Today, I would love to introduce to you another special fruit for our equine friends. It is parsnip which is known as in the same family with carrot. If you want to ask me “Can horses eat parsnips?” Let’s find out the answer in this article.
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Can Horses Eat Parsnips Nicely Like Carrots?
Yes, it can. Horses can eat parsnips though parsnips are seldom given to horses.
Parsnips are a Eurasian root vegetable that is actually very similar to carrots, making them a healthy treat and the beneficial addition to your horse’s diet.
Still don’t believe it? Let’s take a look at the table below:
Nutrient analysis of 100g of various fruits/vegetables
|100g as fed||Carrot||Parsnip|
|Vit A IU||16705||0|
|Vit C m g||5.9||17|
|Total sugar/starch g||6.1||4.8|
|Dry matter in 100g||11.7||20.5|
|Total sugar/starch as %DM||52.1||23.4|
Glycemic Load <10 = low, >20 = high
Figures taken from SELF Nutrition Data www.nutritondata.self.com
As you see, the nutrients contained in carrot and parsnip are quite the same. Parsnips also make a great source of soluble fiber and can help improve digestion, reducing constipation and helping to move food smoothly through your horse’s digestive tract. Therefore, if your horse isn’t fond of carrots, you might give parsnips a try as many picky horses do like them.
Things To Consider When Giving Parsnips to Horses
Although horses can eat parsnips, too many of them are not good. We all know that the best regular food for horses is grass and hay. These have so many nutritional benefits for them. Parship, even if it supplies so many vitamins and minerals, is just only be given as treats. Especially, it is recommended horses with Cushing’s syndrome, insulin resistance or equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM) avoid being fed large amounts of parsnip.
Also, be sure to wash parsnips thoroughly to ensure they don’t contain any chemical residue. You also want to slice them into long thin slivers to prevent choking for your horse.
To Sum Up,
If you are looking for a tasty alternative to carrots, parsnips might just be vegetable you are looking for. However, remember that parsnip cannot be the substituted for grass or hay to become the main part of horse diet.