Nuts are healthy in many ways, including a high content of B vitamins. However, they contain a high proportion of fat.
Peanuts and peanut butter, for example, are used as a food supplement. This is because they provide a lot of energy.
Whether they are also suitable for your horse and what you have to look out for, we will show you here.
In this article, we tell you whether horses are allowed to eat nuts, and if so, which ones. We also inform you about what you need to pay attention to the amount and what is in the nuts.
Are horses allowed to eat nuts?
Horses are allowed to eat some types of nuts in small quantities. They can be used as a reward, an ingredient in muesli, or play a role in feeding after illness and weight loss.
Want to know what to look for when feeding nuts? Then read on.
Why are nuts healthy?
Nuts contain large amounts of essential – that is, vital – B vitamins. They also have good levels of minerals.
They are very rich in fat and therefore provide energy. They are also suppliers of unsaturated fatty acids.
These help to promote normal processes and maintain health in both humans and animals.
It is therefore a healthy snack. The type of nuts and the quantity also play crucial roles.
Which nuts can horses eat?
Domestic nuts, such as hazelnut and walnut, are best. Cashews and macadamia are also possible.
However, you should be careful with peanuts. Although they are very cheap, they also contain large amounts of allergens.
Therefore, you should be careful when feeding them. If allergic reactions are triggered, this can become threatening for the horse.
If, on the other hand, you offer only a few kernels, the allergic consequences can usually be well regulated.
How should nuts be fed?
Ideally shelled and dried. Horses can usually crack the shells with their teeth.
However, these can contain toxins and, once cracked, can have dangerous edges and spikes that cause injuries in the digestive tract and thus problems.
It is better, therefore, if you use nut kernels. These have some advantages. You can:
add them to muesli
feed them comfortably from your hand
easily keep them in your jacket pocket
they do not spoil quickly
they are dry
can be portioned well
Having a handful in your jacket pocket as a special treat is easy and, unlike fruit and vegetables, much simpler. Nuts or treats with nuts are therefore ideal for on the go.
If you know that your horse tolerates nuts, you can also use them to build up.
Nuts as a source of energy
Due to their high fat content, nuts are very rich in energy.
This means that you can use them especially if your horse is exposed to greater stress, has been ill and has lost weight as a result, or is kept outdoors all year round.
They are a source of energy that is usually readily accepted, and thus can be good for animals with low appetites.
When should you not give your horse nuts?
A nut allergy can affect people and horses at the same time. If your horse shows symptoms after being offered nuts such as:
Inflammation of the face
Digestive problems, such as diarrhea
Another reason to avoid nuts is if your horse is overweight.
Due to their high calorie content, they should then be given as little as possible or not at all.
How many nuts can horses eat?
This depends on several factors. These include:
Size of the horse
Daily calorie requirement
If your animal needs to gain some weight, it may of course get more nuts. If, on the other hand, it has little exercise and should rather lose some weight, one to two handfuls per day are sufficient.
Test yourself slowly to the right amount, or use small amounts exclusively as an alternating reward.
What alternatives are there to nuts for your horse?
If you want to diversify your horse’s diet, the main alternatives are fruits, vegetables and greens.
Alternatives to nuts are therefore:
In addition, you can also offer the leaves and branches of fruit and nut trees.
However, make sure that they are not sprayed. Otherwise, your horse may suffer from digestive problems and poisoning.
As long as you feed nuts in small amounts, they can enrich your horse’s diet and are a good reward. Just make sure they are of good quality and that your horse can tolerate them.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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