Can Horses Eat Meat?

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

Can horses eat meat? The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as that. Here’s what you need to know about feeding your horse meat.

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Horses are mainly herbivorous animals, meaning that their diet consists mostly of grass and other plant material. However, this does not mean that horses cannot or do not eat meat. In fact, there are several circumstances in which it may be beneficial for horses to consume meat.

The debate

The debate over whether horses can or should eat meat is ongoing, with many people feeling strongly one way or another. While there are certainly pros and cons to feeding horses meat, the reality is that it can be a part of their diet if it is done so carefully and in moderation.

Horses are herbivores by nature, and their digestive systems are not designed to process large amounts of protein. However, this does not mean that they cannot eat meat at all. In fact, some horse owners choose to feed their animals small amounts of lean meat as a way to add variety to their diet or as a way of providing extra nutrients.

Before you decide to feed your horse meat, it is important to speak with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist to determine if it is the right decision for your animal. There are also a few things to keep in mind if you do choose to go ahead with feeding meat to your horse. First, make sure that the meat is lean and free of any fat or gristle. Second, only feed your horse small amounts of meat at a time – no more than 1-2 cups per day. Finally, be sure to balance the rest of their diet accordingly so that they are still getting all the nutrients they need.

The pros

There are a few pros to feeding horses meat. First, meat is an excellent source of protein, which is essential for muscle development and repair. Second, it is also a good source of iron, which is necessary for oxygen transport within the body. Third, meat can provide a good source of energy for horses, especially those that are working hard. Finally, some people believe that feeding horses meat can help to improve their coat condition and overall health.

The cons

The negatives mostly center around two issues – health and training. Let’s start with health. It is a common misconception that horses are herbivores. In fact, horses are obligate carnivores, meaning that their digestive system is designed to digest and assimilate only animal-based protein. This is why hay and grass, while good for grazing and filling the stomach, don’t provide adequate nutrition for a horse. In order for a horse to maintain health and proper body condition, he must consume a diet that contains enough protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

The other concern with feeding horses meat is the possibility of transmitters of disease. Mad cow disease is the most famous example, but there are others such as equine infectious anemia (EIA) and equine viral arteritis (EVA). These diseases can be transmitted through meat, so it’s important to only feed your horse meat that has come from healthy animals.

The verdict

So, can horses eat meat? The verdict is a resounding yes – horses are actually omnivores, so they’re able to digest both plant and animal-based proteins. However, that doesn’t mean that you should start feeding your horse steaks for every meal! Meat should only be given to horses in moderation, as it is high in fat and can lead to weight gain.


User question: Can horses eat meat?

Yes, horses are able to eat meat if it is properly cooked and contains no bones. However, most horses will not enjoy the taste of meat and it is not a necessary part of their diet.


Horses are natural herbivores, and as such, their bodies are designed to digest plant-based foods. However, there are times when a horse may benefit from eating meat, either as a supplement to their regular diet or as part of a therapeutic diet. Here are some tips on feeding horses meat:

-Only feed meat that is fresh and of good quality. Avoid feeding your horse spoiled or rotten meat.
-Feed only small amounts of meat at a time. Horses should not consume more than 1-2 pounds of meat per day.
-Make sure the meat is cooked before feeding it to your horse. Raw meat can harbor bacteria that can make your horse sick.
– Supplementing with vitamin E and selenium is recommended when feeding horses meat, as these nutrients are important for their health but are not found in high amounts inmeat.

How to

Horses are herbivores and should not eat meat. While some people believe that feeding horses meat is okay, it can actually be very harmful to their health. Horses that eat meat can suffer from liver disease, ulcers, and colic. If you are considering feeding your horse meat, speak to your veterinarian first.

Case studies

Although there is no definitive answer to this question, there are a few case studies that provide some insight.

One case study comes from Mongolia, where horses have traditionally been fed a diet of meat and milk. In recent years, however, many Mongolian horse owners have begun to supplement their horses’ diets with grain and hay, as meat and milk have become more expensive. While there is no evidence that this change in diet has had any negative effects on the health of Mongolian horses, it is possible that it has affected their performance.

Another case study comes from the United States, where a small number of racehorses are fed a diet that includes meat. These horses generally seem to perform well, but it is not clear if this is due to the meat in their diet or to other factors such as exercise and genetics.

In general, then, it seems that feeding horses meat may or may not be beneficial, and more research is needed to determine whether or not it has any positive effect on horse health or performance.

More information

There is a lot of debate surrounding the question of whether or not horses can eat meat. Some people believe that horses are herbivores and should only consume plants, while others believe that horses are omnivores and can eat both plants and meat.

The truth is that horses are actually descended from a type of mammal called a perissodactyl, which means that they are more closely related to rhinos and tapirs than to other mammals such as dogs, cats, and cows. Perissodactyls are herbivores, which means that horse’s ancestors have been eating plants for millions of years.

However, there is evidence to suggest that some horses in the wild do consume small amounts of meat. Scientists believe that this meat consumption could be beneficial for the health of the animals, as it provides them with additional protein and nutrients.

So, while horses are technically herbivores, it seems that they are able to digest and benefit from small amounts of meat in their diet. If you are considering feeding your horse meat, it is important to speak with a veterinarian first to make sure that it is safe for your animal.

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Farmer Jack


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