Can Horses Eat Asparagus?

Asparagus, a herbaceous perennial plant, is known for it’s pointed spears and scaled tips. They grow in almost all parts of the world but China, Germany, Peru, and the US are it’s main producers. This low-calorie food is rich in fiber, folate, and vitamins A, K, and C. It improves digestion, lowers blood pressure, promotes weight loss, and ensures a healthy pregnancy. These long-lived plants can be harvested after 3 years of planting a seed and live up to 15 years. 

Now that we know it is safe and super healthy for humans but is it okay for animals too? What about horses? 

Since this is all about horses let’s see if it is safe for them and the pros and cons of feeding it to the horses.

Can horses eat asparagus? Well, actually they can eat. But it is better not to feed them. It’s not that it’s not healthy. It is healthy but your horse will probably have difficulty in digesting it. Find a better alternative instead.

Avoid Asparagus to Horses

Its stalks are quite hard to digest and even chew. This is the reason why we like to eat fully cooked. Vitamins and minerals can only reach the mammal’s body if the fruit or vegetable is being eaten raw. Cooking and banking make it less beneficial. It can not be eaten raw so it’s better to just leave it there when it comes to animals like horses.

How to feed Asparagus to Horses

The safest way to feed them raw asparagus is to collect younger parts and chop them off in bite-size chunks. It minimizes the risk of choking and indigestion.  Some horse owners say boiled asparagus is safe for horses but I’m not sure about that.

Take this as a red signal

If you see your horse is not eating properly or is experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. Take this as a red signal. Stop it right there.

How can you safely add it to their routine?

It’s better not to add this to their diet to avoid the dangers attached to it. But if you still want them to have it a little bit sometimes make sure it is small enough to cause trouble. 

Warning!

Asparagus fern is inedible. Make sure you are chopping this part of asparagus before giving it your horses. It can cause extreme abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and some other such issues.

source https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/horse-plant-list

Can-Horses-Eat-Asparagus-stalks

Feeding Asparagus to Horses

It is not popular because of its taste but also because of the list of nutrients as well. 

It contains the following vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains

  • Fiber (both soluble and insoluble)

Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B9

Minerals:

  • Potassium
  • Cooper
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus

Antioxidants

  • Polyphenols
  • Flavonoids

And they are helpful in:

source https://www.livescience.com/45295-asparagus-health.html#:~:text=%22Asparagus%20is%20high%20in%20anti,zinc%2C%20manganese%20and%20selenium.%22

Fiber

It is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. It provides dietary energy to fight against bacterial fermentation in the hindgut.

Vitamins

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is more important for equine health. It is needed for better vision, immune system, and reproductive function.

Vitamin C

Like humans and other mammals on the planet earth, it helps horses with their immune system.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K prevents the risk of hemorrhage and supports equine bone health.

Vitamin E

As per a study conducted by the National Research Council, a horse needs 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 the propagation, and free radical production.

Vitamin B9

It assists in red blood cell formation and DNA repair. Besides, these two important functions are helpful in boosting digestion and metabolism.

Minerals

Potassium

Potassium improves feed and water intake in horses. It also brings ease to muscle weakness, exercise intolerance, and fatigue.

Copper

Copper ensures overall good health. It also ensures the formation of connective tissue. It is also needed by horses for stronger bones and blood vessels. Moreover, it aids in maintaining their hair color.

Calcium

Calcium helps in building stronger bones. It is needed in both gestations and after a birth period.

Iron

Iron is an essential ingredient to promote the production of healthy red blood cells. It is, even more, a need of the hour if your horse is actively engaged in strenuous and vigorous exercises.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus provides structural support to the skeleton. It is needed to maintain a healthy skeleton and stronger bones.

Antioxidants

Polyphenols

It slows down the aging process. And it helps in fighting against chronic illnesses like laminitis and osteoarthritis in the later age of horses.

Flavonoids

It is beneficial for humans and horses in many ways. This powerful antioxidant is a precursor to vitamin A in your horse’s body.

No doubt, it can bring various health benefits. 

Now that you know the pros and the cons and the way of feeding asparagus to horses. Is your mind wondering whether you should or should not give them as a treat?

The answer is Despite its benefits, it’s better to find a safer option. A small amount of consumption has not shown any side effects yet but why put this poor creature in danger?

It can make you horse “Asparagus Pee”

You may or may not be able to notice but it makes everyone “asparagus pee”. It is common in humans too you might have noticed if you are an asparagus lover. It will have a different smell but it is not something you should be bothering about. It is not dangerous and it is also not a sign of any health issue but diarrhea, vomiting, gas, and inability to eat and drink are.

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Final Thought

It is beneficial in several but dangerous in some ways too. It can be fed to horses but it should be avoided. Asparagus fern is poisonous; make sure you are not making this a part of their meal. Collect the younger asparagus for you and your horses if you are feeding them anyway. 

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