Tangerines contain many healthy substances, including micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
In 100 grams of the fruit are about 40 milligrams of vitamin C, vitamin A and several B vitamins and minerals. In addition, there are dietary fibers and a comparatively large amount of water.
For humans, they are therefore a healthy snack. But is this also true for horses? We get to the bottom of this question.
In this article, you will find out whether horses can eat mandarins or whether they pose a danger to the animals. We also show you possible alternatives and how you can keep your horse busy with food.
Can horses eat tangerines?
Yes, as long as you offer them only very rarely and pay attention to the portion size. Tangerines are healthy for humans, but not for horses.
Among other things, the fruit contains too much sugar and fruit acid. They are therefore only suitable as a special treat, but should not be a permanent part of the diet.
What contribution do tangerines make to a healthy diet for horses?
Tangerines contain, among other things:
- Provitamin A
- vitamin B1
- vitamin B2
- vitamin B3
- vitamin B9
- Vitamin C
They are also rich in fiber compared to many other fruits, with about two grams per 100 grams of the fruit.
In addition, there are about 10 grams of carbohydrates, which are mainly sugars.
Why may tangerines only be a treat for horses?
Tangerines are rich in water and sugar. The digestive system of horses is not designed for this. If they eat too many tangerines, they may experience discomfort.
Colic and diarrhea are especially problematic and can quickly take critical courses.
Sugar is also critical. It stresses the pancreas and can lead to diabetes. It also increases the risk of obesity.
Another risk, although not dependent on the nutrient content of the tangerines, is gullet blockage. Fruit fed whole can be swallowed and then block the esophagus.
These dangers can be easily eliminated by adjusting the feeding.
How can you feed tangerines?
Here opinions differ. Some recommend feeding the tangerines with the peel and seeds.
The danger here is that the peel – although it contains more fiber – is often sprayed. Residues of pesticides are difficult to remove.
These can be dangerous for the horse. Therefore, you should rather peel the fruit. The seeds, on the other hand, do not seem to be a problem.
What you have to pay attention to is the cleanliness and the ripeness. Feed only ripe but not overripe fruits. If the tangerines become moldy, rotten or ferment, they pose a risk to your horse.
It is best to hand your animal individual segments and offer the fruit directly from your hand. Alternatively, you can add them to the fresh feed to stimulate the appetite.
Individual pieces can also be used in feeding games. Because of the skin around the flesh, it is protected and the juice does not run out.
Check whether your horse eats the fruit quickly. If it is left too long, the skin may dry out, insects may be attracted or the fruit may become moldy.
How many tangerines can horses eat?
Do not give your horse tangerines every day. If he likes the fruit, you can save it as a special treat and offer it once a week, for example, as a change.
Even then, a portion should not consist of more than one or two mandarins.
The prerequisite for this is that your horse tolerates the fruit well and does not suffer from diabetes.
What alternatives are there to mandarins for your horse?
Your horse’s basic diet should consist of grasses and hay. Grains can be added.
However, if you want to give your animal variety and add value to the diet, you can choose from a wide range of different foods.
Suitable ones include:
- Leaves and branches of fruit and nut trees
- Cabbage leaves
- Sugar beet
Because of this variety, you have numerous options to offer your horse not only tasty variety.
You can also use some foods for games and thus against boredom. For this purpose, you can mix vegetables, fruits or nuts among the hay, as well as hang twigs or put them in feed balls.
Hidden treats invite searching and encourage the animal’s creativity.
In general, these options are effective against boredom and thus against conspicuous behavior and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Therefore, they are especially important when keeping the animal in a box.
However, with them it is also true that they should be fed only in small portions. Otherwise they can disturb the digestion.
Horses and tangerines
As long as you pay attention to ripeness, offer only small amounts and do not feed mandarins every day, they may be used as a reward.
They do not contribute much to the supply of vitamins and minerals, as the quantities are too small to be tolerated.
Nevertheless, you can give your horse a treat.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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