Ponies are small-bred horses, under the height of 14.2 hands high (4ft 10in).
They originate from North America and come in many forms, sizes, and breeds.
When looking to provide a healthy and safe place for your pony, knowing what food they can eat is important.
This article will discuss if ponies can safely eat carrots.
Given in small amounts, carrots are fine to give to ponies, similar to humans, vegetables are part of a healthy diet.
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How Many Carrots Can Ponies Have?
Ponies should eat no more than 2 carrots daily. Much like humans, and the consumption of food, it is important to eat in moderation. This echoes the recommendation we give for horses in our article: Can Horses Eat Carrots?.
Although tasty, carrots are not a beneficial source of proteins or fiber and therefore should not be used as a main food source for your pony.
Carrots may serve as a snack or even a treat. You can prepare a carrot snack for your pony in many different ways.
These are the most common:
- Feed it as it is, raw and bitten one piece at a time
- Chop it up and feed it in bite-size pieces individually
- Slice them finely and mix them with regular food
- Boil for a short amount of time and allow for it to be a softer warm treat for winter days
Types of carrots
Ponies may safely eat raw carrots, meaning a carrot picked off a farm, fresh from the store, or shipped from a trusted seller.
It is important however, to make sure they are thoroughly washed before providing them, regardless of how you serve them.
This will decrease the chance of feeding your pony toxins or potentially harmful germs.
Ponies may enjoy cooked carrots. This makes it softer for them to eat which may be beneficial especially for a pony with teeth issues.
It is important to beware that cooking carrots, (boiling them in water) strips the product of natural nutrients.
You will want to be sure to avoid any sauces and/or make sure that any seasonings used are also horse-safe before feeding cooked carrots to your pony.
Did you know there is a special type of carrot called a horse carrot?
They are commonly known as being very large, almost twice the use of a regular carrot.
In terms of taste, they are described as a minimal sweetness with an abundance of water and high starch levels.
Not all horses may enjoy them as they have little to no taste.
Different color carrots
The bottom line is, carrots of any color including red, purple, and yellow are safe to feed to ponies.
But did you know, these carrots have a difference in vitamins depending on the color?
Purple carrots for example are a great supplement for heart health due to their anti-inflammatory powers.
Whereas yellow carrots are found to be rich in beta-carotene. This compound is turned into vitamin A, which aids in healthy eyes.
It is important to know that carrot stems, or tops (the green parts on the tops of carrots), are also safe for ponies.
However like carrots themselves it is important to feed them in moderation.
They have a more earthy green taste than the fresh carrots and therefore may not grab all horse’s attention.
Nevertheless, they are a healthy treat. It is important to wash these carrot stems to be sure they are free of toxins and pesticides.
Benefits of Carrots
When thinking of giving your pony carrots, there is a wide range of benefits:
- vitamin A – An essential nutrient, critical for vision as well as immune health, fertility, and the development of genes and metabolism
- Vitamin K – Supports healthy bone density, stores in animal fat which is then converted into water-soluble, leading to the storage in the liver
- Potassium – an electrolyte that provides muscle function including muscle contraction and relaxation as well as providing sodium and calcium
- Immune health – aids in blood pressure and boosts the immune system for a stronger body
- Antioxidant – protects cells from damage as well as good for heart health
Do ponies enjoy carrots?
Ponies enjoy eating carrots.
In addition to their health benefits the fresh crisp taste of carrots is very appealing to ponies and they enjoy the taste whether eaten as raw or cooked.
Important Things to Remember
- It is very important to feed ponies carrots in moderation, due to their sensitive digestive systems, too many may cause an upset stomach.
- Cleaning and washing carrots are the best way to provide fresh food while avoiding potential for toxins and bacteria.
- Do not feed your pony more than two carrots per day.
- Although providing numerous health benefits, carrots are not a replacement for any medical treatment. If you believe something is wrong contact a veterinarian immediately.
- If you are concerned about your horse’s eating habits or reaction to carrots of any kind, talk to a veterinarian as soon s possible.
Fun Carrot Treats for Your Pony!
- 1 cup of shredded carrot
- ¼ cup honey/or molasses
- 1 finely sliced apricot
- 2 cups oats
- ¼ cup water( for a smoother consistency)
Preheat the oven to 300-345 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together, this can be in balls or as a flat spread.
Cook for about 20-30 minutes depending on preference.
The outcome should be a light brown textured cookie-like substance.
When cooled it is ready to eat!
Oatmeal Carrot Cookie
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1/2 large apple
- 2 cups of old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup water(optional for a smoother consistency)
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 300-345 degrees
Once ingredients are all mixed together, can be rolled into balls or spread on a baking sheet.
Cook for about 20-30 minutes depending on preference.
Let cool and give to your pony!
These recipes are treats, much like human treats, they should be consumed moderately to reduce health problems.
These may be used to promote tricks or good behavior. Enjoy!