As you may know, horses aren’t picky animals when it comes to diet. In fact, they enjoy a wide range of foods compared to other pets.
However, that doesn’t mean horse keepers can feed their friend whatever he or she consumes. Because there are so many different opinions on treating horses with cabbages, some people still wonder can horses eat cabbages.
While these four-hoofed animals generally accept most fruits and vegetables, some are not safe for horses to eat. Should horse keepers feed cabbages to their pets? Let’s find out.
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What can horses eat?
Before we find out whether it is safe for horses to eat cabbages, we should first take a look at a horse’ diet. What do they eat to get essential nutrients and strength?
Since horses are herbivores, they need a fiber-rich diet. Their digestive tract is different from that of humans.
That’s why horses often eat different small meals during the day rather than large portions of food as we do.
Here is a list of nutrient sources for your horses.
A large portion of horses’ diet consists of pasture grass. A lush pasture provides horses with limitless fiber and more importantly silica – an important substance for their dental health.
While eating dried grass isn’t very much appealing to us, horses love it. Hay is an essential nutrient source for horses during winter, where the temperature is too extreme for grass to grow.
In the former time, oats and other grains such as corn or wheat were horses’ main foods. Undomesticated horses especially favor seeds from different grasses because they are available everywhere in the wildness.
Water and supplements
Horses need water as much as we do. What’s more, their bodies require a certain amount of supplements like salt and other minerals to stay healthy. Horses generally consume more salt in summer than in winter.
Can horses eat cabbage?
Besides grass and grains, horses love treats. Our four-hoofed friends munch almost everything from apples, carrots, and other vegetables. The thing is would it be safe for horses to eat cabbages?
The truth is quite different from what we think.
Cabbages belong to the cruciferous family with broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Scientists have found that a particular type of sugar called raffinose in cruciferous vegetables can cause intestinal gas in human and animals.
While a bit of gas may only cause discomfort to you, horses suffer significantly from gas pains and gas-related colic.
Overconsumption of cabbage leaves could lead to severe consequences and even death. Therefore, it is not advised to feed your horses cabbages.
What to do if horses have gas colic?
Gas-related colic cause abdominal pain in horses. Since horses have a long intestinal tract, the pain could be severe for them.
What to do if your beloved friends over-consume cabbages?
Follow these tips below:
Let your horse lie down
Some people may argue that laying down could lead to internal displacements; however, it is not likely to happen. So let your friend lie down and make sure that he does not hurt himself.
If you notice any abnormal behaviors, force your horse to stand up and go for a walk.
Walking with your horses helps ease his pain.
Consulting a veterinarian
You never know when things get worse. So as soon as you find out your horse is suffering from gas pains, call a veterinarian. The vet will give him an analgesic to ease the pain.
Some vets could even recommend mineral oil to help the horse feel comfortable. This oil also restores the function of the intestinal tract.
Yes, this is the most critical part. You must ensure there is no cabbage around for your horse to eat. Paying attention to their natural and balanced diet to keep gas colic away.
The Last Answer is...
However, there are a bunch of different vegetables they can enjoy as snacks. As a horse keeper, you should keep in track of your horse’s diet to make sure your friend stays healthy.
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