Can Horses Eat Parsnips?

Can horses eat parsnips

Parsnips, like turnips, are root vegetables. They are close relatives to carrots and parsley. and carrots are safe for horses. So, can horses eat parsnips too? Let’s find the answer in this article.

Can Horses Eat Parsnips?

Yes, horses can eat parsnips. Most Eurasian root vegetables, including carrots and parsnips, are equine safe, of course, in moderation.
What’s more, parsnip, raw or cooked, is very healthy and full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your horse.

Although if your horse has diabetes, you should double-check with your veterinarian if parsnips are safe for your equine. This is because parsnips have a high level of glycemic index food, which cause spikes in your horse’s blood sugar shortly after they are consumed. However, they are low in sugar and calories, so they don’t have a big impact after the initial spike. This means that for some diabetic horses, a little parsnip isn’t a bad thing, but it’s definitely something you will need to confirm with the veterinarian first.

Your horse can eat parsnips whether they are boiled, raw, steamed, roasted, pureed, or mashed. Keeping parsnips plain is pretty much the only rule there is when it comes to feeding them to your equine.

Can Horses Eat Raw Parsnips?

Can horses eat raw parsnips

Horses can eat raw parsnips. A raw parsnip taste and texture is completely different to a cooked one, tasting something like a cross between a carrot and a potato. (I’d not advise you to try a bite!) However, horses don’t seem to mind the taste and they definitely enjoy this healthy treat.

Can Horses Eat Parsnip Peelings?

Yes, your horse can eat parsnip peelings. You can feed your equine a few peelings on their own, or give them some parsnip with the skin still on. Just like with carrots, parsnip’s skin is rich with fiber and minerals, so providing your equine with some peelings is a good way to boost their nutrients.

However, don’t pour all your family’s parsnip peelings on the equine though, it’s important to keep it in moderation. As I said before, there’s a lot of fiber in the skin so you can’t feed your horse too much otherwise it will make them sick.

Can Horses Eat Parsnip Leaves?

Parsnips tops or leaves are neither harmful nor poisonous to horses. Just make sure to not overfeed them. They are especially dirty, so make sure to wash them before offering them.

Is Wild Parsnip Poisonous to Horses?

According to myhorseuniversity wild parsnip is a yellow flowered biennial that is Poisonous when eat fresh or when dried in hay. Severe sunburn (photosensitivity) occurs in horses (other livestock and humans as well) consuming wild parsnip if they are exposed to ultraviolet light after consumption. Severe sunburn is reduced if the livestock are shaded from the UV sunlight.

Are Parsnips Good for Horses?

Yes, parsnips are packed with vitamins and minerals and they can have a positive effect on your horse’s health.

Firstly, parsnips have a healthy dose of soluble fiber in them. This helps in slowing down digestion and making your equine feel full, while also help keeping their bowel movements regular and their gut healthy.

Parsnips are also packed with vitamin C which is important for your horse’s health as it is an antioxidant that helps keeping your horse’s cells healthy. It’s also proven to help prevent cancer. in addition, it can slow down cognitive ageing and acts as an anti-inflammatory, so it’s an important addition to an old horse’s diet to keep their brain and joints healthy.

The root vegetable also contains lots of vitamin K inside too, which helps in maintaining the blood’s ability to clot and coagulate normally. By feeding on some parsnip, your horse will also get folate, which is essential for a lot of different metabolic processes, such as creating new blood cells.

In addition to all of that, parsnips can provide your equine some vitamin B6 and E as well as minerals such as magnesium, thiamine and phosphorus. So yes, parsnips are good for horses.

How Many Parsnips Can a Horse Eat?

There’s no exact rule about how many parsnips your horse can eat. Some say 2-5 parsnips per horse, but that seems excessive to me.

I recommend offering them two parsnips at the most and not every day. You should still keep an eye on your horse because even that much parsnip could potentially cause stomach upset.

The best rule of thumb for determining how much of anything your horse can eat is the 10% rule. All of your horse’s treats, snacks and tidbits for the day shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their daily food.

RECAP: Can Horses Eat Parsnips?


Yes, your horse can eat parsnips. It doesn’t matter whether they are raw or cooked, your equine can eat them. It’s important to ensure that any parsnips your horse eats are kept plain, so there’s no fat or oil or on them that could make them sick. So, your equine can eat a parsnip, peel and all, as a tasty and healthy treat.

For More Information

We’ve got tons of articles about which foods are safe or dangerous for your horse, from common treats to fruits. You might also be interested in “Can Horses Eat Cheese?” or “Can Horses Eat Radishes?“. open next page to continue reading

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