Submitted by Nancy Parker
“When choosing feed for your horse, there are plenty of things you need to keep in mind, from the horse’s age and activity level to any health problems that are currently plaguing the animal. And that is why the Animal Health Company decided to come out with this brand new infographic that takes a close look at what is considered to be the ideal diet for most horses, sometop feeds that can help prevent diseases in horses, some common but essential rules of horse feeding, and of course, how to assess how much of feed your horse needs.” ~ Nancy
Categories: Horse Health, Horse News
I respectfully disagree. This delivers the pacifier that the commercial feed producers want the horse owner to embrace blindly and just buy their products faithfully. The real truth is this is only a starting point. A very small starting point at that.
Horses are grazing animals-therefore it is imperative that they be given enough ROUGHAGE on a continuous basis to keep the hindgut working properly. If you don’t, you will get hindgut ulcers which are very difficult to treat. Most people will give large feedings of a couple of quarts of grains and two flakes of a hay to a hungry horse. Why? Because the bag says that a horse of XX size needs so much grain. Hay costs a lot (they think) so they opt for what the barn manager tells them.
What happens is that the horse finishes the grain in 30 minutes or so-and the resulting meal passes to the hindgut where the digestion turns it into an acidic product. That eats at the sensitive lining and erodes it. There’s no roughage in there to buffer it.
The hay is eaten much too quickly, too-those two flakes will be gone in probably 45 minutes. Now that horse has to wait until another 12 hours passes until it gets another meal. Meanwhile, that hindgut is busy fermenting and producing acid-and eroding the lining back there. What’s wrong with this picture?
It’s hay and pasture that need to be EMPHASIZED-not the stuff in the bucket-unless the stuff in the bucket is more along the lines of the forage feeds. Stand up for your horse-demand better feeds.
Hay IS expensive at $4.25+(around here in WNY) a bale. And it does get expensive when you are buy it for multiple horses, or even for multiple animals, for an extended period of time, regardless of what other costs are going out for your horses or your other animals. The only time it is not expensive or is “free” is when you are able to bale your own on 20+ acres like my parents are able to do on their 156-acre farm. Some people are not so privileged in having so much land, especially out this way. Almost 60-acres of that land is timber and the rest is pasture that my parents have fenced in for their black angus cattle and their/our horses. Our horses and even the cows graze more and eat more hay than they do grain anyway because they are used for pleasure and not competition(well, not the cows lol). There are many considerations that need to be taken in when feeding grain and this is a good place to start. And it needs to be based on the individual horse alone, like you were getting at, and not what others instruct someone to do for their horses. But this infographic is a good starting point for anyone who needs instruction and guidance in feeding grain to their horses. (Not that I am really disagreeing with you, perhaps expounding on your point. But perhaps I am disagreeing with you a bit on the cost of hay…) Thank you. Good day.
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Hay is running $6.50 a small square in GA. Just FYI. I’d kill for what you pay.
My goodness! How many horses are you feeding? Hopefully not too many. 😦
At one point, 11. It’s 7 now.
Unbelievable! That’s highway robbery! Soon it’s going to be astronomical and no one is going to be able to feed their animals. It will be especially worse if we have another drought, then the prices are going to be sky high! I have not seen small bales around here in years. My Dad’s old bailer made one by mistake. The setting was wrong on it. The majority of farmers around here do round bales now and the rest do full-size square bales. I cannot believe it. What a shame 😦
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