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Can Horses Eat Oranges?

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Horses are curious animals and most of them love being fed treats! Some horses may even be known to steal food straight out of your hands! When it comes to treats, we all know that fruits like oranges are extremely healthy for people, but are they good for our horses?

Horse and Oranges

Can Horses Eat Oranges?

Most horses can eat oranges in moderation and oranges are good for them! Oranges are an excellent treat for healthy horses because they contain valuable nutrients and antioxidants.

As with all treats, special considerations should be taken before giving oranges to a horse.

Treats are an excellent way to train horses as well as to help create a bond between horses and their owners. Some prepackaged horse treats may contain too many calories or unhealthy ingredients for many horses.

Oranges are a great natural and healthy horse treat alternative but there are a few things about oranges every equestrian should know.  

Are Oranges Healthy for Horses?

Oranges contain several health nutrients including vitamin C, a strong antioxidant that helps boost immune systems in people as well as horses! Oranges also contain folate, potassium, and vitamin B as well as fiber.

Oranges are also low in calories and high in water content, both factors making them an ideal healthy horse treat. (source)

Are Oranges Safe for Horses to Eat?

Oranges are considered very safe for most horses to eat, if you monitor their intake. There are no toxins in oranges that make them dangerous for horses. (source)

Oranges should never be fed as a main meal to horses and should only be given as a treat in small quantities.

Can Horses Eat Orange Peel?

The orange rind, also called the peel, is completely safe for horses to eat! Make sure you wash the orange off before you peel off the rind and feed it to your horse.

There is nothing dangerous in the orange peels for horses, but some of them may not enjoy the bitter taste.

Can Horses Eat Oranges - Pinterest Pin

Can Horses Eat Orange Seeds?

Horses can safely eat orange seeds because they do not contain any kind of toxic substance. They are also so small that they do not pose any choking or digestive issue for horses.

Orange seeds contain antioxidants and help to promote energy within the body. (source)

How Many Oranges Can Horses Eat Daily?

Donkey Horse Eating Oranges

Horses should only be fed treats in moderation. Horses should always eat their normal daily meals and fed treats only in between or after meals.

One sliced orange can be safely fed to a horse each day. Feeding too many treats in a single day could cause digestion issues in horses or prevent them from eating their normal food.  

How to Prepare an Orange for a Horse

Oranges should be rinsed off before preparing them for your horse. You can then peel the orange to make it easier for horses to chew.

The flesh of the orange can be sliced or separated into sections. You can then feed the orange pieces and the peeling to your horse.

Horse Treat Ideas with Oranges

Frozen Orange Slices

After you rinse and peel an orange, you can separate it into sections, place the pieces into a container, and freeze them. You can feed then feed your horse a few frozen orange slices at a time!

Mix Oranges into Bran Mash

Horse eating

Peeled orange slices can be mixed into bran mash as an added treat.
Bran mash is made by mixing wheat bran and boiling water. Other chopped up fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and oats along with oranges can be added.

Should Certain Horses Not Eat Oranges?

Horses that suffer from certain metabolic-related diseases should not be fed oranges as treats. Oranges contain around 11.9 grams of sugar and about 12.72 milligrams of potassium. (source)(source)

Horses that suffer from insulin-resistance or hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) should steer clear of oranges.

Things to Remember

1. Oranges should only be fed to horses in moderation.
2. Never feed a whole orange to a horse. It should always be sectioned or sliced to prevent choking.
3. Make sure your horse continues to eat its regular food.
4. Consult a vet immediately if your horses begin acting strangely after eating oranges.
5. Do not feed oranges to horses with an insulin-resistance disease or HYPP.  

Final Thoughts

Oranges are a safe and healthy treat for most horses, if they are fed in limited quantities and fed in small pieces. Orange peelings, seeds and flesh are all safe for healthy horses to eat as treats.

They can be fed separately or mixed in with bran mash. Unfortunately, horses with HYPP and insulin-resistance should never be fed oranges