As you get fed up with the same food, your horses get too.
Since the horse’s health is prioritized, as a horse owner, you are probably wondering whether horses can eat okra. And can it be a new snack with high nutritional value to your horses?
If you find yourself with a surplus of okra, feel free to feed it to your horse. Before giving new food to your horse, it’s wise to know whether it is even safe for livestock’s. Today we’re gonna talk about feeding okra to your horse and Can Horses Eat Okra?
Is okra poisonous to cattle and horses? why don’t you feed okra to your horse?
Yes, Okra can be poisonous to cattle, donkeys, and horses due to its solanine compound. Solanine is a toxic glycoalkaloid that can lead to joint pain and inflammation in horses and cattle.
Reasons for not feeding okra to your horse
Horses’ digestive systems are pretty delicate, so they may have significant side effects if they consume a new diet (Okra) in excess.
- Fructans are another toxic element found in the okra. Consumption of excessive okra can lead to bowel and digestive problems in horses and cattle.
- When the bacteria multiply, the okra can generate a lot of gas in the stomach. The horse may show signs of indigestion or gastrointestinal discomfort.
- The water content in okra is high. Okra becomes soft if horses are not able to digest it. It can cause diarrhea. Horses also face dehydration.
Note: Many Horsemen prefer not to give okra to avoid stomach pain, diarrhea, and inflammation problems in the horse.
Related: Is Dallisgrass Good for Horses?
Some other possible risks and precautions
Potassium is present in okra which might make the plasma abnormally thick. Blood clots may develop due to taking potassium at once, which could harm horse health.
Oxalates are a substance found in okra that contributes to kidney stone production. A high concentration of the chemical in the horse’s body has the potential to produce kidney problems. If the horse has kidney stones, okra may be damaging to its life.
A proteolytic enzyme released from the okra might cause burns when it comes into contact with the horse skin. It leads to chances of immolation.
You must be careful and see whether your horse is allergic to okra. Some horses are sensitive to okra. They feel itching on the skin and difficulty breathing.
Some precautions to be followed are:
- Feed a moderate amount of okra.
- Wash it before feeding to the horse.
- Use a clean tray or bowl for feeding.
- Check the allergic reaction of the horse after feeding.
What about other livestock! Can cows eat raw okra?
Okra is considered highly beneficial when we talk about humans, but we certainly cannot say the same for cows as well.
Despite being very nutritious, okra contains a substance termed saponin.
This natural detergent leads to dehydration, digestive problems, and electrolyte imbalance in cows and is toxic for them. In some cases, okra might result in the death of cows because of saponin poisoning.
Okra is undoubtedly not the right food for cows and should be kept away from them.
What are the foods that horses should avoid?
There are some foods that horses should not eat. Some of the following are given below.
- Chocolates are made of an ingredient called theobromine that can cause internal bleeding and seizures. It can also lead to restlessness, muscle tremors, increased heart rate, and diarrhea. These effects might be difficult to notice if a small quantity of chocolate is consumed, but if a larger dose is fed, the horses might probably react negatively to this substance.
- Horses are lactose intolerant. Lactose is present in all dairy products, but since horses cannot digest it, dairy consumption could cause digestive issues like diarrhea.
- The barks, stems, leaves, and all other parts of avocado are poisonous to horses. Some symptoms from avocado consumption include irregular heartbeat, neurologic dysfunction, colic respiratory distress, and edema, the extreme case being death.
- Pitted fruits, including dates, cherries, lychees, and apricots, are a choking hazard. Choking causes serious health complications with a high possibility of death. It is advised to remove the pit first before feeding the fruit to the horse.
Related: Are you curious if horses can eat pine needles? Find out the answer here, plus learn more about the nutritional benefits.
My final opinion
Finally, as okra is the spinach family, it can be toxic as a substitute for the main food chain of the horse. You can add it in a small amount as an additive to their food routine.
My recommendation for all horsemen is to always talk with your vet before adding any new item to your horses’ diet plan.
Zunnun AhmedWe are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.
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