Yes. Horses can eat pumpkins. In fact, horses love this fruit! Its sweet yet slightly tart flavor profile is nothing short of irresistible.
Pumpkins are also packed with vitamins and nutrients that are good for your horse’s health and wellbeing. So not only will they love the taste, but the added nutritional value will also be a factor.
But before you buy a whole pumpkin for your horse, I’d like to say a few things that you should know first. Feeding your horse pumpkin comes with several conditions.
How often should you feed it to your horse, and how much of it is allowed? Both are valid questions that you should consider moving forward.
With that said, here’s everything you need to know about feeding pumpkins to your horse.
Can Horses Eat Raw Pumpkins?
Yes, horses can eat raw pumpkins. In fact, I would suggest that you feed them raw pumpkin as opposed to cooked as it strips off the nutrients from the pumpkin. Apart from that, it doesn’t make any difference.
But hold your horses there (pun intended); just because your horse can eat raw pumpkins doesn’t mean you should go out and purchase an entire pumpkin for them. Horses can’t finish a whole pumpkin. In most cases, it is too much for one horse and you’ll end up wasting a lot of it.
Instead, I recommend cutting the pumpkin into manageable pieces and then freezing them. This way, you can pull out a piece from your fridge and then thaw it before feeding it to your horse.
Can Horses Eat Pumpkin Puree?
One of the best ways to feed pumpkin to your horse is by pureeing it. This makes it much easier for them to consume as their tummies aren’t accustomed to handle large, bulky pieces of fruits and vegetables.
Horses are used to eating soft grass, so anything that’s hard for them to chew can cause digestive problems. Pureed pumpkin is the perfect consistency for horses while packed with the nutrients they need.
When pureeing pumpkin for your horse, remove the seeds for a smoother overall texture that your horse will absolutely love. Keep in mind that your horse can eat the seeds (more on that later), but for the sake of pureeing the pumpkin, it’s best to remove them completely.
Benefits of Feeding Pumpkin To Horses
So, we now know that horses can eat pumpkin—great! But why should you bother feeding it to them in the first place? Here are some of the benefits that make pumpkin a great food option for horses:
A Great Source of Fiber
Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber, which horses need to ensure better digestion. It contains other nutrients such as Vitamin A, potassium, and iron. They help boost your horse’s health and keep them looking and feeling its best.
Versatile Food Source
One of the most significant reasons pumpkin is an excellent food for horses is its versatility. You can feed it to them in many ways, including fresh, cooked, pureed, canned, or as seeds.
The versatility that pumpkins bring to the table is refreshing, considering that your horse’s diet consists mainly of hay. Hay can get boring after a while, so it’s good to have other options like pumpkin for variety.
Boost Horse’s Overall Health and Wellbeing
The minerals and vitamins found in pumpkins can help horses in several ways. For example, Vitamin A is excellent for their vision, while iron helps with red blood cell production.
Potassium is essential for horses as it helps regulate their heart rate and blood pressure. It also helps them develop strong bones and muscles.
Your Horse Loves It!
If your horse could talk, they would probably tell you that they love pumpkins. The taste, texture, and smell of pumpkins appeal to horses, which is why they tend to go crazy over them.
Pumpkins are also fun to eat because they’re a little messy. Horses enjoy playing with their food, and pumpkins provide the perfect opportunity.
Do Horses Like To Eat Pumpkins?
Do they ever! Horses love pumpkins and will often beg for more when they’re being fed. If you have a picky eater, pumpkin is a great way to get them to eat their food.
However, keep in mind that not all horses like pumpkins. Just like with people, there are horses out there who don’t enjoy the taste or texture of this fruit. If your horse is one of those, don’t force them to eat it. Instead, look for other fruit and vegetable options.
Can Horses Eat Pumpkin Leaves?
Yes, horses can eat pumpkin leaves, but they’re not as common as the fruit. Nevertheless, pumpkin leaves are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, potassium, and iron, similar to the actual pumpkin.
Can Horses Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes! Horses can eat pumpkin seeds. They’re a great source of protein and essential fatty acids. Make sure to remove the shells before feeding them to your horse, as they can be a choking hazard.
Are Pumpkin Seeds a Natural Dewormer for Horses?
There are talks regarding whether pumpkin seeds can act as a natural dewormer for horses. The truth is that it can and often does.
Pumpkin seeds contain a natural compound called cucurbitacin, which is known to have properties that can kill and expel parasitic worms from the horse’s body.
Are Horses Allergic To Pumpkin?
There’s a slight chance that a horse can be allergic to pumpkins, just like people. The most common reaction is an itchy rash, but horses can also experience difficulty breathing, wheezing, and swelling of the face and neck.
This occurrence commonly happens when the horse overeats pumpkin. If you think your horse is allergic to pumpkins, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.
They’ll know what to do and what kind of treatment is necessary to help your horse feel better. To avoid your horse from triggering allergies due to pumpkin, it’s best to start with small amounts and work your way up.
Fortunately, this case is rare; most horses can enjoy pumpkins without allergic reactions.
How Much Pumpkin Should I Feed My Horse?
It’s important not to go overboard when feeding pumpkins to horses. While pumpkin has a lot of nutritional value, it has some side effects and consequences if horses overeat it.
The most common side effect is diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and other health problems. A good rule of thumb is no more than 1-2 slices of pumpkin per day for an average-sized horse. If your horse is on the smaller side, adjust the amount accordingly.
Pumpkins are an excellent food for horses because they’re versatile and nutritious, and most horses love them. A pumpkin is an excellent option if you’re looking for a way to mix up your horse’s diet.
Just make sure to avoid overfeeding your horse to prevent any health problems. It’s important not to overfeed them this fruit as it can trigger potential side effects that can be dangerous for your horse’s health.
Additionally, horses have the absolute green light to enjoy pumpkin in controlled amounts every day.