Pineapple is sweet, delicious and juicy – as long as it is ripe. Especially in summer, it is therefore a great refreshment that is also healthy.
Vitamins A and C as well as B vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids as well as the enzyme bromelain are contained in large quantities in the tropical fruit.
But is it a safe feed for horses, or on the contrary even dangerous? You will get the answer from us.
In this guide you will learn whether your horse can eat pineapple and to what extent there are health benefits or disadvantages. We’ll also tell you what to look out for when feeding and what alternatives there are to the exotic fruit.
Are horses allowed to eat pineapple?
Yes, in very small quantities and properly prepared, it is quite possible. However, you must pay attention to a few things.
Although pineapple is healthy for humans, it can be problematic for horses.
What nutrients does pineapple contain?
Pineapple is rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids and fatty acids. It contains, among others:
In addition, there is the enzyme bromelain.
While the vitamins and minerals are essential for many processes in the body, promote metabolism, support the immune system and protect cells from free radical damage, bromelain has a different task.
It has a mild anti-inflammatory effect, helps digest proteins and promotes blood circulation.
In addition, it is also said to have positive effects on the body’s immune defenses.
However, bromelain also has a blood-thinning effect. However, it is not only this that can become problematic.
What are the dangers of pineapple for horses?
In addition to the micronutrients mentioned above, pineapples contain a lot of water, with 85 grams per 100 grams of the fruit, plus between 10 and 13 grams of sugar.
The amount of fiber without the peel and the fiber-rich core, on the other hand, is very low.
The digestive system of horses is not designed for water-rich feeds and lots of sugar. The stomach and intestines, on the other hand, need more fiber and roughage.
The high sugar content in particular can cause the fruit to misferment in the intestine, triggering significant discomfort.
Diarrhea and colic are possible. Together with the blood-thinning bromelain, health problems can therefore develop if larger quantities are fed.
Also, if you offer pineapple more frequently, the sugar is potentially harmful to the teeth, pancreas, and overall body.
In addition, there is another point you need to pay attention to when feeding pineapple.
How can you feed pineapple?
Choose only ripe, but not overripe fruit. Make sure that the pineapple does not become moldy. This often happens first at the bottom.
It is also important that you feed only the soft and juicy flesh. The hard skin and the fibrous, hard core must be removed.
This is because these components, like the leaves, pose a danger.
On the one hand, they can cause injuries inside the mouth on the oral mucosa and tongue as well as in the esophagus.
On the other hand, they cannot be chewed well and can therefore literally get stuck in the throat. This leads to a so-called pharyngeal blockage.
This is also true if the pineapple pieces are too large overall. Therefore, cut them into small, thin slices or pieces.
How much pineapple can a horse eat?
If you occasionally offer 200 to 500 grams of the fruit, this is usually not a problem.
However, your horse should already be used to fresh food and fruit. Otherwise, a handful of small pieces is sufficient at first.
This will allow the digestion to adjust slowly.
Also, do not offer pineapple every day and make sure that your horse eats it in a short time. Otherwise insects will be attracted to it and the pieces of fruit may become moldy or ferment.
Especially in summer, this happens very quickly.
Do horses like pineapple?
When properly ripe, the fruit is readily accepted by horses. This makes it wonderful for luring or as a reward.
It can even stimulate appetite, which is why it is worth mixing it with other feed. At least when your horse is not eating well.
Since you can’t feed it every day, you should know possible alternatives.
Alternatives to pineapple for horses
Instead of or in addition to pineapple, you can offer your horse different fruits, vegetables and other treats.
leaves and twigs of fruit and nut trees
These are also only a limited part of the diet. Therefore, give only small portions at a time.
Variants with a lower water content can be hidden or hung up in hay or food balls, among other things, to keep them busy.
This prevents boredom and also serves as mental work. Forage games are used, among other things, as an intelligence test for horses.
Accustom your horse slowly and gradually to fresh food and observe closely whether it tolerates it.
Also, always find out in advance whether the food is really safe for horses. Because supposedly harmless foods can pose a significant danger to the animals.
Horses and pineapple
Horses are not allowed to eat much pineapple, but they usually like it very much. It is therefore wonderfully suitable as a very special treat.
You just have to make sure that the hard shell is completely removed and the pieces are small enough not to risk gullet blockage.
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