Are horses allowed to eat beetroot?
Beet is healthy and a valuable contribution to a balanced diet – at least for humans.
The high content of iron, folic acid and B vitamins alone helps to cover the daily requirement.
But does that also apply to your horse? We will get to the bottom of this question here.
In this article you will find out whether your horse can eat beet and in what form. We give you further important information about the vegetable and tips on feeding.
Are horses allowed to eat beet?
Yes, horses are allowed to eat beet. They are as healthy for the animals as they are for humans and have some benefits.
However, you should be careful not to feed too much at once. Also, you should prepare the tubers properly before offering them to your pet.
But first, let’s take a look at what’s in beets.
Why are beets healthy for horses?
Beets have a high nutritional value due to minerals and vitamins, but at the same time they are comparatively rich in water.
As a result, they contain few calories.
The micronutrients include:
In addition, there are dietary fibers and betanin. Fiber, like the B vitamins, is important for digestion and metabolism, as well as intestinal health.
As a result, they have a direct effect on the immune system, overall nutrition and well-being.
Betanin is the pigment that gives beet its characteristic hue. At the same time, the substance acts as an antioxidant and thus cell protection.
Iron and folic acid have a blood-forming effect and can increase performance.
The interplay of minerals, trace elements and vitamins has a positive effect on the skin, coat, nerves and cardiovascular system, among other things.
You can also offer it in case of laminitis or if you want to offer your horse additional nutrients in a natural way in winter.
It also makes a great treat when you want to reward or entice your animal.
Why should you feed beet only in small quantities?
The high content of micronutrients can have a positive effect on health. Nevertheless, you should limit the amount when feeding.
In addition to the health-promoting substances, beets also contain large amounts of water and sugar.
The digestion of horses is not designed for this. Especially the sugar content of about 9 grams per 100 grams of beets can be problematic in larger quantities.
This is because the sugar can ferment incorrectly and thus lead to various complaints, among other things.
These are, among others:
Colic in itself can be a life threatening condition. They are often very painful and require prompt treatment.
The sugar also increases not only the risk of obesity, which stresses the musculoskeletal system. The pancreas is also stressed.
This increases the risk of diabetes. This serious condition requires lifelong treatment and can have several serious consequences.
How much beet can a horse eat per day?
Your horse may eat one to two kilograms per day. It should not be more than that, even in winter. Also remember that you should bring variety to the menu.
We have provided you with a practical overview at the end of this guide.
But first we will show you how to feed beet.
How can beet be fed?
When feeding beetroot, you have to pay attention to several factors. Firstly, the beet should be clean.
Soil residues or pesticides are detrimental to health. So wash them thoroughly if necessary and pay attention to the origin. You should prefer organic cultivation.
Cleanliness also means that there are no mold stains on them. You should not feed spoiled beets.
On the other hand, the small tubers pose a swallowing hazard when eaten whole. It is therefore better to cut the beetroot into slices.
Once these are not chewed properly, there is much less danger of swallowing.
So much for the fresh, raw beet. However, this is not the only way to offer it to your horse.
We do not recommend the cooked form, even though it would certainly taste just as good to your animal. However, larger amounts of the valuable nutrients are lost.
They are then either found in the cooking water or are destroyed by the heat.
If fresh beet is not available, you can use dried beet chips for horses instead. Added to mash, they are a valuable addition in terms of nutrients.
Raw beet is best fed out of hand as a treat or for luring. You can also add them directly to the fresh feed or to a feed ball.
Make sure that it is eaten as soon as possible. In winter, there is no danger of attracting insects or spoiling quickly.
However, it could freeze and should not be eaten in this condition if possible.
What are the alternatives to beet for horses?
If your horse doesn’t like beet or you want to give him variety, there are other fruits, vegetables and other treats available for this purpose.
Leaves and twigs of fruit and nut trees
Keep in mind with all of the above foods that they are only suitable for horses in small amounts.
They do not occur in the animals’ natural diet or are eaten only when the opportunity presents itself.
Beet for horses
Because beet have health benefits for horses, they are a recommended snack.
They can stimulate appetite, are used for eczema and for laminitis, and are readily accepted by the animals.
Especially in winter, they are a valuable addition to the diet and can be fed raw or dried.
Just do not overdo it with the quantity.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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