Carrots are a healthy and nutritious vegetable that also makes a welcome snack for your horses.
Have you ever wondered about the green of carrots?
In this post, we’ll tell you if horses can eat the greens of carrots. One thing so revealed in advance: The answer is guaranteed to amaze you!
Can horses eat the greens from carrots?
No, you should always remove carrot greens before feeding them to your horse. Carrot greens can cause skin inflammation, especially in horses with allergies.
This is because carrot greens contain a fairly high concentration of the active ingredient falcarinol.
Falcarinol belongs to the family of polyins and is a toxic allergen that is also found in ivy, for example. The active ingredient is also found in the carrot itself, but in such a small quantity that this circumstance does not have a negative effect even if you feed several kilos of carrots to your horse at once.
In this article, we will therefore primarily address the question of what healthy alternatives there are to carrot greens for your horse. In addition, we will then answer a few questions about feeding carrots to horses.
Why is carrot green bad for horses?
As mentioned earlier, carrots contain the substance falcarinol, which is toxic to horses.
It’s not a big deal if you feed a carrot along with carrot greens every now and then. But if you like to feed larger quantities of carrots and want to integrate them firmly into your horse’s daily diet, then you should definitely remove the green from the carrots.
Otherwise, allergic reactions – such as severe itching or contact dermatitis – may occur.
In the following section, we will now look at the alternatives you can feed your horse to improve his health and give him a tasty snack every now and then.
What are the alternatives to carrot greens?
Parsley is very healthy for your horse, as long as you don’t feed it to pregnant mares, because parsley is capable of inducing childbirth if fed in the right amount.
The benefits of parsley are that it has antispasmodic and flatulence properties.
Parsley can be especially helpful for horses with digestive problems. If you feed parsley daily, it can even protect your horse from one or the other colic.
There is absolutely nothing against giving your horse a treat with parsley over a longer period of time.
If your horse suffers from watery stool, you can try to get the problem under control with the help of a stinging nettle cure lasting several weeks.
In this case, you feed your horse about 50 g of dried nettle daily for a period of four to eight weeks.
A nettle cure can also work wonders for horses that are struggling with water retention. Of course, you can feed your horse nettle even if it is perfectly healthy – however, most horses only accept dried nettle.
Most horses love fresh birch leaves, which is why you can give your horse a great treat with this, unless they have birch in their pasture.
Birch leaves are very healthy for horses and have a positive effect on the bladder and kidneys.
In addition, you can give your horse not only the leaves, but also the branches to nibble, because these also contain valuable vitamins and keep your horse busy for a while.
Since birch leaves stimulate kidney activity, you should not be surprised if your four-legged friend has to urinate more often after giving the leaves.
Dandelion can be found in just about any meadow in the summer and is eaten with great pleasure by just about all horses.
Dandelion brings a diuretic and detoxifying effect, whereby toxins are automatically eliminated from the body more easily. It also has a positive effect on bladder infections and can support regeneration or be used as a prophylactic.
So if your horse has been ordered to rest in the box during the summer months, e.g. due to illness, you will be doing him a big favor if you feed him a few dandelion leaves every day.
Your horse’s nerves are anything but good?
Then you can feed him chamomile more often, because chamomile has a positive effect on the psyche and provides relaxation.
Of course, this does not mean that anxiety and panic will completely disappear by giving chamomile, but feeding the herb is an excellent way to support it. In addition, chamomile tastes very good to most horses and is therefore eaten with pleasure.
Even sensitive animals can tolerate chamomile without any problems and can therefore benefit from the many healthy nutrients and the relaxing effect.
Now that you have learned about a few tasty alternatives to carrot greens, we will answer a few more questions about carrots for horses in general in this short FAQ.
FAQ – frequently asked questions
- are carrots harmful for horses?
No, carrots are not harmful for horses, on the contrary, because they contain many vitamins and strengthen the immune system of the animals.
In addition, they are easily digestible and can therefore be fed to horses with stomach and/or intestinal problems – they even promote intestinal activity and are therefore particularly healthy for such horses!
Another advantage is that they are also readily eaten by fussy horses, making them the ideal reward during or after training.
- Do carrots make horses fat?
Horses that tend to be overweight or are already overweight should only be given a carrot as a snack now and then.
Because of its high sugar content, this sweet and actually very healthy vegetable can promote obesity. However, a few carrots a day will certainly not make a healthy and normal-weight horse that is exercised regularly too fat.
3) How many carrots can horses eat?
As a rule of thumb, you can feed 1 kg of carrots per 100 kg of horse weight without any adverse health effects.
Of course, this only applies to healthy horses that do not suffer from diabetes or obesity. Horses that are prone to laminitis should also only be fed a few carrots occasionally.
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