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Can Horses Eat Plums?

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It is no secret that most horses love treats but finding healthy ones that your horse genuinely enjoys can be tricky.

The best horse treats are the ones that grow naturally and are not processed by machines.

Plums may just fit the bill and could even be your horse’s new favorite treat!

Can horses eat plums?

Yes! Horses can eat plums, in moderation of course.

Plums, like all horse treats, should only be fed in limited quantities.

Overfeeding plums can cause digestive issues and even malnutrition in horses.

There are also some horses, unfortunately, that should not eat plums at all.

Plums are a healthy treat choice for most healthy horses. While not every horse will find them enticing, many horses will love eating plums.

brown horse standing

Horses that suffer from certain diseases should avoid fruit like plums, so it is important to know all the facts before you offer a plum to your favorite equine friend.

How Healthy Are Plums for Horses?

Plums are extremely healthy for horses to eat as treats. They are not only a naturally occurring food, but plums are also full of healthy vitamins and nutrients!

Plums contain vitamins C, A, and K, all of which are powerful antioxidants that contribute to a horse’s overall health.

They also contain healthy nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and fiber. (source)

Can Horses Eat Plum Pits?

While they can eat the fleshy part of a plum, horses cannot eat plum pits because they are considered toxic. The pit of a plum is the hard seed found in the middle of the fruit.

Plum pits, along with plum tree leaves, contain cyanogenic compounds that release cyanide when ingested.

Cyanide poisoning can be extremely fatal for horses, so plum pits and plum trees should be avoided by horses at all costs. (source)

Blue plum, on a wooden table

Are Cooked Plums Safe for Horses?

Cooked plums are safe for horses as long as there are no additives.

To keep plums healthy for horses, there should not be any additives like syrup, honey, or other sugar products added to plums.

It is also important to make sure they have cooled completely before giving them to horses.

Cooked plums should only be fed to horses in limited amounts as well.

Can Horses Eat Raw Plums?

Raw or uncooked plums are completely safe for horses, if the pit has been removed and thrown away.

A raw plum is a plum that is pulled straight from the tree and not processed in any way. Raw plums can be easily cut up into small pieces to make them easy for horses to eat.

Can Horses Eat Prunes?

Dried prune and fresh plums with leaves

Yes! Most horses can safely eat prunes.

A prune is simply a dried plum and it contains almost the same nutrients and vitamins as raw plums.

Prunes do have significantly more fiber than raw plums, however. While raw plums have around 2 grams of fiber per plum, prunes have around 12 grams!

Fiber aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation. (source)

How Many Plums Can a Horse Have?

There is no magic number for how many plums a horse can have daily, but 1 or 2 each day is more than enough.

Overfeeding treats can not only upset a horse’s stomach, but it can also prevent them from eating their normal food.

This can lead to malnutrition as well as gastric distress, something that, if severe enough, can prove fatal in some horses.

fresh plums in basket and on a table

Treats of any kind should never interfere with a horse’s regular meals.

Which Horses Should Avoid Plums?

Horses that suffer from insulin resistance, as well as hyperkalemic periodic paralysis, or HYPP, should not eat plums or prunes at all.

Plums, as well as their dried counterparts, contain sugar. Horses that have insulin-resistance have trouble processing foods with sugar.

Horses that suffer from HYPP should also avoid potassium. (source) Unfortunately, the average plum contains about 259 grams of potassium. (source)

Plum Treat Ideas

Plums can be simply cut up and fed to horses in their raw form, or you can get creative with them.

Here are just a few ideas for how to make your horse some tasty plum treats.

1. Mix with Bran Mash

A plum or two can be cut up into small pieces and added to your horse’s bran mash as an extra tasty treat. Other fruit and vegetables can be chopped up and mixed in as well.

2. Oatmeal Cookie Treats

Make your own oatmeal cookie treats with a little plum mixed in!

Mix a chopped plum, a chopped apple, 2 cups of oats, a cup of molasses, and 3 tablespoons of cooking oil.

Add more oats if needed.

Drop 1-inch balls of the mixture onto a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees.

Allow them to cool completely before feeding.

3. Mix in with Food or Hay

Chopped up plums or prunes can be added, in small amounts, to a horse’s regular feed or sprinkled on their hay.

This makes their normal meals a little more fun and interactive.

Final Thoughts

Treats can brighten any horse’s day, but it is even better when they are actually good for them! Plums are tasty, healthy for horses, and they make great treats when fed in moderation.

Horses with insulin issues or HYPP should not eat plums or prunes under any circumstances. Otherwise, plums are considered a safe and healthy treat option for a horse, if your horse likes them!