Horse owners are always on the lookout for good, healthy, nutritious snacks to feed to their horses, and if you own a horse, you may be wondering “can horses have blueberries?” We all know these are extremely good for people, so what about horses?
Can Horses Eat Blueberries?
Yes, horses can eat blueberries. These little fruits are very good for your horse, as they are packed with vitamins and minerals, and they are a great occasional treat that you can offer. You shouldn’t feed your horse too many blueberries, but a few are very good for them and will be enjoyed.
You are probably already aware that you can feed fruit of many different kinds to your horse, and fruit is an excellent source of vitamins. However, you might be wondering what fruits can horses eat?
Blueberries are a good option, providing your horse with many health benefits and giving them the little happiness boost that comes with being given a treat. This is good for their mental health and building bonds.
Most horses really enjoy blueberries, and if your horse is keen, keep a few in your pocket so you can reward your horse for good behavior.
A lot of horses eat bananas and enjoy them greatly, but it’s a good idea to keep swapping the treats that you give to your horse, so you can make sure it gets a balanced diet and doesn’t end up consuming too much of any one thing.
Variety is key to a horse s health and horse owners should always be on the lookout for different kinds of foods to offer.
So, blueberries are safe to feed to a horse, but why are they good for them? Well, to begin with, they are a fantastic source of vitamins.
They contain vitamin A, vitamin B, B1, and B2, and vitamin C. They are also rich in calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium, as well as magnesium and phosphorus.
That is a great range of different things that your horse can get from these fruits, and because blueberries also contain flavonoids, they are extremely good for your horse’s immune system and fighting off infections and pathogens.
Blueberries are thought to be good for your horse’s eyes and may be able to treat certain eye conditions. They are anti-inflammatory, so ideal if your horse is suffering from any infections.
Furthermore, EquineDesire explains that blueberries are very good for a horse’s digestive system, and should help to cure diarrhea and indigestion. However, remember that you shouldn’t feed them too many at once!
So, are there any risks when it comes to blueberries? Could they be poisonous to horses?
No, blueberries are not poisonous and they are safe for horses.
Of course, with all treats for horses, you need to be careful how many you feed your horse. It is really important for equines to get most of their dietary requirements from grass or hay, and if you feed your horse too many fruits, it will fill up and will not eat as much grass as it needs.
This will cause a lot of nutritional problems because while berries may contain some valuable nutrients, they are not tailored to a horse’s system the way that grass is.
Grass is perfectly balanced to meet a horse’s needs, and you need to make sure that your horse is getting the majority of its food from grazing (or eating hay), rather than from treats.
This goes for any and all treats, and you need to remember that what matters is the number of treats that the horse eats overall. It doesn’t matter if you only give your horse a tiny bit of each thing; you can still feed it too many treats.
Treats should make up a very small percentage of the horse’s diet, so measure treats out carefully. SaddleBox recommends just one or two pieces of any one treat per day, but don’t overstep this rule of thumb by offering too many different treats and assuming this will be fine.
Of course, blueberries are pretty small, so it’s easy to over-feed your horse on them because they seem so harmless. Make sure you are aware of this, and don’t go overboard.
Are Blueberries Good For Horses?
Yes, blueberries are very good for your horse! They are a great source of both vitamins and minerals and will help with many different aspects of your horse’s health.
If your horse is struggling with infections or digestive problems, blueberries are an excellent treat to give them.
HorseCrew says that blueberries may help to improve a horse’s connective tissues, and will boost blood circulation around the eyes as well.
With the additional benefit of fighting infections and restoring balance to the horse’s intestinal flora (sorting out any digestive issues), blueberries seem like a perfect treat to offer to your equine companion.
If your horse enjoys them, don’t hesitate to slip a few into your pocket before you spend a day training together!
Are Blueberries Toxic To Horses?
No, blueberries do not have any toxicity to horses. A blueberry is packed with goodness and feeding it to your horse won’t do any harm to the horse whatsoever; it will provide it with very valuable nutrients and is a great addition to a healthy diet.
You should remember that all fruits are quite sugary, and blueberries are no exception. They are certainly not the highest, but they do contain a fair bit of sugar, and it’s important not to dismiss this.
Fed in the wrong quantities, any fruit or vegetable could be toxic to a horse, but a horse would have to eat extraordinary amounts of blueberries to be made ill. As long as you feed your horse in moderate amounts, you should have no problem with blueberries.
Do Horses Like Blueberries?
Every horse has unique tastes, but most horses love blueberries and will eat them by the handful. It is up to you to moderate how many blueberries you give to your horse, and to keep an eye on the rest of your horse’s diet and treats.
Your horse will beg for more blueberries even when it has just had some, and it’s important not to cave and give it too many; they love berries a lot and will keep eating them almost indefinitely.
You could try freezing blueberries for a nice, chilled snack on a hot day, although you should be aware that they do defrost pretty fast, since they are only small. Your horse will still appreciate the cold treat, though.
Alternatively, just feed your horse fresh blueberries, and see what it thinks. The chances are that your horse will love them.
Whenever you introduce a new food, it’s important to only offer it in very small quantities to begin with. It is very unlikely that blueberries will disagree with your horse’s digestive system, but you should still check before you allow it to eat a lot of them.
To do this, give your horse just one or two berries the first time, and then observe it over a couple of days. If the horse seems fine, you can give it three or four berries next time, and again, observe for a couple of days.
Keep doing this until you are satisfied that blueberries don’t have any negative impact on your horse, and then you can incorporate them with other treats that you regularly offer.
How Many Blueberries Can Horses Eat A Day?
This is a tricky question to answer, because it depends on the horse and what else it consumes. RideWithEquo recommends not giving your horse more than two pieces of fruit in a single day, but obviously, blueberries are much smaller than other fruits.
There are no simple answers to how many blueberries a horse can have in a day, but remember that horses tend to eat small, regular meals, so it’s a good idea to break up the blueberry treats and not feed them too frequently.
You might want to limit your horse to about ten to twelve blueberries per day. More than this could lead to digestion problems. It’s a good idea to vary the fruits that you offer and not feed your horse blueberries every single day.
Instead, choose other fruits, such as bananas, apples, and oranges. Vegetables are also good options, and often lower in sugar.
There is a reason that horses in movies are frequently rewarded with carrots – and your horse will probably love any and all of these!
How Many Blueberries Can Horses Eat In One Session?
Again, there are no sources that suggest how many blueberries you can give to your horse in one go. However, you might want to go for about four or five; this should be fine for the horse, and allows you to offer the treat a couple of times during the day.
If you feed your horse other fruits or berries, make sure that you reduce the number accordingly so that your horse isn’t consuming too much sugar and too many calories. It needs to get its nutrients predominantly from hay or grass, and not from fruit.
Can A Horse Eat Too Many Blueberries?
Yes, a horse can certainly eat too many blueberries. While blueberries are very healthy, they are not a balanced food in themselves, and you shouldn’t give your horse large quantities of them.
You should also make sure you look out for wild berries growing in or near your horse’s field. If it can access wild berries, you need to stop feeding it berries yourself.
This is true even if the berries that it can reach are a different kind of berry; it may eat quite a lot of them, and unless you can cut off its access to the berries, you don’t want to add to this problem by offering your horse blueberries as well.
Take into account other fruits, such as apples or pears, too. If there are fruiting trees near or in your horse’s field, you need to be very careful about how much fruit you feed to it yourself.
Don’t give your horse blueberries every single day, even in small amounts. It’s a good idea to keep alternating between foods, as this ensures that your horse gets a great balance of nutrients and doesn’t end up eating too much of any one thing.
How To Give A Horse Blueberries
So, if you want to give blueberries to your horse, how should you go about doing this?
The first thing to do is to thoroughly wash them. This removes any traces of mold or chemicals or pesticides that might be on the skins of the blueberries.
Some people like to cut up blueberries, but there is no need to do this for horses; they are certainly large enough to manage blueberries without any issue. Simply keep a small handful of the whole berries in a tub in your pocket, and use them as treats while working with your horse.
If you would rather not feed your horse from your hand (many people find this difficult or uncomfortable, as it is easy for your horse to bite you), that’s not a problem.
Mix the blueberries in with some oats, bran, or chia seeds, and let your horse eat from a bucket of them instead. This is sometimes easier for both the owner and the horse and lets your horse eat at its leisure.
Remember to break the quantities up, though. Don’t give your horse a whole pile of blueberries all at once. Instead, feed it a few blueberries per session, and keep the rest safely in your pocket.
So, blueberries are very good for horses for a whole number of reasons, and eating blueberries will help your horse to get some very beneficial nutrients, including vitamin A, B, and C.
It’s a great idea to give your horse a few blueberries – and other kinds of fruit – from time to time, but make sure you don’t go overboard and feed it too many at once!
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