From the Fridge to the Feed Room! – Our Panel of Fuzzy Judges Decide!






ORIGINALLY POSTED JUNE 16,2010:

FROM THE FRIDGE TO THE FEED ROOM!  Our Panel of Fuzzy Judges Decide!

I was milling about my refrigerator, hoping for inspiration in a brownie with sour cream frosting, when it hit me!   Today’s topic would be Healthy Kitchen Feed!  My husband always tells me,  “Honey, you may not like to cook but you love to feed!”  Ahhh, truer words were never spoken.

So, there in front of me, inside the crispers calling to me, were several bags of fresh fruits and veggies.  Hmmmm, I wonder what the horses would eat besides the usual carrots, apples and raisins.  I wonder if any of it is bad for them?  Herein began the alternative horse foods (and clean out your refer while you’re at it) taste test potpourri.

I must, as an aside, give a nod to my beloved pot belly, Fannie.  She passed last year at the ripe old age of 17.  Amazing for a pig.  During those years, she was my funny little pig and handy recycler.  I miss her.  Hopefully, we can pass the leftovers baton onto some of my current fuzzy faces who are presently marauding about the barn, trying to pick the gates.  (Above is a photo of Fannie and my gelding, Aladdin.)

OK for starters, the poisonous foods.  Do not feed these.  There were conflicting reports on broccoli and potatoes.  I figure if there is any report at all, don’t do it.  So, listed below are the BAD GUYS:

DO NOT FEED FRUIT/VEGGIE LIST:

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli  (conflicting reports but some say colic inducing)
  • Cauliflower
  • Rhubarb
  • Onion
  • Potato
  • Tomato
  • Acorns
  • NO FRUIT PITS AT ALL EVER

OK, NOW FOR THE GOOD FRUIT/VEGGIE LIST:

Green Beans, Lettuce, Peas, Celery, Plantain (not that you have that in your refer everyday), Sweet Potato Greens, Beet Greens, Parsnip, Turnip, Mango, Dates (pitted), Bananas with Peel, Citrus with Peels, Any Melon especially Watermelon with rind (fun to watch them eat this, too!), Zucchini, any Squash, Bean Sprouts, Avocado, Guava, Grape, pitted Cherries, any fruit without their pits like Nectarine/Peach/Plum, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Pears and Honey!  (In the seeds category, sunflowers are good).

So, I decided to test this to my best ability since it is winter and I didn’t have much selection.  I scoured my refer and found the items listed below.  I then went out to the pastures for the taste testing.  Always make sure to cut up your treats so no one chokes.  (Read my post 2/18/10 about Equine Choke.  It isn’t pretty.)

(Above is a pic of the first group of anxious taste testers: Norma, Dodger and Slick.)  (The Palomino is a pic I borrowed from the Internet.)

TASTE TESTERS RESPONSES

  • Orange (WAHOO!)
  • Lettuce (GIMME MORE!)
  • Celery (Maaybee…, if I was really hungry.)
  • Beet Greens  (OK but I see you have other stuff in there…)
  • Grapefruit (Yes! More, More!)
  • Banana w/peel (Yum with varied experience here… some liked it all, some liked the inside, some the peel)
  • Green Beans (If I was starving.)
  • Pear (OMG WHERE DID YOU FIND THIS FABULOUS THING?!)
  • Zucchini  (Maybe if I was the last horse on the planet and that was all there was to eat.)
  • Eggplant  (Blech. Yuk.)
  • Red Pepper (An aquired taste)
  • Parsley (Uh, no.)

(Shetland Dodger wolfing up the lettuce he grabbed from me.)

So, after my taste testers gave me their full attention and best efforts, I can honestly say they are all different in their testing styles and all have different palates.  Most everyone liked the lettuce but my Morgan mares just sniffed at it.  My Mustang was very dubious of anything new (as any good mustang would be) but she loved the bananas, which I’m sure she never tasted in the wild…  One Shetland loved the lettuce and red peppers but hated everything else, whereas the other Shetland loved the oranges and bananas only.  My donkey, Norma, ate the orange with such precision and relish that I gave her the grapefruit as well.  Aladdin ate most of whatever I gave him except he dumped the bowl when all that was left was eggplant, zucchini and red peppers.  The TWHs looooooved the lettuce and citrus but only nibbled on the zucchini.  No one cared for the parsley but they all took an ittybitty bite – just to be polite.  Ahh, but sadly, I come full circle now because there are eggplant and zucchini bits spit out all over the place.  Too bad Fanny isn’t still with us… she would have a field day hoovering it all up.

(Remi, the Mustang with a blaze, chewing an orange wedge with calculating ears.)

(Gwen the Morgan grabbing a bite of banana.)

NATURAL TREAT RECIPES

As an aside, there are several recipes for good horsey treats online.  Here is one of the many websites for healthy treats.  This one looked good.

Ingredients (organic in all cases, if possible):

2 cups rolled oats or Quaker Oats (original), ½-3/4 cup apple juice, 2 apples chopped into small pieces, ½ cup dried mango or guava, ½ cup shelled raw unsalted sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 cup bran (wheat or rice). Instructions:Mix everything together. Drop on ungreased baking pan by teaspoonful. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Give one at a time.  YUMMY!

(The last pic my TWH, Finn, sniffing an orange the moment before he devoured it.)

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19 comments have been posted...

  1. dawndi Post author

    We have Copra now here, too! It is also in Renew Gold. Lovely stuff!
    Thanks for writing!

  2. maria pietri lalor

    I live in Vanuatu ( look above New Zealand ) and our horses here will climb trees to eat papayas, theyare crazy about the fruit,the leaves and the tree itself, bananas makes their eyes crazy for more, we had one who charged one of our riders as she was bringing a banana bread ….We have no hay here so they eat green grass and copra , dried coconut meal after the oil has been pressed, tropical horses,tropical tastes.

  3. CS

    Just FYI, quarter horses should not be fed bananas because of the hypp disease/carriers of the disease.

  4. Jenna

    cabbagr has been used to treat ulcers in horses quite successfully.

  5. Doreen

    My horse loved corn on the cob. He would eat the wrapping and everything…couldn’t get enough!

  6. Lori Hemmes

    Seen sweet potatoes on several good list along with turnips and rutabegga, fed sweet potatoes to full size horse with no reaction.
    AVOCADO IS A NO-NO TO ANIMALS!

  7. jane

    I am curious if the reason why horses should not have broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and susuch, is because they are sulfuric vegetables?

  8. Paige

    My Tennessee Walker LOVES pears and carrots and I usually try to lean towards the apple treats from my local feed store because I know those he can eat and thank you for showing what not to be eaten.

  9. dawndi Post author

    Christina: Just make sure you limit the treats for a mini. Apples and Pears and carrots… all are SUGAR to horses. You do not want
    him to become overweight, Insulin Resistant or Founder. Be very, very careful.

  10. Christina

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We recently got my daughter a mini horse. He loves apples but turns his nose up at carrots (apples and bread were the only treats he got previously). I was looking for some homemade horse treats and Pinterest lead me hear. I will definitely be testing some of these out for our boy. My parents have 5 apple trees he has been getting to try apples off of lately but don’t know why I didn’t even think of offering him pears off their pear tree!

  11. Not telling sorry

    Wow this was really helpful! I tried out the fruit and veg with my yearling brumbie who had heaps of fun with it all. Keep posting stuff like this xxx

  12. Seabiscute

    I wish you had put Mustard Greens on the Do Not Feed list, as people might incorrectly extrapolate from the Beet Greens and Sweet Potato Greens on the Good list — they are highly toxic to horses, and I know of a beloved and accomplished Welsh pony who recently died from eating them. They tried hard to save her but there is no antidote, and I think she suffered a lot before she died. Sadly, they suspect someone may have tossed them into the paddock thinking they would be a treat.

  13. dawndi Post author

    Hi there! Odd that you would be searching for music events and stumble upon my blog.
    Sorry for the mis direction (I wonder what key word sent you to me??) but I am
    glad you enjoyed it nonetheless.
    Thanks again for the comments. In the blog world, a comment is golden.

  14. dawndi Post author

    You bring up a good point with glucose issues. It is important to lay off the carrots and sweet fruits if anyone is prone to founder or Cushings.
    Thanks, Suzanne!

  15. Suzanne

    There was a very prolific pear tree on the property where I used to board one of my horses in the bay area and on our way back from a ride when it was heavy with fruit we would stop so he could have a treat. He would either pull one off himself or I would help him. And then there was always the ones that had fallen to the ground! He loved those pears. My mare, who has weight and probably glucose issues, gets a much smaller amount of carrots than the boys with her supplements, so I often give her several stalks of celery cut up in her bowl–never had any complaints, she scarfs them up. My pear loving boy, Simon, isn’t so sure about celery–he’ll eat a few pieces but when I first gave it to him he wouldn’t eat anything that had touched the celery!

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