What human food is poisonous to horses?

Last post 12-06-2007 10:29 AM by taximonte. 28 replies.
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  • 11-24-2007 11:35 AM

    What human food is poisonous to horses?

    I realize there are well documented poisonous plants for horses, but does anyone know what human food is not the best for equines?  I recently had a horse colic...she survived thank goodness...however I am racking my brain as to its cause.  A day or two prior to her most severe symptoms, I remember finding a half eaten melon/squash/pumpkin/gourd of some sort apparently thrown over the fence by a neighbor.  I have no idea if my horse is the one that ate it...it could have been a raccoon for all I know.  But I am curious if melons or other squash cause gas colic that my mare experienced?

    Thanks!

    Susan
    http://forum.equisearch.com/photos/toscabs/images/275251/640x480.aspx
    My Muddy Six
  • 11-24-2007 11:57 AM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    You said GAS colic, right?

    Gas problems doesn't necessarily mean that the food was poisonous, just unaccustomed and she ate too much at once.  Hence all those warnings about making feed changes gradually.  Or if the melon or squash had started to go off and ferment a bit that could have done it too.  I'd guess you found the culprit, but I don't think melon or squash is actually bad for them.  I know lots of horses who enjoy a chunk of melon or pumpkin or whatever as a treat.  It's like if you take a "steak and potatoes" person and give them salads for a week, they're going to have some stomach upset because of the drastic change, but it's not bad for them.  Make sense?


    photo by FallingForNova
    RIP my beautiful girl -- April 4 2002 - August 21, 2012
    http://squeaksmom-lifeinthezoo.blogspot.com/
  • 11-24-2007 12:41 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

     I've heard  that tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, brocolli and their relatives are not good for horses.  My horses enjoy pumpkin/squash but only in moderation.

    I'm glad that your horse has recovered. Colic is a scarey thing. 



    Horses give us the wings we lack.
  • 11-24-2007 1:30 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    Thought I would post this list of "feed and don't feed to the horse".

    It was mostly created for the horses with I-R and EMS, but if you note the foods to avoid, it does mention "may cause gas" if some of them are eaten.

    I got this from my local message board and don't have a clue where the OP found it, but I hope it helpsSmile

    ##############################################################################################

    Some horses are insulin-resistant (diabetic). That means their bodies have a hard time processing sugar. Sugar comes not just from treats, but from grasses and hays as well. Recent studies indicate that certain types of non-structural carbohydrates and sugars can be a leading cause of laminitis.

    If a horse is sugar intolerant, do not feed hard candies, sugar cubes or molasses treats at all. Instead, go with fibrous treats or the natural sugar in fruits (fructose) for a safe sweet treat. There are also low sugar prepared treats on the market that you can purchase if you feel unsure about regulating the sugar in your horse's diet on your own.

    Even if your horse is not sugar intolerant, they would benefit from avoiding sugary treats in their entirety. It seems that many people associate giving a horse a treat with giving them a sweet one. However, horses are not humans! Although we bipedals may seek out Ben & Jerry's for a snack, a horse seeks out fiber-rich foods for a satisfying graze.

    Therefore, consider a broader array of treats for your horse that are fibrous rather than sweet. In the wild, horses munch leaves, herbs, flowers, nuts and seeds. The following is a partial listing of safe fibrous foods for your horse (high sugar snacks are so noted and should be fed with caution, if at all, to the laminitic or insulin resistant horse):

    Fruits, Vegetables and Seeds:
    • Beets, cut up (high in sugar)
    • Celery
    • Sweet potato, cut up
    • Squashes (pumpkins, butternut, acorn), cut up
    • Leafy lettuces (small quantity)
    • Carrots, cut into pieces (high in sugar)
    • Apples, cut into pieces; red delicious and not the sour, granny smith types are preferable (somewhat high in sugar, feed rind only to the diabetic horse)
    • Dates, pitted (high in sugar)
    • Raisins (high in sugar)
    • Grapes
    • Blueberries
    • Cranberries
    • Fresh cherries, pitted
    • Orange and lemon rinds
    • Watermelon, rind and pulp
    • Sunflower seeds, unshelled or shelled
    • Pumpkin seeds, raw
    • Flax seeds
    • Peanuts (feed sparingly)

    AVOID: Vegetables and fruits of the deadly nightshade family – potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Also avoid cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts - as they can cause rapid increase of gas in the stomach.

    Herbs, Flowers and Leaves

    Do not overlook the feeding of leaves, herbs and flowers, even teas, to your horse. Many have calming and antiseptic properties.

    • Rosehips
    • Chamomile
    • Mint (your horse will love mint the way nature intended rather than in hard candy form)
    • Rose petals, fresh
    • Brewed tea (herbal, non-caffeinated), allowed to cool and poured right over feed
    • Parsley
    • Dried peach leaves
    • Strawberry leaves
    • Kudzu root
    • Marigold flowers

    Now that you see the wide variety of treats available to your horse, you can put down the peppermint candies! If you must feed them, remember they are hard and not easily digested and should consequentially be fed in very small quantities.
    Horses do not need treats, and treats should not take the place of a high quality, low sugar hay diet. However, if you like to pamper your horse from time to time, hopefully you will consider the large array of high fiber snacks available that will improve your horse's digestion, as well as potentially calm and soothe him.

  • 11-25-2007 8:04 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    Uh oh, I guess that means no more french fries for red. He has a knack for stealing them when we're not looking as we work on our "almost" completed barn. He only gets one or two before we notice, but still........



  • 11-25-2007 9:45 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    This is a great thread. I always fed hard peppermint candies..whoops? Guess that's not the best. I'm going to try that tea idea, putting it over Maverick's food. mmmmmmmmm.
  • 11-25-2007 9:49 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    I feed hard peppermint candies... only one a day about four days a week, would that be a problem? Julie loves them. I used to bring carrots but they always spoiled after two or three days. She has horse cookies but isn't crazy about them.
    http://alittlefaith16.wordpress.com/

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  • 11-26-2007 6:32 AM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    Thanks for all the replies...I guess I am not as worried about the melon/pumpkin as previous, but it could have still been the culprit to my horse's colic.  Thanks for the interesting list of taboo human foods.

    As for the treat discussion in this thread, I volunteer at a retirement farm for service horses and we do not allow any horse that are prone to founder, suspect insulin resistant, or plain ole' fat to have carrots and peppermints, as well as some of the other treats listed previously because of their high sugar content.  It is funny to me that some things that horse people historically have given to their horses as healthy foods are considered so bad now.  Its the miracle of science.

    Thanks!

    Susan
    http://forum.equisearch.com/photos/toscabs/images/275251/640x480.aspx
    My Muddy Six
  • 11-26-2007 8:31 AM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    I used to give my horses various human treat foods. 

    The list I posted is geared toward the Cushings and pre-Cushings, or just plain fat horses. 

    One of my horses was diagnosed with EMS last Spring, so getting a whole carrot is out of the question.  He can have a few pieces but that's it.

    I-R horses, however, can't even have one piece of carrot.

    The horse in normal good health is still able to eat peppermints and a few french fries.  I have one that grabbed a piece of pizza out of my hand and had it eaten before I could blink - lol lol

    An occasional can of beer is ok for them too.  I have two horses that love beer and will each get a half can or so in the summer whenever hubby is filling the water tubs in the main pastureStick out tongue

  • 11-27-2007 12:42 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    We feed our horses frozen pieces of melon in the summer when it gets really hot and they LOVE them!  Summers in South Carolina can be almost unbearable at times and what better way to give them a frosty treat!

     

    On a side note, my horse looks so much like yours I wanted to ask the breeding?  I'm new to this site so don't have a picture loaded yet but WOW!  Wait until you see Fudge, almost a carbon copy of yours!  :)  Pretty cool and obviously, gorgeous!

  • 11-27-2007 1:10 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    kellyjbauer:

    On a side note, my horse looks so much like yours I wanted to ask the breeding?  I'm new to this site so don't have a picture loaded yet but WOW!  Wait until you see Fudge, almost a carbon copy of yours!  :)  Pretty cool and obviously, gorgeous!

    I think that question is directed at me.  If it isn't, I apologizeSmile

    That is Duke, my beloved Tennessee Walker who has been my best buddy for 17 years.

    He was 16 in my avatar.  He is now 20 and is the horse with EMS. 

    I've had folks ask me how I taught that Quarter Horse to gait - lol lol lol.

    I've had folks ask me if Duke is a gaited Morgan.  That I can buy because the Foundation mare of record in the Tennessee Waking Horse Breeders Assoc was a black Morgan mare named Maggie Marshall.  She was either a grand or great-grand daughter of Justin Morgan (Figure).

    Regardless of who you were asking, I can't wait to see FudgeBig Smile

  • 11-27-2007 2:30 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    Okay..dumb question...do you also feed the rind of the melon? 

    Susan
    http://forum.equisearch.com/photos/toscabs/images/275251/640x480.aspx
    My Muddy Six
  • 11-27-2007 2:39 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    Not a dumb question at all!  The answer is yes and no.  The ones we grow in the garden are smaller and a different type, therefore the rinds are thinner, so we let them break them off in pieces that are easy to chew.  We're very careful about that.  The ones that we buy in the store, no, only the fleshy part. I'll warn everyone that it is very messy on the human side but so worth it!

    I'll tell you one of the barn favorites and that is bananas!  They are also full of potassium which is good for them (yes, I know, not in huge amounts).  After wormer is especially nice as it helps get rid of that nasty taste!  Smile

  • 11-27-2007 2:41 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    About the beer...Fudge loves it and will even tip his head just right so he gets as much as possible.  LOL!!

  • 11-27-2007 2:43 PM In reply to

    Re: What human food is poisonous to horses?

    My quetion regarding breeding was actually to you, Squeaksmom, although your horse walkinthewalk is beautiful as well!

    Fudge is registered breeding stock paint, I'll try and get a picture ASAP.

     


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