Last Updated on April 23, 2022
We all know how much horses like apples and carrots, but have you ever wondered can horses eat oranges and other fruits? You might be surprised at the many different foods that horses can eat, so let’s take a look!
Can Horses Eat Oranges?
Horses can eat oranges, and this citrus fruit is a good source of vitamin C for horses. To feed an orange to your horse, firstly peel away the skin and discard it. Then either separate the orange into segments or cut it into eighths.
Horses are naturally suspicious when it comes to trying new foods, and may be reluctant to eat oranges at first. After all, a horse living in the wild would not commonly come across a peeled orange, ready to eat! But with some persuasion, you can get most horses to eat oranges, and they will soon learn how tasty they are.
Try feeding your horse a few chucks of a familiar and favorite snack first, such as apple or carrot. Next, feed him a slice of orange with a piece of apple – he should take it from you but may want to have a sniff first. If he eats this, try giving him a piece of orange on its own.
As with any new food, start off with a small amount to avoid digestive problems such as colic or diarrhea. You can gradually increase the number of oranges you feed to your horse, to a maximum of two oranges per day. Fruit is relatively high in sugar compared to the normal diet of the horse, so should not be fed in large amounts.
If you can’t persuade your horse to eat oranges, then don’t despair, there are many other fruits that he will enjoy!
What Other Fruits Can Horses Eat?
There is a huge range of fruits that horses can safely eat! As a special treat, why not prepare a fruit salad for your horse on a hot summer’s day? You can even make one to share together on a long trail ride!
Fruit is a great way of feeding treats to your horse that are natural and free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Most fruits are packed full of nutritional benefits, and also provide your horse with a boost of water and natural sugars.
Let’s find out what other fruits your horse might enjoy!
Strawberries – Can Horses Eat Oranges?
Sweet, juicy strawberries are a wonderful treat for horses and are packed full of nutritional benefits. They are high in vitamins C, E, and K, and packed full of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Strawberries are also high in fiber, helping to keep the digestive system healthy.
As with any fruit, strawberries should be washed before feeding them to your horse to remove any chemical residue. Horses can have around a dozen strawberries once or twice a week as a treat. Any more than this may cause digestive upset.
Watermelon is a refreshing treat that most horses will enjoy. This fruit contains high levels of water and will help to keep your horse hydrated.
Horses can eat all parts of the watermelon, but it must be prepared correctly. The rind is very tough and could cause choking, so must be cut into smaller pieces. The rind must also be washed before it is fed to horses.
Most horses prefer the sweeter flesh of watermelon to the rind and will tuck into it without needing much encouragement.
Pineapple – Can Horses Eat Oranges?
Pineapple is a sugary fruit that contains high levels of vitamin C. This means it is a good energy booster for horses in hard work but should be fed in small quantities.
The tough outer skin and core of the pineapple should not be fed to horses. Remove these parts, and slice the flesh into smaller chunks. Most horses will enjoy the flavor of pineapple and eat it willingly.
Which Fruits Should Horses Not Eat?
Some fruits are toxic to horses, and should never be fed to our equine friends. These include rhubarb and persimmon, both of which can be poisonous to horses. Tomatoes, onions, and garlic should also not be fed to horses.
When feeding fruit to horses, it should make up a very small part of their daily diet. Nutritionists recommend that horses should have no more than two cups of fruit per day to avoid digestive upsets and excessive sugar consumption.
Summary – Can Horses Eat Oranges?
So, as we have learned, can horses eat oranges depends on whether they have been safely prepared for them first. Some horses may not enjoy the taste of oranges, while others will happily tuck into this juicy treat. Other fruits that horses may enjoy include strawberries, watermelon, and pineapple.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on can horses eat oranges and other fruits! Does your horse enjoy tucking into a fruit salad? Or maybe you find that he only likes to eat apples and carrots? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Can Horses Eat Fruit?
Horses love to eat fruit, and it is one of their favorite treats! Fruit should only be fed to horses as an occasional snack, and not as part of the main diet.
Is Citrus Toxic To Horses?
Citrus fruits are not toxic to horses, and they will not be harmed if they eat them. However, some horses do not like the flavor of bitter citrus fruits such as lemons and limes.
Can Horses Eat Orange Peels?
Horses can eat orange peels, but they do not tend to enjoy the flavor as much as the flesh of the orange. For this reason, oranges are normally peeled before being fed to horses. If you can persuade your horse to eat orange peel, it is packed full of antioxidants and other nutritional benefits.
How Many Oranges Can A Horse Eat?
How many oranges a horse can eat depends on the size of the horse and the size of the oranges. An average 1,200 lb horse can eat two full size oranges per day. A small pony should only consume half this amount of orange.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE