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Can Horses Eat Asparagus? What You Need To Know!


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Can horses eat Asparagus

Can Horses Eat Asparagus?

If you have a horse or take care of horses, then you’ve probably wondered can horses eat Asparagus? Well, Yes, horses can eat Asparagus. and it can be healthy when consumed in moderate amounts.

Asparagus is an excellent source of nutrients for horses. It has a high amount of folate, fiber, as well as vitamins K, A, and C., all of which are essential for a horse’s overall well-being. But, Asparagus is also difficult for horses to digest.

So let’s discuss the benefits of Asparagus and the best way of feeding it to horses.

Can Horses Eat Fresh Asparagus?

Raw or fresh asparagus is difficult for horses to digest as it could be quite hard for them to chew and digest the stems.

Chances are that the horses could lock up their jaw from chewing if you feed them with raw asparagus, and that might also affect their race performance.

It is thus advisable to collect many delicate parts of the plant and boil the asparagus a little bit. This way, it can be chewy and easy to digest.

Eating fresh asparagus is the best way for the horse to get the nutrition it needs. Asparagus is filled with vitamins and minerals that will significantly benefit the horse.

Is Asparagus Good For Horses?

Yes, asparagus is a source of some essential nutrients that horses can benefit from. However, Horses should not be fed the asparagus in large amounts; but instead, you can give it to your horse as a treat during the riding or training session.

Many horse owners and trainers are considering asparagus as an option to increase the nutritional intake of their horses.

Benefits Of Asparagus For Horses.

Asparagus is a great vegetable to add to your horse’s diet, and it has a fantastic nutritional value that your horse can benefit from.

It contains the following vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants:

Fiber (both soluble and insoluble):

Asparagus is a good source of fiber, and it can help them digest other grains. It also provides dietary energy to fight against bacterial fermentation in the hindgut. Mixing smaller pieces of asparagus in with some regular horse feed is an excellent way to incorporate the vegetable into their meals.

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A: is more important for equine health, and it is needed for better vision, immune system, and reproductive function.
  • Vitamin C: Like humans and other mammals on Earth, it helps horses with their immune system.
  • Vitamin K: prevents the risk of bleeding and supports equine bone health.
  • Vitamin E: As per a study conducted by the National Research Council, a horse requires 1-2IU of vitamin E per day per kg of body weight. Vitamin E, the most important vitamin for your horse, aids in fighting against propagation and free radical production.
  • Vitamin B9: It helps in red blood cell formation and DNA repair. Besides, these two important functions help boost digestion and metabolism.

Minerals

  • Potassium: Potassium improves feed and water intake in horses. It also eases muscles weakness, exercise intolerance, and fatigue.
  • Copper: Copper ensures overall good health. It also ensures the formation of connective tissue. It is also required by horses to strengthen their bones and blood vessels. Moreover, it aids in maintaining their hair color.
  • Calcium: Calcium helps in building stronger bones. It is required during both gestations and also after the birth. Iron The iron in our bodies is an essential ingredient in creating healthy red blood cells. It’s even more important in case your horse is engaged in intense and vigorous exercise.
  • Phosphorus: Phosphorus provides structural support to the skeleton. It is necessary to maintain a healthy skeleton as well as stronger bones.

All of these can help enhance your horse’s performance on the race track and also their overall health. 

Antioxidants

  • Polyphenols: It slows down the aging process. and It also aids in fighting against chronic illnesses such as osteoarthritis and laminitis as they age.
  • Flavonoids: It is beneficial for humans and horses in many ways. This potent antioxidant is an important precursor to vitamin A in the horse’s body.

source: https://www.livescience.com/45295-asparagus-health.html

Variations in Nutritional Value

Although they are both from the same plant, there are different nutritional values between the white and green varieties of asparagus.

The green asparagus contain higher nutrients, including proteins and ascorbic acid, calcium, thiamin, thiamin and niacin.

White asparagus usually has lower antioxidants than green asparagus.

Risks Of Horses Eating Asparagus

Certain horses have more difficulty digesting certain foods more than others. Since asparagus is rich in fiber and is extremely hard, horses can suffer from indigestion, and this could cause vomiting or diarrhea.

If this happens, it is recommended to stop the horse’s consumption of asparagus right away.

Asparagus is known to cause the horse’s urine to smell just like it does for humans. If you’re sensitive to smell and do not like the pungent smell resulting from eating asparagus, you should not include the vegetables in your horse diet.

When you give your horse excessive amounts of fresh or raw asparagus, they can hurt their jaws due to excessive chewing.

A locked up jaw or jaw spasm can affect their eating habits completely, leading to malnutrition if it is not treated.

Are Asparagus Overall Safe?

Maybe, it depends on the horse and its health. If you cook the asparagus and chop them into smaller bite-sized pieces, your horse will be fine. But if you find there is no need to feed them asparagus, it would be better.

We recommend against trying asparagus if your horse has a race soon or has experienced digestive problems in the past. If you consider these points, then feeding your horse asparagus would be safe.

​​Is Asparagus Toxic To Horses?

Asparagus, the vegetable, isn’t toxic to horses, though some horses find it difficult to digest. The vegetable itself doesn’t contain anything that can cause harm to your horse’s internal organs or chemically.

The only problems that can result when you feed your horse asparagus are strictly mechanical.

There is another plant that has the same name as asparagus, and is poisonous to horses. and can cause skin irritation and vomiting if ingested. 

It is referred to as the emerald feather or the asparagus fern, due to the similar physical characteristics.

To summarize, asparagus, the vegetable, is safe for horses when they eat it. Asparagus fern is toxic to horses.

Do Horses Like Asparagus?

Horses love the taste of asparagus since it’s an incredibly crunchy green plant, and it’s their nature to enjoy fresh, green vegetables.

Certain horses might avoid eating asparagus altogether because of the effort it requires to chew it.

If your horse does like asparagus and is able to handle eating it, it’s a wonderful vegetable to offer your horses as a treat.

A lot of people don’t recommend feeding asparagus to your animal in large amounts. And the owners should not consider asparagus as a main food item.

How Much Asparagus Can Horses Eat?

Horses shouldn’t overindulge in asparagus. You must ensure that your horse consumes asparagus in small amounts. Similar to feeding treats to reward your horse for good behaviour.

Never give your horse a full bucket of asparagus because it will cause problems with digestion.

How to feed Asparagus to Horses

How to feed Asparagus to Horses

The best method of feeding your horse asparagus is to boil the stems a little until they become soft and chewy, and then chop the asparagus into smaller pieces so that your horse is able to chew and digest them.

If you don’t want to boil asparagus, you can steam or bake them.

Be sure to Always cook and cut the asparagus into smaller pieces. Additionally, allow the asparagus to cool down before feeding it to your horse.

Be careful not to overcook the asparagus in any way, as it will lose the nutrients you’re trying to give your horse in the first place.

Be aware that cooking asparagus too long can lead to a loss of nutrients from the vegetable, so Don’t overcook the veggies.

If want your horse to get an energy boost, combine asparagus with other veggies. 

Roasting asparagus along with some green beans or even Brussel sprouts is an excellent method to make sure your horse is getting enough vitamins and nutrients.

Be observant

If you notice that your horse has lost its appetite or is experiencing diarrhea or even vomiting, then cut out asparagus from their diet right away.

As always, make sure to feed them little asparagus, to begin with. and if they show no side effects, then you can start adding more asparagus.

However, if you notice even the slightest change, then stop feeding them asparagus right away and try to contact a veterinarian.

In Conclusion

Can horses eat asparagus? Yes, and they will benefit from the nutrients it provides to them.

But it must be done moderately. Too much of it can cause problems with indigestion for them.

Collect the younger asparagus for your horses if you are feeding them anyway.

Asparagus fern is poisonous; make sure you’re not making it a part of their meal.

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