Can Horses Eat Oranges? Poisonous or Not

As a horse is fancier, we always look for new ways to keep horses healthy. Verteranians claim, feeding a variety of fruits, each in small quantity, is more beneficial than feeding a particular fruit in large quantities. But when it comes to choosing fruits, fanciers need to be extra-vigilant; not all fruits are healthy for horses.

Whereas some fruits are healthy but only in limited quantity and they can be harmful if fed in large quantities. I wanted to feed my horse oranges, but I feared, the citric acid might cause digestion problems. So I dug a little online, and I am glad that I researched before adding oranges to their regular diet.

Answer to Question: Can Horses Eat Oranges? Yes, horses can eat oranges. In fact, horses love oranges so much that they can eat the orange peel too. Oranges are healthy for horses, but they must be fed in limited quantity, preferably 1-2 pieces per treat. Feeding oranges in large quantities can cause health issues as they are rich in sugar. Furthermore, oranges are large enough to cause severe choking; they must be cut in pieces before feeding.

Oranges Are Good For Horse Health

Oranges are full of nutrition as they contain vitamin-C, vitamin-A, vitamin-B6, vitamin-E, potassium and phosphorus, dietary fibre, and sugars. Typically, oranges contain approximately 53.2mg of vitamin-C per 100g serving, which is necessary for horse health. Veterinarians recommend oranges for old horses and foals to treat their vitamin-C needs.

According to research, the hesperidin found in oranges boosts brain functioning and immunity in horses. The citric acid found in oranges helps in speedy recovery of muscles. Furthermore, oranges contain antioxidants that help protect against tumours and fight inflammation. Another research claims that orange peel helps in reducing fatigue and boosting cardiovascular recovery.

Can Horses eat Orange Peel?

Most of the horses like orange peel while some don’t. But both orange peel and orange seeds are harmless for horses. The strong smell of orange peel can demotivate some horses to eat oranges. But orange peels are healthy for horses, and this why horse breeders prefer feeding unpeeled oranges. However, if your horse shows little or no interest, you can peel off the skin. 

can horses eat orange peel

Oranges Must Be Fed In Adequate Quantity

Feeding oranges in large quantities can be troublesome. Horses have a sensitive digestive system; feeding something in large quantity, which is not a part of their routine diet, can cause digestion issues. Furthermore, oranges contain almost 10g of sugar per 100g serving. Sugar is good but only if fed in limited quantity, which is why veterinarians recommend feeding a maximum of 1-2 oranges per treat. Oranges are safe and healthy for horses unless fed frequently; horse breeders recommend feeding oranges only 1-2 times a week. 

Some horses are insulin resistant, and feeding fruits, such as oranges, that are rich in sugar can be harmful to their health. Oranges can upset the sugar balance in the horse diet. In case, if your horse is insulin resistant, it is recommended to discuss with a veterinarian before feeding any oranges. Furthermore, it is necessary to cut oranges in pieces before feeding. Uncut oranges can cause choking.

How to Prepare Treat for horses?

You should not feed the whole orange or even not raw oranges. Even sometimes, we need to change the taste and try different ways of feeding treats.

  • Clean and rinse oranges through water for the removal of dust and pesticides.
  • Peel oranges and make small slices or sections
  • Now you can feed them slices and peelings separately
  • You can feed oranges with other treats like apples, bananas and pears.
  • There is another method to feed by proper freezing. Cut oranges into small pieces and put them in a small container. Now put this container in the refrigerator. You can feed these frozen treats to horses.
  • Other Treats for horses
  • Horses can eat carrots, parsnips, bananas, apples, watermelon and a lot of other treats.


Are Oranges Poisonous to horses?

According to research and confirmed by horse owners that organes are not poisonous to horses. There is no active ingredient in fresh oranges that can be poisonous for horses. However, in peel and leaves of citrus family there are some irritants observed that can cause skin problems in horses. Overall study shows that there is no harm in eating oranges.

Can horses have Orange Peels?

Some horses love to eat orange peel but some feel irritant to eat it. There is no harm in eating both oranges and orange peel. Peels are easily digestible and rich in vitamin C. The strong smell of orange peel can demotivate some horses to eat oranges.

Can horses eat citrus (whole Family)

The answer is yes: Oranges are from citrus family but horses can eat all fruits in the citrus family. All fruits in the citrus family are harmless for horses.


Oranges are rich with vitamin c and act as an antioxidant. Horse owners are some times confused to feed new thing to their horses. Here briefly answered with references that there is no harm to eat oranges.

Read more >>>>> Can horses eat bananas

Hi, I am Waqar and active in the horse world since 2012. I have MSc (Hons) in Agriculture from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. I love to solve equine health care issues and note down in the form of research papers. I have written hundreds of equine health care, accessories, names, and history-related blogs. My equine related work is watering a lot of horse-related magazines and blogs.

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