My local grocer saves unsold but beautiful
produce for us to feed our two pigs. But it is way more than they can possibly
eat and recently my two horses decided to sneak over and started to eat things
out of the pig feeders such as lettuce, strawberries, carrots, kale, avocados,
onions, potatoes and other produce. I would think that if they eat the stuff,
it must be OK for them but I wonder if you know if any of these types of vegetables
or fruits are bad for them.
first of all, I must dispel the myth the horses know what things are bad for them
to eat. They are notorious for eating themselves sick, that is, eating too much
of a good thing, or sampling toxic plants and substances. Sometimes it is because
there is not enough for them to eat, such as when rangeland gets sparse and horses
start to eat locoweed. But sometime it is out of curiosity or having a taste for
something sweet, salty or otherwise.
horses have been known to eat some pretty peculiar things such as pretzels, chocolate,
soda, peppermints and of course, the things we associate with horse treats, sugar
cubes, carrots, apples.
Now as to whether
garden product and other vegetables or fruits might be harmful to horses, a few
of them occur on this list
of plants poisonous to equines as posted on Wikipedia.
appears that the avocado is one from your free produce list that made the poisonous
to horses list.
It seems as though garlic
and onions could be toxic to horses, although not as bad as for cattle. You can
read about garlic
here, and onions
There is a group of plants
called the Deadly Nightshade family that includes potatoes, chili and bell peppers,
tomato, eggplant and other plants and herbs. The alkaloids in these foods and
plants can be mildly to fatally toxic to humans and animals. The most dangerous
and notorious members of this group are tobacco, belladonna, and datura. Some
people have food sensitivities that cause mild to severe reactions when eating
items from the Deadly Nightshade family. Horses could react similarly.
line. Horses evolved as grazers of prairie grasses. That is their natural diet.
Even grain, per se, is unnatural feed for a horse.
is no sense taking a chance with colic or founder by letting your horse eat avocados
and onions. The best bet is stick to a natural diet of grass hay for your horse.