Horses are herbivores and their digestive tracts don’t need meat for them to survive. They have distinct digestive systems that mean they can digest all plants and grass as well. The way for them to have a healthy lifestyle is by eating plants. Some of the food that is safe for them to eat are grass, hay, grains, salt and minerals, fruits, and vegetables. Cucumbers are safe and nutritious for most horses, but make sure you read all the advice below. Cucumbers have fewer calories and sugar, so they are generally safe for overweight horses.
Health Advantages of Feeding Your Horses with Cucumber
Cucumbers are nutritious and healthy for horses. Aside from being low in calories, cucumbers are rich in vitamins. They are rich in antioxidants that help lessen redness or swelling in the body of horses. Because it is low in sugar and carbohydrates, this is also safe for horses with insulin resistance. Horses are most of the time under the sun so they need to keep hydrated. A cucumber contains 95% water and is very helpful for them to keep hydrated. Also, it is one way of adding moisture to a horse’s intake.
Can Cucumbers Cause Sickness to Horses
If horses have no health problems, try to give them small chunks. After that, observe for several hours or within a day if there are any reactions to the cucumber. Horses can neither vomit nor burp since they have only one compartment stomach. Cucumbers produce gas and colic so it is appropriate to watch or observe your horses for any signs of illness. Watch out for changes like sleepiness, frequent lying, or rolling down. If the horse is drinking and eating less than usual that can be another sign. Signs indicating colic on horses are higher heart rate and excessive sweating. Unsuccessful attempts to urinate and louder than usual gut noises are also indications.
The way to prevent health issues when allowing a horse to eat cucumbers is to feed it with the right amount. This means no more than once or twice a week. Colic can be a very serious problem for a horse. If you see that the horse is experiencing it after feeding him with a cucumber, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
Cucumbers Produce Gas
Cucumbers can produce and build up gas in some horses. Because horses cannot belch, they may feel discomfort. If you find out that your horse has any discomfort after a cucumber treat, stop feeding them. It is better to stop than compromise their health. There are a lot of nutritious and safe vegetables or fruits for a horse. There is no need to take any risk when feeding them with cucumbers even if it is their favorite food.
Cucumbers are not Allowed for Some Horses
Horses that are having problems with digestion or prone to gas must avoid it. There is a group of horses that should not eat cucumbers or any food that has an average amount of potassium. Horses with HYPP (hyperkalemic periodic paralysis) are not advised to eat cucumbers. The horse will suffer extreme side effects if the potassium level rises.
Is Cucumber Peel Safe for Horses to Eat
Cucumber skin has dietary fiber essential for horses, they have a long digestive system. It is very important to wash them thoroughly before feeding them to horses. However, cucumbers from stores or supermarkets might have pesticides or chemicals outside. So it safe to just peel off the skin. Growing your own cucumbers with natural fertilizers without chemicals is highly recommended. If it’s not possible to plant and grow your own cucumbers, there are organic farmer stores or markets. You can buy them for the consumption of your horses.
Measures to Take When Treating Horses with Cucumbers
There are a few precautions to consider when feeding horses with cucumbers. Horses with tooth issues must not eat large pieces of cucumbers. Instead, cut the cucumber into small pieces so that horses can easily chew and digest them. This will also help prevent the horses from choking on large cuts that were not chewed properly. Allowing horses to overeat cucumbers can also be dangerous. One to two cucumbers per week is the ideal amount and is generally safe for most horses
How to Prepare Cucumber Treats for Horses
First, remove any unhealthy chemicals, pesticides, or bacteria from cucumbers. Wash them with clean water. Second, cucumber skin can be peeled off or not. If it’s organic, horses can eat them but if it is from stores or supermarkets, it is better to peel off. There are horses that would prefer one way or the other. Lastly, cucumbers can be cut to pieces. It is easier for them to eat them that way. But consider how large or small the bites or chunks are because some horses have dental problems. You can also shred or blend cucumbers and pair them with other foods that horses can take for a special meal treat.
1. Consult a veterinarian and always be careful when feeding cucumber to horses.
2. If it’s your first time to feed your horse with a cucumber, observe if there are any reactions after eating.
3. Make sure to peel off if it is from the store or supermarkets.
4. Avoid the horse overeating and allow a maximum of two cucumbers per week.
5. Make sure that cucumbers do not build up too much gas in your horse.
Cucumbers are not toxic to horses, it is safe to say that they are healthy most of the time. Cucumbers are natural hydration. It is nutritious for horses to eat them. Yet, they must be eating the average amount at the right time. In some cases, there are horses that are not allowed to eat cucumbers so they won’t compromise their health. If there are any reactions after eating, immediately consult a veterinarian.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!