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What to Feed Horse?

(February 2, 2010)

Given the fact that horses are considerably large animals and need to have significant energy resources, a number of people tend to be unsure about the kind of feed to provide for their animals. The fact that there is such a variety of horse feed on the open market as well as the fact that no two horses are alike can make for a number of trials to identify the best type of horse food. The owner must also take into account very specific information about the animal such as the horse’s age, weight, workload, climate as well as horse type and type of feed available before making an informed choice.

Deciding what food to feed the animal involves a number of calculations in order to design the best kind of horse diet. For example, it is essential to remember that the amount of food that a mature horse requires on a daily basis is heavily dependant on its body size – which is around 2% to 2.5%. So, if a horse weighs one thousand pounds, the amount of food provided to the animal needs to be around twenty to twenty five pounds. Horses require a diet that is high in nutritional value as well as medium fiber content.  It is important to remember that you should not take the horse’s current weight into account when deciding the kind of diet, but keep the desired weight in mind instead. A underweight horse is measured at around 300 kilograms while a healthy horse is around the 400 kilogram mark. As a result, the amount of food provided to the horse in this instance will need to be 2.5% of 400 Kg’s instead of the horses current 300 Kilogram weight. If the horse is overweight, again calculate the feed on the desired weight in order to bring its waistline down.

Foraging is a very important part of the horse’s daily diet while the animal must also have free access to water and salt throughout the day. A healthy horse’s diet will usually eat about 1% of its body weight in hay / pasture forage, but if the horse is used to or required for any intense physical exertion, it could do just well on grass, with no grain content. The owner should also keep in mind the nutrient content of the animal as well as the quality of grass being provided. During winter, the feed is usually cut hay. The hay will usually need to be uniformly cut and have the appearance of green leaves with no presence of dust, stubble or weeds in the hay. Alfalfa hay is known to be excellent for developing horses because of its rich vitamin, mineral and protein content which is enriched, leading to a control in the calcium content in relation to the phosphorous.

Submitted by M A on February 2, 2010 at 04:52


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