Peanuts are a popular snack for people around the world. Over 5.5 billion pounds of peanuts were produced throughout the United States in 2022 alone. Peanuts can be eaten alone, mixed into stir-fries, added to salads, and blended into condiments and sauces. But are peanuts safe for animals, such as horses? The good news is that yes, horses can enjoy peanuts too. However, there are a few things that you should know about feeding peanuts to horses.
Cautions to Consider
While peanuts can be enjoyed by horses, there are a few things to keep in mind before feeding any to your horse. First, peanut shells can be a choking hazard for horses, especially older ones with weaker teeth. Peanut shells do not contain any real nutrition either, so they do not benefit horses when eaten. Therefore, peanuts should always be shelled before they are offered to a horse at snack time.
Also, like people, horses can be born with or develop food allergies as they age. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a veterinarian test your horse for peanut allergies before feeding them any or only offer them just one or two peanuts at a time to make sure that they do not display any allergic reactions.
Peanuts are high in potassium, which is great for horses. However, they are also full of fat. Horses that are overweight or have thyroid issues should not be fed peanuts. Fortunately, there are many other healthy options that you can offer instead, including molasses, dried fruit like raisins, and pumpkin.
Peanut Snacking Options
You can always feed your horse a few peanuts out of your hand, but this is not the only method. Keep snack time fun and satisfying for your horse by mixing peanuts, banana chips, raisins, and hay cubes in a 5-gallon pail to create a few days’ worth of snacks that your horse is sure to enjoy.
You can also crush the peanuts to mix in with your horse’s hay or to spread around on their grass if you are trying to help them gain weight. You can feed your horse peanut butter too. Spread a little inside of a celery stick, use it to bind dried fruit into snack balls, or spread it on a platter so your horse can lick it off.
Alternatives to Consider
If you choose not to feed peanuts to your horse, there are a host of other snacks that should satisfy their hunger, nutritional needs, and preferences as time goes on. Options to consider include:
Try a combination of these options to find out which your horse likes the best.
Now you know all about feeding peanuts to horses! You understand what precautions to take, you have feeding ideas to consider, and you know about alternative snacking options. Do you plan to share peanuts with your horse companion? Why or why not? Get involved in the discussion by leaving a comment down below.