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:
- Broccoli (conflicting reports but some say colic inducing)
- 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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