You undoubtedly have a desire to search for wholesome snacks if you own or care for horses. In addition to supplementing their nutrition with a combination of grass and horse feed, horses also enjoy other delicacies. Consider including fruits and vegetables in their regular diet. However, as you well know, not every one of these is safe for horses.
To begin with, the flesh of a cantaloupe is in no way harmful or toxic to horses. Cantaloupe is delicious, pleasant, and filling on a hot day with plenty of sunshine. The tender, refreshing fruit may satisfy a sweet craving at dessert or calm horses down when the shade isn't sufficient on its own. Cantaloupe is also a great source of the minerals and vitamins that horses require to be healthy as they age.
Other fruits besides cantaloupes contain these nutrients. However, if your horse is unable to graze as much during the winter, a small amount of cantaloupe may help to fill in the gaps.
Can Horses Eat Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is indeed edible to horses. They enjoy this fruit since it is sweet and equally reviving to them as it is to humans. Cantaloupe may provide horses with the same nutritional advantages as other veggies and fruits. Because it includes the vitamins and minerals your horse requires for bone strength, good skin and hair, and an effectively functioning heart, cantaloupe can be beneficial to horses' nutritional requirements. Beta carotene, folic acid, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, and antioxidants are among the nutrients that cantaloupes may provide for your horses.
The cantaloupe (Cucumis melo cantalupensis), sometimes referred to as the sweet melon, is a type of melon that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It has a grey-green, somewhat corrugated skin that is highly appealing and appetizing, with a sweet and tasty flesh. Typically, cantaloupe is consumed fresh as a salad or as a sweet dish with ice cream or custard. The edible seeds can be dried and eaten as a snack.
Cantaloupe is mostly water, like many other fruits and veggies. Fresh cantaloupe provides 144 calories, 6% of the daily fibre requirement, and no fat or cholesterol. Additionally, it contains the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that guards against cellular damage; all the vitamin A required each day to maintain healthy bones, skin, eyes, and immune system; and 12% of the daily potassium requirement, which is crucial for heart health, muscular function, and blood pressure.
Cantaloupe also contains folic acid, calcium, zinc, copper, and iron, in addition to other vitamins and minerals.
The Benefits of Feeding Cantaloupe to Horses
The modest cantaloupe might not receive the same attention as other fruits, but it deserves it. This nutrient-rich melon is excellent despite its peculiar appearance. The benefits of including this fruit in your horse's diet are numerous.
Cantaloupes, like other fruits, have a high water content of over 90%. Cantaloupe is a good source of water for horses, which is crucial for their heart health.
A horse's heart works less hard to pump blood when it is properly hydrated. Additionally, regular hydration promotes good blood pressure, kidney function, and digestion.
An example of a carotenoid is beta-carotene. Once consumed, beta-carotene either becomes vitamin A or functions as a potent antioxidant to fend against free radicals that harm your horses’ body cells. Some of the benefits of vitamin A include a well-functioning immune system, red blood cells, and good eyesight.
When it comes to fighting off dangerous free radicals, Vitamin C is essential. Because vitamin C is water-soluble, it may act inside and outside of cells to prevent free-radical damage, making them non-harmful and preserving horses' health during stress.
In addition to its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, hormones, and the calcification of bones.
The horse gets "gut fill" from fibre. The digestive system of a horse is a massive system that must be constantly full. The bulk needed to maintain the stomach full and healthy is provided by the fibre in a horse's diet. Fibre serves as a water reservoir for horses by soaking up and holding water in the stomach.
Fibre has health advantages beyond just filling horses' guts. Additionally, a high fibre intake may lower the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Another name for folate is vitamin B-9. When it is naturally found in foods, it is referred to as folate. Supplements and enriched meals are referred to as containing folic acid.
Folate contributes to the maintenance of healthy red blood cells, which helps to increase haemoglobin levels in horses. By ensuring that their muscles receive the best possible oxygen flow, this may help horses that are exercising.
The health of the nerves and correct muscular contraction both depend on potassium. After exercise, giving horses a potassium-rich treat like cantaloupe helps them rehydrate and replace lost electrolytes.
Special Considerations When Feeding Cantaloupe to Horses
Even while cantaloupe is neither poisonous nor harmful by nature, there are some factors to be considered before giving it to horses.
Horses with HYPP
Cantaloupe and other foods high in potassium shouldn't be given to horses with Equine Hyperkalaemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP), a genetic mutation that causes muscle disorders.
Horses with insulin resistance
Fruits like cantaloupe are not recommended for horses who have insulin resistance or have a record of being susceptible to it.
In theory, horses are permitted to consume cantaloupe rinds. Additionally, cantaloupe rinds alone do not poison horses by nature.
It is still not a smart option to give your horses the rinds, though, as they may contain mould, which will irritate your horse's stomach or lead to other digestive problems.
It is recommended to throw away the seeds when giving cantaloupe to your horse. They are the ideal size to endanger horses by choking them. It's preferable to keep them out because they can too readily get lodged in their throats, and horses can't vomit out impediments.
How to Prepare Cantaloupe for Horses
It is advised to wash and clean a melon completely since the exterior of the cantaloupe may contain dangerous bacteria.
Be careful to chop the fruit into bite-sized pieces before giving it to your horse. Cantaloupe is also best eaten as an infrequent snack, much like any other sweet.
Additionally, while choosing a cantaloupe to give your horse, make sure to be very picky. Choose one that is solid and fresh.
To avoid the incidence of Salmonella or other bacterial diseases, keep the fruit in the refrigerator after slicing it and eat it within three days.
Cantaloupe is ultimately just as palatable and cooling for horses as it is for humans. The peel can also harbour moulds that might make your horse ill, despite the fact that it is not poisonous. Additionally, you shouldn't feed them the seeds. However, if you remove a few bits of the fleshy part, your horse will probably relish a delicious, watery delight!