots, I don’t give them more than the recommended serving.
I bet you want to know how to feed carrots to horses. You want to be a responsible horse owner that works on putting the horses in a safe zone. Thus, it’s worthwhile to read this article so you can learn how to feed your horses with carrots.
Do Horses Like Carrots
By all means, horses like carrots a lot! It’s a treat that they look forward to having. Horses can enjoy the crunch of whole carrots. Feed a horse a carrot by letting them take one bite at a time.
Giving a carrot to a horse is a chance for you to bond. You may also turn a carrot into a toy by hiding it for the horse to find. It’s some sort of training for behavioral enrichment.
You can also use carrots as a reward during horse training. It’s a way to recognize the hard work of your horse. They will love it for sure!
Horses also like carrots in their feeds. But you have to consult the veterinarian about this.
Are Carrots Safe For Horses
Carrots are safe for horses when given in moderation. They’re always a part of livestock production. Yet, they’re only a treat, so excessive intake has adverse effects.
Let me remind you that horses have a sensitive stomach. Thus, an extra amount of treats may lead to gastrointestinal issues.
Experts recommend a carrot or two a day per horse. You may divide this amount at different times of the day. This method goes well with the eating habits of horses, as these animals usually have small meals.
Horses like carrots a lot, so they can eat as much as you give them. If they eat a lot of carrots, they will ignore their main meals. It’s not good as carrots can’t provide everything that their bodies need.
Are Carrots Good For Horses
Carrots are good for horses. They contain nutrients that have positive effects on the equine’s well-being.
Low in Carbohydrate and Sugar
A large carrot has only 7 grams of carbohydrates and 3.41 grams of sugar. It has 2 grams of fiber, essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Hence, horses won’t gain excessive weight eating a moderate amount of carrots.
Massive Amounts of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
A 500-kg horse requires 15,000 IU of Vitamin A daily. This amount is more than the amount of Vitamin A from 100-gram carrots. For the sake of knowledge, Vitamin A is a supplement for the healthy hair, skin, eyes, and mucus membrane of horses. It also improves immunity and night vision.
Although horses can get Vitamin A from daily roughage intake, it may be impossible in winter. Vitamin A is from the quality green grass, which may not be available during the cold season. Since Vitamin A is in carrots, beta-carotene is also present as the precursor molecule.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Carrots only contain 1% protein, so you can’t rely on them for the horse’s growth and development. On the brighter side, your horses can get more vitamins and minerals. They are vitamins B, C, E, and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Are Carrots Bad For Horses
Carrots can be bad for horses, even if they are a healthy treat. It can happen due to the following circumstances.
Against Some Health Conditions
An insulin-resistant horse and those with metabolic issues can eat a carrot a day. This possibility is due to carrots’ low amount of carbohydrates and sugar. Yet, you can’t be at ease with this information.
The health condition varies from horse to horse. Some horses can have treats without adverse effects. But it may not be safe for those with severe illnesses.
It will help if you do not guess, as it involves your horse’s health. Please seek advice from a veterinarian if it’s OK to give a carrot treat to your horses with conditions.
Horses with hyperkalemic periodic paralysis shouldn’t eat carrots. One carrot has around 213 mg of potassium, which can worsen those horses’ conditions.
Not Suitable For Horses With Dental Issues
If you feed your horses with tooth decay or missing teeth, it should be soft so they can chew it with no issues. It’s understandable that carrots are not for them because this vegetable is crunchy. They’re incapable of chewing due to dental problems.
If a horse can’t chew the food, it’s prone to choking. Without any intention, it can swallow food pieces like carrot cubes. You may cut the carrots into small pieces if you want your horses with dental issues to have some carrots.
Carrots can be bad for horses if they’re unwashed. They’re not only crops, but they’ve been in many hands before you bought them. Dip your carrots in the tap water with salt; then, you can rinse them with cold water to remove harmful residue.
Can Horses Eat the Green Tops of Carrots
Horses can eat the green top of carrots as these parts are safe for horses. Even though these tops are not toxic and poisonous, you still have to limit the amount you give to your horses. Doing so will prevent digestive issues.
You’ll likely find green tops on fresh carrots that are not packed. But don’t forget to wash them to ensure that there are no harmful chemicals.
Carrot tops have fiber that aids digestion and nutrient absorption. They also contain calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Can Baby Horses Eat Carrots
Baby horses or foals can eat carrots. They like these vegetables as treats and rewards. Even if they are fond of carrots, you must limit their intake.
Can You Feed a Horse a Whole Carrot?
You can’t feed a horse a whole carrot. There’s a chance that the big piece of carrot will lodge in the animal’s esophagus. The next thing you’ll see is that your horse chokes after feeding it a whole carrot.
Slicing carrots into chunks or tiny pieces is not a hard job. So, you don’t have an excuse to skip it before giving carrots to your horses.
Can Horses Be Allergic to Carrots
Horses can be allergic to carrots if they eat this vegetable in excess. Another reason is that carrots contain chemicals. Food allergy is rare among herbivores like horses, but you must remember that it can still happen.
When a horse is allergic to carrots, it develops round hives and raised skin lesions. Food allergy is not a common cause of hives. The leading causes are environmental allergy, atopic dermatitis, insect bites, chemicals, and medications.
Horses with food allergy will also struggle with urticarial or abnormal itching. So, you may see them rolling on the ground or rubbing up against a structure.
Are Carrots Bad for Horses With Ulcers
One of the things that horses with ulcers must avoid is starchy food. Luckily, carrots are low in starch. A cup of raw carrots only has 5 grams of starch. So, you can give your horses with ulcers a small amount of carrots.
Why Can’t You Feed Wild Horses, Apples, and Carrots
You can’t feed wild horses apples and carrots. They can die from eating foods that are not from their natural habitat. That’s why there’s a ‘No feed, no approach’ campaign for the Outer Banks wild horse of South Carolina.
How to Feed Carrots to Horses
Carrots are low in carbohydrates and sugar. They’re even safe for horses with ulcers when eaten in small amounts. You must be careful with how you feed your horses, especially with the quantity. Here are the proper steps.
You can chop the carrots into cubes which you can place on the feeding tubs of horses. Also, you can garnish carrots cubes on top of the hay.
It’s also acceptable to mix them with bran mash and other fruits or vegetable treats. Horse owners or trainers give this meal to their horses before joining a race. It’s done to delay the absorption of electrolytes and gastric release.
You’ll need a cheese grater to have grated carrots that you can add to a mixture of treats.
In Baked Goodies
When making baked goodies for horses, follow a recipe that has safe ingredients. Use things that can’t harm equines. You may add some carrots to the goodies too.
You can make cookies for horses. If you do, use flour, uncooked oatmeal, corn oil, molasses or sugar, salt, and water.
After chopping carrots, you can freeze them. Be wary of the size; the carrots should be small enough not to choke the horses. I usually make this frozen treat in summer.
How to Cut Carrots For Horses
You can cut carrots for horses into bite-sized cubes or finger-like strips. Aside from using a knife, you can use a peeler or grater to cut the whole carrot into thin pieces.
How Many Pounds of Carrots Do Horses Eat a Day
The safe amount of carrots that horses can have per day is .22 pounds. It’s enough for a 500-kg horse, even if it has laminitis.
Horses love carrots a lot! But it will help if you do not spoil them as much as they want. Carrots are only a treat, so you have to feed them to horses in moderation.
Proper preparations of carrots are essential. You must wash the carrots well and cut them into the correct size. You may also include the tops, as they’re safe and nutritious. Unfortunately, you can’t give carrots to all horses as the wild ones are not accustomed to treats.