Are horses allowed to eat red currants?
Black and red currants are delicious and true vitamin bombs. In addition, they contain minerals and secondary plant compounds that contribute to maintaining health.
After all, 100 grams of the fruit contain 41 grams of vitamin C and 275 milligrams of potassium, but also 7 grams of sugar.
Are they still suitable as a treat for your horse, or should you rather refrain from feeding them? We will get to the bottom of this question.
In this article you will learn whether horses are allowed to eat currants and how you should proceed when feeding them. We will also show you alternatives to berries and practical ideas for occupation through feed.
Can horses eat currants?
Yes, if you pay attention to a few points. Because the fruits are healthy in themselves, but can also lead to digestive disorders.
Therefore, the quantity and preparation are crucial. If you take these factors into account, the berries are a delicious change.
Why are currants healthy?
They contain a wide range of valuable micronutrients, including:
In addition, the fruits are quite low in calories with only about 33 calories per 100 grams. These come from about 7 grams of sugar.
The composition of vitamins and minerals has a positive effect on digestion and supply.
Metabolism, immune system, nerves, muscles, bones and cardiovascular system are affected.
The overall performance and resistance depend on an adequate supply of these substances.
Currants make a contribution to this.
Are red or black currants healthier?
Black currants often have a higher vitamin C content and also offer anthocyanins.
This substance is a secondary plant compound that gives berries their intense, dark color.
It is also found in blueberries and bilberries, among other fruits.
They are powerful antioxidants and thus alleviate the harmful effects of free radicals. As a result, they have a cell-protective effect.
In addition, they have antibacterial and antiviral effects and can thus inhibit inflammation. Apart from these effects, they are said to have other positive effects.
However, these have not yet been fully proven.
What are the dangers of currants?
The possible risks are similar to other fruits due to the high content of water and sugar.
The digestive system of horses is not designed to digest this food in large quantities.
The high water content, along with the low fiber content, can make for excessively soft or even runny droppings, causing diarrhea.
The high sugar content, in turn, can cause faecal fermentation in the intestines. This affects the pH of the intestinal flora and the natural, healthy balance.
Diarrhea, fecal water and colic are the possible consequences. In already weakened horses, this can be devastating.
Diarrhea has a debilitating effect and, like colic in severe cases, is painful and can become life-threatening.
Early treatment after ingestion of large portions of the berries is therefore critical.
Because of the small size of the fruit, there is no risk of gullet blockage, unlike other fruits.
How can you feed your horse currants?
Isolated currant bushes in the paddock allow your horse to help itself directly. However, you have only limited control over how many berries are consumed.
Therefore, keep the number of bushes low.
When feeding, you can feed ripe berries directly from your hand, add them to the feed or offer individual twigs with the fruit.
You can also hang up the branches as an activity, because both the woody shoots and the leaves can be eaten.
Just make sure that:
- the plant and fruits are not sprayed
- the berries are not overripe
- there are no parasites or diseases
- the fruit is not moldy
- you keep the portions small
Also, first get your horse used to fresh food by offering no more than one to two handfuls per day. This will allow the digestion to adjust.
You can gradually increase the amount if the digestion is not disturbed.
How much currant is healthy for your horse?
Depending on the size and acclimatization, 200 to 500 grams per day per horse is an unproblematic amount.
If you feed branches directly, fiber, more vitamin K and fiber will be added. Therefore, the weight may be significantly higher.
What alternatives are there to currants for your horse?
You can find numerous fruits, vegetables and other foods that are suitable as a reward or variety for your horse.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Leaves and branches of fruit and nut trees
- Cabbage leaves
- Sugar beet
These are also suitable only as small portions, but can be used in part as an additive for health problems, to build up or stimulate appetite.
Nevertheless, habituation is necessary, as well as the appropriate preparation of the respective feed.
Horses and currants
Red and black currants make wonderful snacks for your horse in small amounts. Along with leaves and twigs, they also provide a good amount of fiber.
Therefore, you can plant few bushes directly on the paddock. Their life span is usually not too long, but they offer variety to the animals.
Just don’t overdo it with the portion sizes, so as not to risk digestive problems.
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