Determining feeding rates for horses-Horse Feed Mathematics – The Feed Room

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Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

I can't see ribs, but I can press to feel ribs BCS It may be useful to keep a couple of conversion factors in mind. Gay pi kap not only reduces the taste of the hay, Determiming also aggravates respiratory problems. In short, feed companies use the units of nutrient measurements that they are required to use. Step 5 Determine how much feed each horse can consume daily. This enables you to calculate if certain feeds can be consumed in sufficient quantities to provide the required nutrition. Adjust my feeding rates to match the amounts Determininb. You can get a forage analysis Determining feeding rates for horses a reputable lab rattes NRC does provide some lab approximates for forage types. Protein not needed to maintain or build a horse's body is either converted into energy or passed through the digestive system. For example, excess calcium can prevent complete utilization of phosphorus.

Free online cartoon teen games. Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract

When feeding your horse, keep it in a routine. Protein calculation: Kg hay 8. Private residential homes apartments for rent digestive system of the horse is somewhat delicate. Not Helpful 7 Helpful The type of work Determining feeding rates for horses do is: Recreational riding, beginning training, show horses occasional. When figuring out what to Adult extasy horses, meeting normal requirements for horses with a grain diet is a lot easier than many people think. But when the workout is over, a horse needs to be cooled out and walked for 30—90 minutes before it can be allowed all the water it wants at one time. Hay can be put on the ground, and many horses actually prefer it. Normally, if adult animals at maintenance levels are consuming fresh hay or are on pasture, they will receive adequate amounts of Determining feeding rates for horses in their diet, with the exception of sodium chloride saltwhich needs to be provided, preferably free choice. Provide small amounts of grain to your horse throughout the day. Weigh your horse by using a weight tape or weight bridge equine Determining feeding rates for horses. Click here to share your story. Main article: Equine exertional rhabdomyolysis. Protein calculation: Kg hay 7. It aids in preventing vices such as wood chewing, which horses do when bored or when they lack roughage.

The nutritional needs of horses will depend on age, growth, activity, health and environment.

  • For some people, the only way they can keep a horse is to board it at a stable.
  • The nutritional needs of horses will depend on age, growth, activity, health and environment.
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  • Fortunately, horses do quite well on a forage based diet of hay along with minerals and good clean water.

The nutritional needs of horses will depend on age, growth, activity, health and environment. Correct nutrition is important for both health and performance. Estimate the weight and condition score of each horse refer Condition Scoring and Weight Estimation of Horses or use a weigh tape. Determine how much feed each horse can consume daily. This enables you to calculate if certain feeds can be consumed in sufficient quantities to provide the required nutrition. Horses are able to consume about 1.

However it is safer to use 1. Note 1: Ensure the horse has free access to good quality water to drink. Note 2: Ensure protein requirements are met, refer table 2 for protein content in various feeds. Protein-rich supplements, such as lupins or soybean meal, can be added to increase protein content of the feed.

Note 3: With cold wet weather maintenance feed levels increase and decrease to normal requirements as it becomes warmer. Note 4: When lucerne hay is the main feed used, a phosphorous supplement may be needed to balance the high level of calcium present in lucerne hay. Consult an equine nutritionist for further information. Note 5: Introduce changes to feed gradually, over days, as a sudden change in diet can cause colic or laminitis.

Visual appearance of body weight gain can take several months. Hint 2: Maintain a dental and worming program to enable the horse to process the feed efficiently. Hint 3: Vegetable oil or canola, corn or sunflower oil can be used to add extra fat to the diet. As a guide, ml 1 metric cup of oil is roughly equal to 2.

Introduce oil into diet slowly 50 ml increase per day until desired daily amount is reached. Mix into feed just before feeding to avoid rancidity.

Oils can also help to minimize dust levels in the feed. Hint 4: Prepared horse feeds can be incorporated into a feed budget by reading the label and factoring in the energy MJME or DE and protein content. Combinations of feeding lucerne hay, pasture hay and oats for horses of different weights.

The calculations and figures in this document vary between horses and feedstuffs. A qualified equine nutritionist or an equine veterinary practitioner should be consulted for advice specific to your needs. Feed budgets can provide guidelines only. Constant re-assessment of the horse's condition needs to be made to ensure the feed quantity and nutrient content matches the horse's requirements.

Grazing Management for Horses. Nash, David. Stubbs, A. Kohnke, J. Huntington, P. Landlinks Press, Collingwood, Australia. Following changes to the Victorian Government structure, the content on this site is in transition. There may be references to previous departments, these are being updated. Please call to clarify any specific information. Deaf, or hearing or speech impaired? National Relay Service: or www.

Puppy farm legislation Care and welfare Choosing a pet Cats Dogs Other pets Community and education Domestic animal businesses Registration, legislation and permits. Feed requirements of horses The nutritional needs of horses will depend on age, growth, activity, health and environment. To create a feed budget, there are 6 steps you need to take: Step 1 Estimate the weight and condition score of each horse refer Condition Scoring and Weight Estimation of Horses or use a weigh tape.

Step 2 Separate your horses into categories refer columns 1 and 2 of Table 1. Step 3 Determine the nutritional needs of each horse refer Table 1. Step 4 Ascertain the nutritive values of common feeds see Table 2. Step 5 Determine how much feed each horse can consume daily. To calculate how much feed each horse can consume daily, use the following example: 1. Step 6 Calculate a feed budget for each horse: Note energy requirement of horse using Steps 1, 2 and 3. Note energy content of feedstuffs in Step 4.

Calculate the horse's maximum feed intake Step 5. Match horse energy needs to energy supplied by type of feed. Use example calculations at end of this Agnote. Ensure the horse can consume enough feed is the feed amount equal to or below your calculation in Step 5?

Important notes Note 1: Ensure the horse has free access to good quality water to drink. Table 1. Daily energy and protein requirements for different categories of horses. Nutritive values of common feeds. Protein calculation: Kg hay 8. Does the protein meet the horse's needs? Protein calculation: Kg hay 7. Can this horse eat 8. Does the protein content meet the horse's needs?

Note The calculations and figures in this document vary between horses and feedstuffs. Important points to remember when feeding horses Provide fresh, clean water at all times. These requirements can double in hot weather or when the horse is being exercised.

Feed twice a day. Small frequent feeds are better than a once daily feed. Provide plenty of roughage. Roughage aids digestion and satisfies hunger. Only feed good quality feed. Avoid musty or mouldy material. Treat horses regularly for worms. Consult with your veterinarian for a suitable regime. Provide access to a salt lick. Avoid feeding on the ground. Feeding on the ground can lead to increased ingestion of worm larvae.

If feeding a number of horses, make sure there is enough space for every horse to have access to the food and that no horse is missing out. Check horses teeth regularly. References Nash, David. Back to top. Agriculture Facebook. Agriculture Twitter. Agriculture YouTube.

Giving treats to your horse when you want to reward her is a great way to bond with your horse as well. Feed higher protein and mineral rations to growing horses and lactating mares. For a horse which bolts their grains eats too fast , put one or two large stones in the grain bucket. Your horse's typical working heartrate should be about bpm. Indoor arenas, groomed riding rings, wash racks, trails, jumps, larger stalls, new barns , automatic waters or feeders will all be reflected in the boarding fees. Workload notes: Workload only applies to working horses!

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses. Quantity And Quality

This is the major digestive organ where 50 to 70 percent of all nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream. Equids do not have a gall bladder , so bile flows constantly, [10] an adaptation to a slow but steady supply of food, and another reason for providing fodder to horses in several small feedings.

The cecum is the first section of the large intestine. It is also known as the "water gut" or "hind gut. The small intestine opens into the cecum, and the cellulose plant fiber in the food is fermented by microbes for approximately seven hours. The fermented material leaves the cecum through another orifice and passes to the large colon.

The reason horses must have their diets changed slowly is so the microbes in the cecum are able to modify and adapt to the different chemical structure of new feedstuffs. The large colon , small colon, and rectum make up the remainder of the large intestine. The large colon is 10 to 12 feet 3. Its main purpose is to absorb carbohydrates which were broken down from cellulose in the cecum.

Due to its many twists and turns, it is a common place for a type of horse colic called an impaction. The rectum is about one foot long, and acts as a holding chamber for waste, which is then expelled from the body via the anus.

Like all animals, equines require five main classes of nutrients to survive: water , energy primarily in the form of fats and carbohydrates , proteins , vitamins , and minerals. Horses drink less water in cool weather or when on lush pasture , which has a higher water content. When under hard work, or if a mare is lactating , water requirements may be as much as four times greater than normal.

Water plays an important part in digestion. The forages and grains horses eat are mixed with saliva in the mouth to make a moist bolus that can be easily swallowed. Nutritional sources of energy are fat and carbohydrates. Fat exists in low levels in plants and can be added to increase the energy density of the diet.

Soluble carbohydrates such as starches and sugars are readily broken down to glucose in the small intestine and absorbed. Insoluble carbohydrates, such as fiber cellulose , are not digested by the horse's own enzymes, but are fermented by microbes in the cecum and large colon to break down and release their energy sources, volatile fatty acids.

Soluble carbohydrates are found in nearly every feed source; corn has the highest amount, then barley and oats. Sudden ingestion of large amounts of starch or high sugar feeds can cause at the least an indigestion colic , and at the worst potentially fatal colitis or laminitis. Protein is used in all parts of the body, especially muscle , blood , hormones , hooves , and hair cells.

Alfalfa and other legumes in hay are good sources of protein that can be easily added to the diet. Sometimes a vitamin supplement is needed when feeding low-quality hay, if a horse is under stress illness, traveling, showing, racing, and so on , or not eating well. Grain has a different balance of nutrients than forage, and so requires specialized supplementation to prevent an imbalance of vitamins and minerals.

Minerals are required for maintenance and function of the skeleton , nerves , and muscles. Horses also need trace minerals such as magnesium , selenium , copper , zinc , and iodine. Normally, if adult animals at maintenance levels are consuming fresh hay or are on pasture, they will receive adequate amounts of minerals in their diet, with the exception of sodium chloride salt , which needs to be provided, preferably free choice.

Calcium and phosphorus are needed in a specific ratio of between and A total ration with a higher ratio of phosphorus than calcium is to be avoided. Foals and young growing horses through their first three to four years have special nutritional needs and require feeds that are balanced with a proper calcium:phosphorus ratio and other trace minerals.

A number of skeletal problems may occur in young animals with an unbalanced diet. Therefore, supplementation with electrolytes may be required for horses in intense training, especially in hot weather.

Equids can consume approximately Solid feeds are placed into three categories: forages such as hay and grass , concentrates including grain or pelleted rations , and supplements such as prepared vitamin or mineral pellets. Forages , also known as "roughage," are plant materials classified as legumes or grasses , found in pastures or in hay.

Often, pastures and hayfields will contain a blend of both grasses and legumes. Nutrients available in forage vary greatly with maturity of the grasses, fertilization, management, and environmental conditions. Some commonly used grasses include timothy , brome , fescue , coastal Bermuda , orchard grass , and Kentucky bluegrass. Another type of forage sometimes provided to horses is beet pulp , a byproduct left over from the processing of sugar beets , which is high in energy as well as fiber.

Legumes such as clover or alfalfa are usually higher in protein , calcium , and energy than grasses. However, they require warm weather and good soil to produce the best nutrients. Legume hays are generally higher in protein than the grass hays.

They are also higher in minerals, particularly calcium, but have an incorrect ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Because they are high in protein, they are very desirable for growing horses or those subjected to very hard work, but the calcium:phosphorus ratio must be balanced by other feeds to prevent bone abnormalities.

Hay is a dried mixture of grasses and legumes. It is cut in the field and then dried and baled for storage. Hay that is very green can be a good indicator of the amount of nutrients in the hay; however, color is not the sole indicator of quality—smell and texture are also important. Hay, particularly alfalfa, is sometimes compressed into pellets or cubes.

On the other hand, hay pellets and cubes can be soaked until they break apart into a pulp or thick slurry, and in this state are a very useful source of food for horses with tooth problems such as dental disease, tooth loss due to age, or structural anomalies.

Haylage , also known as Round bale silage is a term for grass sealed in airtight plastic bags, a form of forage that is frequently fed in the United Kingdom and continental Europe, but is not often seen in the United States.

Rodents chewing through the plastic can also spoil the hay introducing contamination to the bale. Sometimes, straw or chaff is fed to animals. However, this is roughage with little nutritional value other than providing fiber. They form a loose mass in the stomach that is well suited to the equine digestive system. Barley is also fed to horses, but needs to be processed to crack the seed hull and allow easier digestibility. Wheat is generally not used as a concentrate.

However, wheat bran is sometimes added to the diet of a horse for supplemental nutrition, usually moistened and in the form of a bran mash. Once touted for a laxative effect, this use of bran is now considered unnecessary, as horses, unlike humans, obtain sufficient fiber in their diets from other sources. Many feed manufacturers combine various grains and add additional vitamin and mineral supplements to create a complete premixed feed that is easy for owners to feed and of predictable nutritional quality.

In many cases molasses is used as a binder to keep down dust and for increased palatability. Pelleted or extruded feeds sometimes referred to as "nuts" in the UK may be easier to chew and result in less wasted feed. Horses generally eat pellets as easily as grain. The average modern horse on good hay or pasture with light work usually does not need supplements; however, horses subjected to stress due to age, intensive athletic work, or reproduction may need additional nutrition.

The protein in soybean meal is high-quality, with the proper ratio of dietary essential amino acids for equids. Cottonseed meal, Linseed meal, and peanut meal are also used, but are not as common. To do so, horse feed is measured by weight, not volume. However, even two daily feedings is preferable to only one. The tape measures the circumference of the horse's barrel , just behind the withers and elbows, and the tape is calibrated to convert circumference into approximate weight.

Actual amounts fed vary by the size of the horse, the age of the horse, the climate, and the work to which the animal is put. Some animals are naturally easy keepers good doers , which means that they can thrive on small amounts of food and are prone to obesity and other health problems if overfed. Veterinarians are usually a good source for recommendations on appropriate types and amounts of feed for a specific horse.

Animal nutritionists are also trained in how to develop equine rations and make recommendations. There are also numerous books written on the topic. Feed manufacturers usually offer very specific guidelines for how to select and properly feed products from their company, and in the United States , the local office of the Cooperative Extension Service can provide educational materials and expert recommendations.

Equids always require forage. When possible, nutritionists recommend it be available at all times, at least when doing so does not overfeed the animal and lead to obesity. It is usually soaked in a proportion of one part beet pulp to two parts water. Beet pulp is usually fed in addition to hay, but occasionally is a replacement for hay when fed to very old horses who can no longer chew properly. Some pelleted rations are designed to be a "complete" feed that contains both hay and grain, meeting all the horse's nutritional needs.

When horses graze under natural conditions, they may spend up to 18 hours per day doing so. Recent studies address the level of various non-structural carbohydrates NSC , such as fructan , in forages. NSC cannot be determined by looking at forage, but hay and pasture grasses can be tested for NSC levels. A relatively uncommon, but usually fatal concern is colitis-X , which may be triggered by excess protein and lack of forage in the diet that allows for the multiplication of clostridial organisms, and is exacerbated by stress.

Horses normally require free access to all the fresh, clean water they want, and to avoid dehydration, should not be kept from water longer than four hours at any one time.

As long as a hot horse continues to work, it can drink its fill at periodic intervals, provided that common sense is used and that an overheated horse is not forced to drink from extremely cold water sources. But when the workout is over, a horse needs to be cooled out and walked for 30—90 minutes before it can be allowed all the water it wants at one time.

However, dehydration is also a concern, so some water needs to be offered during the cooling off process. A hot horse will properly rehydrate while cooling off if offered a few swallows of water every three to five minutes while being walked.

Sometimes the thirst mechanism does not immediately kick in following a heavy workout, which is another reason to offer periodic refills of water throughout the cooling down period. Even a slightly dehydrated horse is at higher risk of developing impaction colic. Additionally, dehydration can lead to weight loss because the horse cannot produce adequate amounts of saliva, thus decreasing the amount of feed and dry forage consumed.

To encourage drinking, owners may add electrolytes to the feed, additives to make the water especially palatable such as apple juice , or, when it is cold, to warm the water so that it is not at a near-freezing temperature. Ponies and miniature horses are usually easy keepers and need less feed than full-sized horses. Incorrect feeding is also as much a concern as simple overfeeding.

Ponies and miniatures need a diet relatively low in sugars and starches and calories, but higher in fibers. It is important to track the weight of a pony carefully, by use of a weight tape. Therefore, if a pony requires concentrates, feed and supplements designed specially for ponies should be used.

Like ponies, mules and donkeys are also very hardy and generally need less concentrated feed than horses. Mules need less protein than horses and do best on grass hay with a vitamin and mineral supplement. Nash, David. Stubbs, A.

Kohnke, J. Huntington, P. Landlinks Press, Collingwood, Australia. Following changes to the Victorian Government structure, the content on this site is in transition. There may be references to previous departments, these are being updated. Please call to clarify any specific information. Deaf, or hearing or speech impaired? National Relay Service: or www. Puppy farm legislation Care and welfare Choosing a pet Cats Dogs Other pets Community and education Domestic animal businesses Registration, legislation and permits.

Feed requirements of horses The nutritional needs of horses will depend on age, growth, activity, health and environment. To create a feed budget, there are 6 steps you need to take: Step 1 Estimate the weight and condition score of each horse refer Condition Scoring and Weight Estimation of Horses or use a weigh tape.

Step 2 Separate your horses into categories refer columns 1 and 2 of Table 1. Step 3 Determine the nutritional needs of each horse refer Table 1. Step 4 Ascertain the nutritive values of common feeds see Table 2. Step 5 Determine how much feed each horse can consume daily. To calculate how much feed each horse can consume daily, use the following example: 1.

Step 6 Calculate a feed budget for each horse: Note energy requirement of horse using Steps 1, 2 and 3. Note energy content of feedstuffs in Step 4.

Calculate the horse's maximum feed intake Step 5. Match horse energy needs to energy supplied by type of feed. Use example calculations at end of this Agnote. Ensure the horse can consume enough feed is the feed amount equal to or below your calculation in Step 5? Important notes Note 1: Ensure the horse has free access to good quality water to drink. Table 1. Daily energy and protein requirements for different categories of horses. Nutritive values of common feeds. Protein calculation: Kg hay 8.

Does the protein meet the horse's needs? Protein calculation: Kg hay 7. Can this horse eat 8. Does the protein content meet the horse's needs? Note The calculations and figures in this document vary between horses and feedstuffs. Important points to remember when feeding horses Provide fresh, clean water at all times.

These requirements can double in hot weather or when the horse is being exercised. Feed twice a day. Small frequent feeds are better than a once daily feed. Provide plenty of roughage. Roughage aids digestion and satisfies hunger. Only feed good quality feed.

Horse Feed Calculator | Purina

JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Save For Later Print. Updated: December 2, Some horses are easier to feed and require fewer nutrients than others. Other horses are very difficult to feed and require special attention. It is important to know how to feed your horse and to make sure it gets all the nutrients it needs.

Forty-five to 72 hours is required for food to completely pass through the digestive tract of the horse. The stomach and the small intestine make up the foregut of the horse; the cecum, large colon, small colon and rectum make up the hindgut of the horse.

The majority of starch the principle component of cereal grains metabolized for energy , protein, fat, vitamins and minerals are digested and absorbed in the foregut primarily in the small intestine by enzymes and other digestive substances secreted into the small intestine by the pancreas, liver and cells making up the wall of the small intestine. The hindgut contains microbes, which are bacteria and protozoa capable of digesting dietary fiber supplied by roughages in the diet.

The horse does not produce enzymes which digest fiber, but uses microbes to break down fiber. Microbes enable horses to utilize fiber quite well. For example, a 1, pound horse requires at least 11 pounds of roughage. It also is important not to over feed grain to horses because this can cause digestive upset such as colic. When too much grain is fed, much of it is digested in the small intestine.

The rest spills into the hindgut where microbes digest it rapidly, producing large amounts of gas and acid, and endotoxin all of which can cause discomfort, colic and, in some cases, laminitis.

In addition, horses should have constant access to plenty of fresh, clean water for the gut to function normally. A horse requires five types of nutrients. Each nutrient has an important role in the horse's body and is needed to keep the horse healthy.

Water is the greatest single part of nearly all-living things. Water performs many tasks in the body. In addition, water is the body's built-in cooling system; it regulates body heat and acts as a lubricant. A horse drinks about 10 to 12 gallons of water daily depending on the work it is doing. In hot weather, a horse may drink up to 15 to 20 gallons of water. In very cold weather, water heaters may be needed to prevent the water from freezing.

Energy in feeds is measured in Mega calories Mcal of digestible energy DE. Energy nutrients are the body's fuel and make up the bulk of the diet. After food is digested, blood carries its energy to the body. Energy nutrients power muscle movement to walk, breathe and blink eyes.

At the same time, this energy maintains body temperature. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for all animals. Carbohydrates are complex compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Horses can digest cellulose grass and hay because they have small microbes in their large intestine cecum that can break it down. Fats or oils are another source of energy.

Like carbohydrates, fat is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and also provide energy for movement and heat. Fat has 2. Protein supplies material for body tissue. During digestion, proteins break down into amino acids. Amino acids build bodies; they enter the blood stream from the intestine, and blood carries amino acids to all parts of the body. They form body tissue. Proteins eventually become muscle, internal organs, bone and blood.

Skin, hair, hooves and many other parts of a horse also are made of protein. Protein not needed to maintain or build a horse's body is either converted into energy or passed through the digestive system. Total protein in feeds is measured by crude protein CP. Vitamins are needed in much smaller amounts than other nutrients, but they are just as vital.

Each vitamin has a different job in the body. Some vitamins are in the food a horse eats while others are produced inside the horse.

Depending on its diet, a horse may need vitamin supplements. Supplements usually are not necessary if a horse is allowed to graze on grass. Small amounts of minerals usually are needed. Iron, copper, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium are examples of minerals that are important for a horse's body. Without iron, blood cannot carry oxygen to the body's cells. Without calcium and phosphorous, bones and teeth will not form properly. Calcium and phosphorous should be fed in a ratio that ranges from three parts calcium for each part of phosphorous to An imbalance of these minerals can cause developmental bone disease in young, growing horses.

Grass or alfalfa hay, or a combination of the two, are good sources of roughage. Grass hay is generally higher in fiber and dry matter than alfalfa, but alfalfa may be higher in protein, energy, vitamins and calcium.

Hay can be long-stemmed in hay bales, or come bagged in cubes, or pellets. Many horse owners feed grass hay or straight alfalfa or a combination of grass and alfalfa to their horses. Grasses commonly used as hay are brome, orchard, and timothy. Horses need good quality hay. It should be bright green, leafy and fine textured, with a fresh, pleasant aroma.

Musty hay or other indications of mold or heating, and dust, weeds and other foreign material in hay can be unhealthy for an animal. Color is an indicator of quality and nutrient content; good hay is a bright green. Leafiness is influenced by the kind of hay, its maturity when cut, the weather conditions while growing and curing the hay, and curing procedures of the hay. Dust is objectionable in any feed for horses. It not only reduces the taste of the hay, it also aggravates respiratory problems.

Sprinkling or dunking dusty hay in water can reduce dust. Avoid feeding moldy or dusty hay. In the field, heavy rain can break off drying hay leaves and leaches energy and protein from the hay. Hay baled before it is dry enough will lose nutrients through fermentation, or heating in the bale. This sometimes starts fires through spontaneous combustion in barnyard stacks of stored, baled hay. This type of hay is unacceptable for horses. Good pasture or grass that an animal can graze can be an economical food for horses, but pasture must be maintained.

If animals are allowed to graze on a pasture too long, the grass may be killed. Well-managed pastures reduce feed costs and provide energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to animals. An exercise lot with a few blades of grass is not a pasture; such a lot, or overgrazed pasture, is not a source of nutrients and can be a serious source of internal parasites. When a grass stand becomes too thin, overgrown, coarse or unappetizing to a horse, it should be clipped or mowed.

Lush pasture forages can act as a laxative in early spring and may cause founder. Introduce horses gradually to pastures by slowly increasing their daily grazing time. Small grains, such as corn, oats and barley, are known as concentrates. Concentrates are lower in fiber and higher in energy than roughages. The grain should be clean, mold- and insect-free, with a bright color. Grain quality is just as important as hay quality. Grains may be cracked, steamed or rolled, but, if ground too finely, may cause respiratory problems or colic.

Oats are the safest and easiest grain to feed with hay because it is high in fiber and low in energy, and higher in protein than corn. Corn has the highest energy content of any grain and can put weight on a horse quickly. It can be fed on the ear, cracked, rolled or shelled. Barley is an intermediate source of energy and protein content.

All grains are low in calcium, but high in phosphorus. Protein and vitamin-mineral supplements are added to the diet to increase the diet's concentration. Grains are energy supplements to a high forage diet. Only add supplements to the diet if something is missing. Some protein supplements are oilseed meals, soybeans, cottonseed, linseed flaxseed meal, peanut meal, sunflower seed meal and rapeseed canola. Vitamin and mineral supplements should only be added to the diet if the horse is deficient.

Generally, the only minerals of concern in feeding horses are calcium, phosphorus and salt. In some geographical areas, lack of selenium and, in growing horses, copper and zinc, is a concern.

Other minerals are likely to be present in adequate amounts in a normal diet.

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses

Determining feeding rates for horses