Let’s know about Can horses eat watermelon. Watermelon is a favorite treat during hot summer days. It’s only too natural to share a treat with your friends – horse friends included. While the ridges don’t taste that great to us (unless you pickle them or cook them in a stir-fry), your horse will probably gnaw them with gusto. But are those watermelons safe for your horse to eat? the answer is yes. In small amounts, watermelon rind is fine. Your horse can eat the ripe parts, too, seeds and all. Some may not like watermelon, while others will be wild about it.
fruit sugars in watermelon
One thing to worry about when feeding watermelon to your horse is their excessive sugar content. As its name implies, watermelon is mostly water. In fact, a serving of watermelon is about 90 percent water. In one cup of diced watermelon, there is about 1 gram of fiber and 9 grams of sugar. This means that about 10 percent of watermelon is sugar. There are also some vitamins and minerals – mainly vitamins A and C, magnesium, and phosphorus. Sugar occurs naturally in all plants. Even carrots—a favorite root vegetable fed to horses, often by the bucketful—contain about 6 grams of sugar per cup of root. A horse’s natural food, pasture grass, is also sugar. At certain times of the year, the sugar content in hay can exceed 25 percent. During one day’s feeding, a horse will eat several pounds of sugar. This only presents a problem when they eat too much, as too much sugar in their hay can lead to laminitis and colic. As you can see, your horse would have to eat a lot of watermelon before sugar becomes a problem.
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Another thing people have to worry about is the potential toxins. Watermelon is a member of the cucumber family, and most of us wouldn’t think twice about eating the skin of a cucumber or feeding it to our horse. Watermelon skin or rind has no apparent toxicity that only poses a danger to horses, and as mentioned, watermelon rind can be pickled and eaten by humans. Some horse owners worry about seed. There are toxins in the seeds of many fruits, but the amount of the toxin is so minute that it is unlikely to cause any problems. Watermelon seeds can also be roasted for a traditional savory treat. Plus, because the seeds are so small, there’s little chance they’ll cause choking, or you can buy seedless watermelon to avoid any concerns with seeds. One thing you want to do before slicing into your watermelon is to wash the outside. The rind can be sprayed with pesticides or herbicides, or it can harbor bacteria such as E. coli, and these can contaminate the meat as you pry the knife. This is not good for you or your horse. Wash the entire outside of the rind with cool water and a scrub brush before cutting into the watermelon.
Everything is under control
While it is okay to occasionally share small amounts of watermelon or its unripe rind with your horse, a really large amount can cause colic or other problems for your horse’s bowels so you may want to feed large amounts half-baked. Don’t toss the melons from your garden into the pasture. Also, any improperly chewed food parts can cause choking in horses. Watermelon rind should be cut into small, easy-to-chew pieces. Otherwise, there’s no reason your horse can’t enjoy this summer treat just as we do: in moderation.
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