Can Horses Eat Potatoes? or Sweet Potatoes? The Truth!

Can horses eat potatoes? No! Horses should never eat potatoes, especially raw ones. Being a member of the nightshade family makes them extremely toxic to equines. Some horses may like it or seem unaffected, but that does not mean you should feed it.

Potatoes would do no harm if cooked but it is not a thing horses should be eating. We wouldn’t eat hay would we.?

Can Horses Eat Potatoes?

The thing is: Many equine owners are convinced that human food work for horses. Experience has proven otherwise though.

When it comes to feeding as treat, avoid potatoes! Instead try carrots.

You may wonder: How come an ordinary potato is not good for a horse? So, keep reading to get the mystery explained.

READ ALSO: Can You Show with a Unregistered Horse?

Can Horses Eat Sweet Potatoes?

Yes as long as they’re not green! But only as occasional treat. Sweet potatoes aren’t the same type of plant & as far as I know, they’re not toxic at all.

A very minimal amount would not hurt. Plus, they’re also lower in starch than modern regular potatoes. But, they are still high in sugar and starch, so I’d be careful by feeding them ONLY as a small treat too, not too much in quantity or regularly.

To feed sweet potatoes, cut them into small chunks or small slices & give them as training treats, sometimes.

Can Horses Eat Potatoes

Are Potato Skins Bad For Horses too?

Yes! The potato part isn’t toxic but their leaves, stems, peels are. Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family (poisonous).

They are extremely starchy and green potatoes can be toxic.

ALSO SEE: Can Horses Eat Popcorn?

Why Are Potatoes Not Good For Horses?

For starters, potato is from the family of perennial nightshade, also known as the most toxic wild plants type.

When potatoes are green, growing, and raw, they contain solanin and chaconine. These are the potatoes natural defense as they are growing up.

Roasting, boiling or frying destroys solanine and chaconine.

The chaconine and solanine substance found in the plants poses threats to equine. Once they get into the horse’s gut, it breaks down into deadly toxic.

In particular, rotten or green potatoes can cause toxicosis. It has a high concentration of atropine which affects the autonomic nervous system.

How to tell if My Horse Had Eaten potatoes?

In high amounts, horses experience excitement at first followed by low heart rate, depression, and suffocation.

Here is what will happen:

The signs eventually trigger colic and weaken the muscles. Other signs to be are of are: thirst, swelling, diarrhea, salivation or cramp.

The horses lives may be at risk if they had chunked down a large amount of potatoes – Choking hazard

I Found My Horse Eating Potatoes. What’s next?

Naturally, horses are not interested in eating any family of nighshade. However, what if your horse really wanted to eat and couldn’t find any other than potatoes?

A single potatoes would cause no harm, but if you are unsure we recommend taking your horse to the vet as soon as possible.

Here is what’s next:

If your horse successfully recovers from an acute bout of potatoes poisoning, the treatment will focus on ridding out the remnant through the digestive system.

Do as your vet tells you.

How Do I Keep My Horse Away from Potatoes?

I recommend checking the area where your horse spends most of his time. You need to get rid of every nightshade specie in the place.

Lots of pro-active measures in eliminating all nightshades too.

For instance:

Use of herbicide

Pulling them with gloves

Use of digging tools