Horses are enthusiastic eaters that will continue to eat even when their nutritional requirements have been met. Horses have a sensitive GI tract so they need to consume plenty of fiber to remain healthy. So, can horses eat celery?
If you have a horse, you will notice that they appear to be always eating. As herbivores, horses have specific dietary requirements. Their meals will usually consist of grains, hay, and grass. You can also supplement their diet with vegetables with carrots being a popular choice.
Have you ever wondered whether other vegetables such as celery are suitable additions to their diet? Celery is not only good for humans but it can be consumed by horses too. It delivers several health benefits and is particularly helpful for those with issues regarding insulin resistance.
In our guide below we have identified what celery is along with the pros and cons associated with feeding it to your horses.
What Is Celery?
Celery belongs to the Apiaceae family, just like carrots and parsley. It is a vegetable that has been used as an ingredient in cooking for quite some time. It has a long, green fibrous stalk with leaves on top. Although all parts of celery are edible, the stalk is usually eaten and the leaves are thrown away. It has a taste that many would describe as mild but earthy with a slight kick of pepper.
Celery has a lot of nutritional value. It contains several types of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. It also contains magnesium, minerals, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, fiber, and folate.
Can Horses Eat Celery?
All parts of celery are safe for horses to eat, however, you must make sure that the celery is cut into small edible chunks before giving it to them. This is because celery is favored by some horses often causing them to become a little too enthusiastic, eating it too fast without chewing it. Moreover, you should give your horse celery as a snack rather than a replacement for a meal.
When it comes to preparing the celery, you should make sure that you wash it thoroughly beforehand. A lot of celery farms use fertilizers and parasite sprays which can leave a sticky residue behind. If you feed the celery to your horse without washing it first, it can be toxic.
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Your Horse Celery?
Feeding your horse celery can have many benefits on their overall health. As we have mentioned previously, horses have a digestive tract that is sensitive to upset.
The fiber in the celery is going to give them energy and will leave them feeling full for longer. Fiber will also cleanse their digestive systems by helping them to digest their food.
As celery is mostly made up of water, it is going to keep your horse hydrated throughout the day and can also reduce the chances of them experiencing stomach problems.
Celery can have many benefits for horses that have mineral or vitamin deficiencies. The minerals and vitamins can also help to improve the condition of their skin as well as helping to repair cells.
Celery contains a lot of folates and this means that it is going to help with the formation of white and red blood cells. At the same time, it will also break down carbohydrates and transfer them into energy.
Not only is celery low in calories but it has a low sugar content too. Because of this, it is a healthier alternative treat for those who have horses that cannot eat very much sugar.
Vitamin C is one of the many vitamins in celery. Along with magnesium and phosphorus, vitamin C helps to generate collagen which the body uses to repair tissue damage. It can also help with teeth and bone health.
How Much Celery Should Horses Be Fed?
As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you do not give your horse any more than 2 pounds of celery at a time. You should also limit the regularity in which you feed it to them to around 2 to 3 times a week.
How To Feed Celery To Your Horse?
You should be cautious when feeding celery to your horse as it can present a choking hazard. After washing it, you should chop it up into small pieces that are going to be easy for them to digest. If the pieces are too big there is a risk of your horse choking on them.
Whilst celery can be fed to your horse by hand, if your horse is a little fussy this might be a little too boring for them. In this case, you can experiment with some different recipes.
Instead of serving your horse raw celery why not make some celery soup using a few other tasty ingredients. After making the base of the soup, you can mix it in with the grains that you would usually feed them.
Is your horse currently on a course of medication that they are not very willing to take? If so, why not use celery to mask the taste. As we have touched upon, celery has quite a noticeable but pleasant taste that your horse is likely to be more receptive to. You can put the medication into the celery and then give it to your horse making sure that the medicine does not present a choking hazard.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Feeding Your Horse Celery?
Fortunately, there are not a lot of risks associated with giving your horse celery. So long as it is prepared properly and fed to them in moderation it is safe. Remember to wash it, cut it into appropriate-sized chunks and choose fresh celery if possible.
What Vegetables Should You Avoid Feeding Your Horse?
Although celery is safe for horses to consume, there are a few other vegetables that are not. They include onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage.