You and I have been using honey as a natural sweetener and a cure since the beginning of time. Have you ever wondered, if it is as beneficial to animals as it is to you? Can animals like horses eat honey or not? Follow me down to know everything about feeding honey to the horses.
Honey, a natural sweetener, is among the few edible products that never really expire if kept in an airtight container. And the credit goes to the bees for gifting us with this heavenly delicious substance.
Besides being consumed as medicine for flu and cough, the healing properties of honey make it an ideal bandage against burns, cuts, and even infections.
Now, let’s get to our today’s topic.
Can horses eat honey?
Can Horses eat honey? The answer is yes, they can eat honey but in moderation. Certain things about honey make it strictly a treat your horse can only have it in the discipline. Feeding in the right way can bring some remarkable changes in your horse’s health. So, it’s good to reward your horse with honey sometimes.
Reasons why your horse needs honey
There may also be several other reasons as well but the three main reasons you should start feeding honey for, are:
For the vitamins and minerals
Like every other natural product on the planet earth, this product contains various vitamins and minerals that are beneficial not only to humans but to animals as well. The nutrients are:
- Vitamin A ( A vitamin your horse desperately need if it is living on poor quality roughage)
- Vitamin B ( Horses need this vitamin on a daily basis to keep their metabolism working well)
- Protein ( Protein is needed by all mammals on earth for the repair and maintenance of body tissues. And horses desire protein for the same.)
- Calcium (Calcium keeps the bones and teeth intact and healthy. In horses, calcium plays a remarkable role in enzyme regulation, blood clotting, and muscle contractions)
- Copper (Horses need copper for a variety of reasons. The number one reason is they demand it for the formation of connective tissues. Other reasons include to reduce inflammation, utilize iron in the body, and for stronger bones and healthy blood vessels)
- Iron ( Iron is every specie’s need as it assists in the production of healthy red blood cells, cells responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body)
- Magnesium ( They need magnesium for the better functioning of their muscles and nerves. It also helps equine in calming down)
- Phosphorus ( It keeps the enzyme system healthy)
- Potassium ( A balanced intake helps in maintaining the horse’s acid and base balance, nerve, and muscle function, and cellular osmotic.
- Zinc ( Zinc is needed by the horses for the health of their hooves and skin as well as for the bone development)
To boost their performance
It in fact helps in boosting their athletic performance naturally. You can say no to alternative supplements that are no doubt boosting performance in one way but are damaging in the other way. This all-natural energy booster, by improving the oxygen passage to the muscle tissues, can help thoroughbred and other horses to say active and ready to perform 24/7.
To heal the minor wounds
It is not just a wound healer for humans but for animals as well. Sometimes you have even heard or seen your vet recommending to heal minor wounds but you are still going to need medicinal help to treat the wounds, only honey can never be the one in all solutions. But it helps in healing.
For it’s antibacterial properties
This natural antibiotic substance helps in combating bacteria at the earliest stage. It saves your horse before the situation gets worsened.
For smoother digestion
Indigestion is common among grazing horses and even in non-grazing horses too, for some reason. Adding a bit of honey will keep the digestion process running smoothly.
Now you know what makes honey an important part of a horse’s weekly diet, let’s move on to the feeding part.
Can Honey Treat Cough in Horses?
Yes, honey provides relief from cough. Honey is a natural product with protein and calcium. It works as an antioxidant. According to recent research, honey has the ability to alleviate oxidative stress.
How often should you feed honey to your horse?
To this question, I would say once a week or when they really need it. They need it when they are dealing with some sort of infection and cough. Excessive feeding may make them gain weight as it contains a lot of sugar so keep the quantity in control. Honey contains sugar which is not good in the large amounts. It should be given a treat.
How much is honey enough for a week?
Just because it is super nutritional doesn’t mean it should be fed as much as a horse can eat. Moderation is the key. So one or two tablespoons are enough for a week. But measuring it in tablespoons is uncommon, honey is often fed in cubes. If not in cubes, it is sometimes mixed in their food. So, I am only describing it in tablespoons to give you an idea so you are not feeding more than that.
It can be even more beneficial
Garlic doubles the benefits of honey. In Eastern European and Middle Eastern Countries it is fed mixed with garlic. This recipe helps in improving the respiratory and circulatory systems.
What to do if your horse is a picky eater?
Do not get disheartened if your horse is a picky eater. Deceive them by mixing it with garlic or some other food. Believe me, they are this easy to be betrayed.
Other Treats for Horses
There are some other treats that are beneficial for horses. You need to know the taste, digestion ability, and amount of treatment before feeding.
Horses can eat honey but only in moderation. Once a week or when they actually need it for medical reasons( cough, infection, respiratory problem) is the routine to follow when it comes to feeding honey. Have a talk with your horse’s vet if your horse is performing in athletics as it can be a natural performance booster.
Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers.
I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.