Do Horses Eat Small Animals?

Hello! In this discussion, we will explore the question of whether or not horses eat small animals. Some people believe that horses are strictly herbivores and would never eat anything other than grass or hay, while others have reported seeing horses capture and consume small prey such as birds or rodents. We will examine the evidence and theories surrounding this topic to gain a better understanding of the dietary habits of horses.


Horses are majestic animals that have been domesticated for thousands of years. They are herbivores and mainly eat grass, hay, and grains. However, there is a common misconception that horses eat small animals. In this article, we will discuss whether horses eat small animals or not and clear up any misconceptions about their diet.

What do horses eat?

As mentioned earlier, horses are herbivores and mainly eat grass, hay, and grains. Their digestive system is designed to extract nutrients from plant-based foods, and they have a complex digestive system that allows them to break down fibrous plant matter. Horses require a lot of fiber in their diet to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Do horses eat meat?

Contrary to popular belief, horses do not eat meat. While they may nibble on an occasional insect, it is not a significant part of their diet. Horses are not carnivores and do not have the necessary digestive enzymes to break down animal protein. In fact, feeding horses meat can lead to digestive problems and make them sick.

Why do people think horses eat small animals?

There are a few reasons why people may believe that horses eat small animals. One reason is that horses are sometimes seen biting at insects, such as flies or mosquitos. However, this is not an indication that horses are consuming small animals. Horses may also accidentally ingest insects while grazing, but they do not actively seek them out as a food source.

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Another reason why people may think horses eat small animals is due to a phenomenon called coprophagy. Coprophagy is the practice of eating feces, and it is common among many animals, including horses. Some people may mistake the small insects that can be found in horse manure for evidence that horses eat small animals, but this is not the case.

What about wild horses?

Wild horses, also known as mustangs, are not much different from domesticated horses in terms of their diet. They mainly graze on grass, herbs, and other vegetation. While they may occasionally eat insects, small rodents, or lizards, it is not a significant part of their diet.

FAQs for the topic: do horses eat small animals

Do horses eat small animals, such as rodents or rabbits?

Horses are generally herbivores, which means the vast majority of their diet consists of plant material such as hay, grass, and grains. While horses are known to occasionally nibble on things like wood or cloth, it is rare for them to consume any form of animal protein. In fact, it is very uncommon for horses to intentionally hunt and eat small animals.

Why is it uncommon for horses to eat small animals?

Horses are not biologically designed to be carnivores. Their teeth and digestive system are specifically adapted to break down and extract nutrients from plant matter. Eating animal protein requires a different set of biological adaptations, which horses simply do not possess. Additionally, herbivores like horses generally lack the predatory instincts and behaviors necessary to hunt and catch small animals.

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Can horses accidentally ingest small animals?

While it is rare for horses to intentionally hunt or eat small animals, it is possible for them to accidentally ingest them. For example, a horse may accidentally step on and consume an insect or rodent while grazing on grass. However, these incidents are exceedingly rare and not typically a concern for most horse owners.

Is it harmful for horses to eat small animals?

Ingesting small amounts of animal protein is not necessarily harmful to horses. However, it is not a natural or necessary part of their diet, and consuming large quantities of animal protein could potentially cause digestive upset or other health issues. Additionally, hunting or killing small animals is a behavior that should not be encouraged in domesticated horses.

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