Chicory is delicious and a brilliantly researched food that contains an abundance of vitamins and nutrients.
Sounds like horses could benefit from it too….
In this post, we’ll tell you if horses can eat chicory and what you should be sure to consider when feeding it. There are also delicious alternatives.
Are horses allowed to eat chicory?
Yes, horses are allowed to eat chicory. The low-calorie and at the same time very healthy vegetable is full of vitamins and nutrients that can positively influence your horse’s health.
In addition, you can use chicory as a prebiotic to support your horse’s intestinal flora.
Especially in stressful times, feeding chicory is therefore recommended as a supportive measure to relieve the intestines.
Why is chicory good for horses?
Chicory is very healthy for horses for several, different reasons. First, it is easily digested and supports the intestinal flora, and second, it is a vegetable that is very rich in vitamins and nutrients, and most horses also enjoy eating it.
This is because chicory has a very subtle and pleasant taste.
Don’t be afraid to add one or two chicory to your horse’s feed every day.
Especially if your horse’s intestines are experiencing extraordinary stress, daily administration of chicory for several days or weeks is recommended.
If a horse is in severe pain or under great stress for a long period of time, this will affect the intestinal flora and the entire digestive tract.
Intestinal problems in horses manifest themselves, for example, in the form of watery droppings, gassing or, in the worst case, colic.
Colic can be recognized by the fact that your horse no longer touches its food, is restless and repeatedly throws itself on the ground to roll around.
In this case, you need to act fast!
Call the vet immediately and make sure the horse gets up and moves around. If the colic is over, you can feed chicory as a supportive measure.
In the next section we will look at the alternatives if your horse does not like chicory or if you would like to add a little variety to your horse’s diet.
What are the alternatives to chicory?
There are some natural probiotics that can support your horse’s gut flora.
Here you will find a small selection of very digestible feed additives that are extremely healthy for horses.
Whether you feed chicory or one of the alternatives, always remember that this is only a support for the gut. If the intestines are seriously diseased, veterinary treatment should always be sought!
- apple pomace
Apple pomace contains significantly less sugar than pure apples.
The fructose contained consists mainly of cell wall polysaccharides, which can only be broken down by horses in the large intestine.
Since apple pomace has no effect on insulin metabolism, you can also feed it without hesitation to horses suffering from EMS or prone to laminitis. Apple pomace supports the intestinal flora and is well accepted by most horses.
You can therefore feed around 50 g per 100 kg horse weight daily to do your horse’s intestines some good.
- malt beer
Your horse urgently needs to gain weight because it has been sick for a long time or it is simply old?
Then the feeding of malt beer is recommended.
There is no alcohol in malt beer, but it tastes so good that even heavy-fed horses will happily eat their food if you mix in a dash of malt beer.
However, make sure that the malt beer you choose contains as little sugar as possible. You should also shake out the carbonation before feeding, if possible, to ease the strain on the intestines.
If you feed parsley to your horse, you can actively stimulate the appetite of your animal as well as regulate the digestion.
But this is by no means the end of the list of benefits: Parsley has a blood-building, detoxifying and draining effect.
Furthermore, it contains many vitamins and other healthy nutrients that strengthen the immune system of your four-legged friend.
In sport horses, regular feeding of parsley can also increase performance.
The pleasant taste ensures that most horses eat these herbs with relish, allowing them to reap the many benefits.
Psyllium seeds have a high fiber content, which supports and promotes the growth of gut-friendly bacteria.
In addition, psyllium protects the intestinal mucosa and is even able to bind sand deposits in the stomach and intestinal tract of the quadruped and subsequently excreted.
They are easily digestible and are usually well accepted even by fussy horses.
Although the effectiveness of psyllium is very high, the administration of psyllium does not treat the cause of the intestinal problem. Therefore, you should also feed them only as a supplement to mitigate the discomfort and facilitate the regeneration of your horse.
What is the best way to feed chicory?
Feel free to add one to two chicory per day to your horse’s diet. The vegetable is suitable for occasional or long-term feeding,
There are no disadvantages or side effects.
FAQ – frequently asked questions
1) How do I know that my horse does not tolerate chicory?
You can tell if your horse tolerates chicory or not by the way it behaves in the time afterwards.
If you have the feeling that your horse is worse after feeding, the existing symptoms increase or even new symptoms are added, then leave the chicory out for a few days to see if there is a change.
If the symptoms improve during this time, then resort to an alternative.
2) How long does it take for the feeding of chicory to have a positive effect?
Usually the positive effects can be noticed after a few days, but it is recommended to continue the daily feeding for a period of about two weeks.
If you want to feed the chicory even longer, you are of course welcome to do so.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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