Can Horses Eat Meat and Chickens?

Can Horses Eat Meat Or Chicken? Fact or Myth

Can Horses Eat Meat? Are Horse Omnivorous? Well, Yes, horses can eat meat, however, the prime reason is that they don’t have a choice. If there are no hays, haulage, or grass around and the horse is very hungry and starving to death. If they find a chick around them, then they won’t hesitate to consume it and Satisfy their hunger.

Do horses eat chickens in the wild?

Yes, horses may eat chickens in the wild if they do not get plants. In the wild, horses are always on an adventure. There is no one to control them and they can consume whatever they wish.

As horses are herbivores, they have a plant-based diet. Usually, there is no shortage of plants there but sometimes they may face a scarcity of plants to consume. Therefore, they may eat chicken if there is no option left.

Moreover, you will not see a horse hunting and eating big animals. They do not usually hunt for food.

Can Horses Eat Meat and Chickens?

Why Do Horses Eat Chickens?

Here are some of the reasons why horses eat chickens –

In Cold And Harsh Climates

In extreme climates, people feed meat to horses just to increase their protein intake. Moreover, in Iceland, many individuals add dried fish as well. Similarly, people feed a mix of blood and grain to Tibetan Horses.

Though they do not get a carnivorous diet, the meat addition helps them cope with the extreme cold and harsh climate.


Horses are very curious animals that love to inspect things with their mouth and nose. If you show a new object to a horse, he will sniff it, bump his nose, and try to nibble. A little curiosity to nibble can turn into a mouthful.

Salty Flavour

Horses can get tempted by the salty flavour of the chicken. Horses love minerals which they can get from a good salt lick. Therefore, when horses see a meat item, they think it is a good idea to eat it.


Just like dogs, horses also need mental stimulation. If they lack mental stimulation, they may do things that are not normal to their behaviour. This includes eating chicken. Less mental stimulation may lead to over-enthusiastic horses.


According to small farms, in a few cases, people feed beef and bone meal to their horses for supplements. It is very common in America and Europe. People do not feed these foods directly. However, people add these foods to boost their protein and fat intake.


The horse is an adaptive animal. When extremely hungry, a horse may try to eat meat. Moreover, this is a very natural instinct of every animal to consume what is present in front of them to survive.

Digestive System Of Horse

A horse’s digestive system is excellent at converting grass into energy and muscle. The horse’s jaw is particularly designed to help it chew properly and continuously. 12 incisors are required for cutting plants and 12 premolars grind them.

However, horses can have canine teeth, however, they do not need them. Since canine teeth are usually used to chew and tear flesh, horses do not need them.

Sciencedirect says that their digestive system is both non-ruminant and ruminant. A few ruminants such as sheep and cattle use bacteria in storage before the stomach. These bacteria help to ferment the plant-based fibre and break down the food to digest.

Is chicken feed toxic to horses?

Chicken feed is toxic to horses. This is because it contains certain ingredients that are good for chickens, but not for horses. Moreover, horses may also develop chicken feed toxicity and get unwell. In a few cases, this can get fatal.

Chicken feed is a slow poison for horses and if you continue to feed it, the horse can get various health issues for a long time. One of the most common health issues is Gastroenteritis. This can occur if the horse consumes campylobacter bacteria. This can cause –

  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Headache

This health problem can be transmitted from the horse to the people who are taking care of the horse.

What would happen if a horse ate meat?

While it appears that evidently, horses can consume meat, additionally they have notoriously sensitive digestive systems. Since horses cannot vomit, mould or toxins may be fatal, and while the meat itself might not be a problem it actually poses a risk.

A List of Foods That Horses Can Safely Eat

Peanut ButterNormal sugarRaisins
Apple saucePeppermint puffsFood colouring
Dried fruitCookie icingCereal
Corn oilCorn syrupPretzels
PancakeGraham crackersButterscotch
Ice cream coneGingerbreadMarshmallow
AlmondsCashewChia seed
Sesame seedSunflower seedBrown sugar

Final words

The answer to this question is yes and no. The horse is a herbivore animal and its diet mainly consists of grains, grass, and hay. However, there are a few instances where a horse may also consume meat if the horse finds it.

In most cases, a horse is a very strict vegetarian. A horse has a small digestive system that does wonders with a herbivore diet. Omnivore animals have a consistent diet of plants and meat. However, because a horse is a herbivore, it does not mean that it cannot eat meat. A horse can do so for various reasons that I have mentioned above. However, a horse’s whole diet can’t be changed and includes meat.

I hope you enjoyed the article. I will be back soon with more interesting and informative pieces of writing. Till then, stay connected.

What are 3 things horses should not eat?

Here are 8 ingredients you should in no way feed a horse:

  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Lawn clippings
  • Persimmons
  • Bread
  • Pitted fruits
  • Potatoes
  • Yoghurt

Frequently asked questions

Do horses eat eggs?

Yes, horses do eat eggs. The yolk is the only supply of food for a developing chick. And for a horse, eggs have been a common add-on to the diet.

Can Chicken Poop hurt horses?

Sanitation troubles from chicken droppings can pose health troubles for horses which include infection from Salmonella, candidiasis, botulism, and histoplasmosis.

What happens if a horse eats chicken feed?

Diarrhoea, Intestinal upset, laminitis and colic aren’t the only things you need to fear about while a horse consumes chicken feed. Consuming it in large quantities can even cause heart damage.

Can horses have peanut butter?

Unless the horse has some health conditions, peanut butter is a safe food to provide in moderation. In fact, peanut butter has a few calories. Also, it has a few dietary advantages that can surely make it a healthful treat for horses if you give it as a treat.

What does Cinnamon do to horses?

Cinnamon is Antioxidant-rich and a fantastic digestive aid that could assist the stability of blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for horses not to gain weight.

Can horses have cucumbers?

Yes, horses can consume cucumbers. Cucumbers are a terrific supply of nutrients which include A, K, and C, and potassium. Moreover, cucumber skin offers horses a natural nutritional fibre that is very beneficial overall.

Can horses eat bread?

Bread is excessive in starch and in case the horse has equine metabolic syndrome, bread could cause laminitis. Therefore, despite the fact that many items like bread aren’t poisonous to horses, it is still not a very good concept to feed these food items.

What do horses love to eat the most?

horses love Grass, Hay, Haylage, Fruit and Vegetables

Can horses eat rice?

Yes, horses can eat rice. Additionally, you can give other cereal grains like -Barley
Oats, Triticale, Sorghum, Corn, Rye and Wheat

Can a horse eat a watermelon?

Watermelon isn’t dangerous to horses. In fact, it is an excellent treat. In a few European countries, watermelon is a common horse treat, though it has to be cut into small, easy-to-bite portions. If massive portions are given, horses may choke.

Can horses eat oranges?

Oranges are also an amazing supply of vitamin C. To feed an orange, peel it off and cut it in half. Then, cut the orange more. It is good to go.