Can Horses Eat Persimmons?
When it comes to your horse, you should be very careful about the diet and any treats or snacks that you are giving it. After all, horses are more sensitive than most people would believe. However, you may also want to be able to give your horse some special treats, such as the apple slices or sugar cubes we see being handed out in the movies. So, are persimmons a suitable sweet treat for your horse? Take a look below to find out more.
Can Horses Eat Persimmons?
Now that you know what persimmons are, you may be thinking that they would be a treat that your horse would enjoy! Unfortunately, persimmons are ill suited for horses and can actually be very dangerous to them. Some of the possible risks that can occur are cyanide poisoning and blockages in your horse’s digestive system. While it is true that a small amount of persimmons may be okay for your horse, it is safer to avoid feeding your horse persimmons altogether, as the risks are not worth it! Stick to treats that your vet has approved instead.
What Are Persimmons?
It is important that you know about a food item before you try to feed it to your horse. So, what are persimmons, anyway? Persimmons are classified as a fruit, and more specifically, they are a berry. They grow on a variety of different evergreen and deciduous trees. In appearance, persimmons can vary from yellow to black or brown in certain species! Typically, though, persimmons resemble waxy tomatoes in shape and hue.
Persimmons are believed to have originated in China over 2000 years ago and later on introduced to Japan and Korea. Today, these countries are still the largest producers and exporters of persimmons. Persimmons are largely grouped into astringent and non-astringent categories. The astringent persimmons are completely inedible until they are fully ripe, while non-astringent persimmons can be consumed firm or when they reach full ripeness. When not ripe, persimmons have more of a sour flavor, which mellows and sweetens as they age. Many compare ripe persimmons to cantaloupe in flavor.
Can Horses Eat Persimmons?
Now that you know what persimmons are, you may be thinking that they would be a treat that your horse would enjoy! Unfortunately, persimmons are ill suited for horses and can actually be very dangerous to them. Some of the possible risks that can occur are cyanide poisoning and blockages in your horse’s digestive system. While it is true that a small number of persimmons may be okay for your horse, it is safer to avoid feeding your horse persimmons altogether, as the risks are not worth it! Stick to treats that your vet has approved instead.
Risks of Feeding Horses Persimmons
While persimmons may be a tasty treat for us humans, they are not a safe treat for your horse. It is better that you keep persimmons in your kitchen and away from the stable. Below, we explore some of the risks that persimmons pose to your horse.
Persimmons, especially those that are not fully ripe, contain tannins, similar to the tannins in a glass of wine. Tannins can be harmful to your horse, as they are astringents and can therefore draw liquid from the tissues in your horse’s body. Some of the effects that tannins or tannic acid may have on your horse are diarrhea, dehydration, and even kidney failure. Tannins also have a destructive effect on the lining of your horse’s intestines, which can lead to many other issues. A common symptom of this to watch out for is bloody diarrhea.
Cyanide poisoning can occur when eating tannins because of the pits in the fruit. Many other fruits with pits, like peaches or cherries, can cause this issue, too. Cyanide poisoning can be deadly for your horse, especially if it is not recognized for what it is and treated right away. Cyanide is a fact-acting poison that is so dangerous because it prevents oxygen from being transported to all the cells in the body. This can lead to the death or breakdown of these cells and can affect the functions of your horse’s body.
This is another issue that can arise due to the pits or seeds of the persimmons. Your horse may eat the pits and then be unable to pass them, or they may not fully pass through the digestive tract itself. If left untreated, this can be dangerous, and of course, it will cause a lot of pain and discomfort in your horse, too.
Colic is another name for abdominal pain, and it is something that can refer to pain in humans as well as in horses, so you may already be familiar with the term. Colic can range from mild cases to cases that are much more urgent and uncomfortable for your horse. Eating persimmons can create gasses in the stomach that lead to colic symptoms, and depending on the amount of persimmons that your horse has consumed or the amount of gas that is produced, the intensity of the abdominal pain can vary. Impaction in the stomach or intestines can also result from persimmons and then cause colic symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What fruit can horses not eat?
There are several fruits that your horse should not eat. These include any type of fruit that has a pit, because the pits could pose a choking hazard for your horse. Some examples of these fruits could be cherries, peaches, or avocados. If your horse consumes too many of these fruits, it can also lead to issues such as colic and gas problems.
Are persimmons toxic?
Persimmons themselves are safe to eat. They are not toxic to humans or to horses and other pets. However, the seeds, or pits, of persimmons can be dangerous to horses. This is because they can cause internal blockages and obstructions, and can also lead to cyanide toxicity, which can be very dangerous.
What foods are toxic to horses?
Some of the foods or food ingredients that can be toxic to horses are as follows: potatoes, rhubarb, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. Caffeine can also be dangerous to horses, though it will typically not do much unless it is a high amount– that being said, it should be avoided if at all possible.
What animals like to eat persimmons?
Persimmons are a food enjoyed by many wild animals, like raccoons, skunks, foxes, rodents, and black bears. Deer also feast on persimmons, as well as the twigs and leaves of the plant. Humans are another mammal that often enjoy eating persimmons.