Horses are designed to eat grass and hay. These animals rely heavily on their fodder since most of the time it can provide them with all of the nutrients that they need in order to survive. But from time to time, some owners will opt to give their horses a treat or two.
Most of the time, owners will try to give their horses treats in the form of fruits and vegetables since they know that they can be very good for the horse’s health. There are others however, who will opt to use sugar cubes, candies, or other commercial treats instead since they are more focused on flavor.
But what if you do not have something fresh or sweet to give to your horse? There are people who are wondering if they can give bread to their horses especially if it is winter time when fruits or vegetables are not available. If you do not want to give sugar to your horses, can you give bread instead?
It actually depends on what people would consider as bread. There are those that have ordinary bread that is made with just a handful of ingredients, and there are also those that have breads that are made from special ingredients and added with sugar-rich filling or creamy toppings.
If you are thinking about giving the latter to your horse, then the answer would simply be no. You need to understand that horses cannot even consume high amounts of fresh fruits because of their high sugar content, let alone give them bread or pastries that are filled with refined sugars and carbohydrates.
With that said, you should never give garlic bread or chocolate bread to horses. You should also avoid trying to give horses pastries, especially pies that contain rhubarb. You should also be mindful of the fruits or herbs that are being added to make savory breads since they might be harmful to the horses.
But on the other hand, if you want to use ordinary bread, one that is made from wheat flour, salt, and yeast, then I think that it would be okay to give to your horse. Horses do love to eat plain wheat bread and some owners will even use bread to make the horse follow them around in the farm.
Some horses are used to being fed with grain; this is why giving them a few slices of bread will not harm their health in any way. However, I highly recommend that you try to know what ingredients were used to make the bread since some of them can contain chemicals that are not good for the horse.
When giving bread as a treat, you should consider giving the horse a slice or two. The maximum amount that you can give would be 6 slices. You should also know that bread can contain a lot of calories and giving the horse too much of it can actually make the horse very fat.
The gluten in the bread can also cause colic in horses. What’s more, bread is not known to contain all the nutrients that the horse needs in order to survive. When giving bread to the horses, you need to make sure that it is not stale or moldy since mold can cause serious illness or death in horses.
When it comes to giving bread to horses, the number one concern for the experts is knowing what type of bread is being used. Horses might not do well when given other types of bread especially those that have a lot of sugar and those that have been added with filling or toppings.
In general, horses can eat ordinary wheat bread in moderation. You can give as much as 2 – 6 slices of bread to your horse if you want to give them a special treat. But whenever you are giving bread, you need to be mindful of its high calorie content so you can avoid letting the horse gain too much weight.
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