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What Not To Feed A Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   2nd Jul 2013   •   2,871 views   •   1 comments

I like to spoil my horse a bit, and I usually take a bag of carrots to the barn with me. She’s picky, so apples don’t cut it. However, some horses will eat anything. Sometimes, they’ll eat things that aren't good for them. What shouldn't you feed a horse? Here are a few things you might want to avoid.

Lawn and garden clippings
Throwing those clippings, old plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables over the fence after you've mowed the lawn or cleaned up the garden may seem like a good way of recycling and composting. But, clippings and garden refuse may be bad news for your horse, even though they may eat it readily enough. A big stomach full of fresh or fermenting grass clippings can easily lead to colic and founder. Many garden plants and flowers, like lily of the valley and rhubarb leaves are toxic. Put yard waste in the composter or green box, instead of in your horse.

Cattle Feed
Cattle feed can be really bad news for horses. A lot of cattle feed contains a mineral supplement called rumensin, which is good for cattle, but deadly to horses. Even a very small amount can be dangerous. Horses have been poisoned because the equipment used to mix concentrates like sweet feed wasn't cleaned thoroughly after mixing cattle feed.

Alsike Clover
Alsike clover is pretty pink, but isn’t good for horses. You can tell it from other pink or red clovers because it doesn't have a white V on its dark-green leaves. Alsike clover can cause painful sores in the mouth, colic and diarrhea and a serious condition called ‘big liver syndrome’.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Lots of people get belly aches when they eat vegetables from the cabbage family. Horses too can get that same gassy feeling, and that can lead to colic symptoms. So, don’t throw cabbage leaves, brussels sprout stalks, kale or broccoli over the fence to your horse.

Large Quantities of Fruit
An apple or two will probably be fine for your horse. However, a big belly full of apples can lead to colic. If the apple tree in your pasture has a lot of windfalls, it might be a good idea to clean them up before the horses do. Fruit with pits isn't a great idea. Peaches have large stones that could cause choke. A few watermelon rinds might be okay, and some horses relish them, but too many might not be a great idea. A few pieces of fruit are a treat. Too much is a hazard.

Moldy Hay
Feeding moldy hay is a bad idea. Feeding moldy hay can lead to COPD or heaves, in horses. Watering down moldy hay isn't particularly effective in preventing the horse from inhaling the lung damaging spores. Hay that has been baled damp may be more likely to contain botulism spores, which horses are particularly sensitive to. If in doubt, use moldy hay as garden compost.
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
Dark Star  
Corn is another big one. Horses need a small amount, but large amounts are very bad for them.
  Jul 2, 2013  •  3,766 views
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