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Rutgers – Ask the Expert! Home Made Horse Treats

Question: I’m baking horse treats and was thinking about adding some cereal and whole grain bread to the base recipe. One concern I had was nuts and seeds. Are these safe to feed horses?

Answer: Bread and whole grains are perfectly fine to include in your horse treats. Whole grains used in breads and cereals such as oats, sunflower seeds, rye, etc., are fine. Most nuts (peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, etc.) should be fine as well in small amounts. Since you are making treats that will be fed in small amounts (less than 1 lb a day to the average size horse), any of these in moderation should be fine. However, please note that anything consumed in large quantities (over 0.5% of the horse or pony’s body weight) that is not normally in the ration may cause gastrointestinal distress (colic).

Dr. Carey Williams is the Extension Specialist in Equine Management for Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension. Her research focus is in equine nutrition and exercise physiology. She coordinates “Ask the Expert,” a feature of the Equine Science Center website.

Medical Disclaimer
This material is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat any illness. Any recommendations are not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement by the Equine Science Center or Rutgers University and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other products or firms.

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