For a long time people used to train horses to eat hay and grain. Such food was abundant, in addition, the animal received energy from it enough to work in the fields, in mines, etc. People started to think about what horses eat besides these products later. A new attitude towards horses as breeding animal athletes served as a change in diet.
- What horses eat
- The main types of food
- Providing the horse with natural food
- The role of vegetables in the diet
- Hay and other rough feed
- Concentrates and their role in the diet of horses
- Popular manufacturers of feed
- Calculation of daily ration
- Calculations of feed consumption for domestic horses
Already today under each activity a horse Adeya selects her own balanced diet. We must not forget about the goodies. They are important for making contact between the animal and the person.
What horses eat
Horses always depend on the conditions in which they live.
Wild animals, which you may not meet so often, feed on the food that they themselves get. The real find for them is a haystack, grass lawns and vegetation on the coast of freshwater sources of water. In addition, wild horses grab grass even in winter, digging it out from under a layer of snow. The need for plant foods and plentiful drink has left its mark on domesticated horses.
The main difference between wild and domestic animals is the difference in physical activity and the amount of feed consumed. In captivity, according to the schedule, in the allotted time, a man gives horses a certain amount of food. Wild animals are deprived of this. Slowly and for a long time sorting and chewing grass, they provide themselves with energy for a long period – 2-3 days. Therefore, horse breeders should take into account the fact that by adapting horses to a new rhythm of life and nutrition, they can harm them.
The fact is that, despite the massive data of individuals, their stomach is very small.
Slowly chewing coarse and concentrated foods leads to a gradual elimination of hunger. It is impossible to allow that the feeder was always filled with several kilograms of oats, wheat, barley, etc. Concentrates in large volumes are harmful to the digestive system of horses. Experts recommend giving them no more than 50% of the daily diet. Overstating this norm leads to metabolic disorders.
The main types of feed
Proper nutrition of horses is the key to their health.
Getting a sufficient amount of nutrients, pets become more powerful and hardy. But it will be very difficult for a stallion breeder to raise a real massive horse without knowing how to feed horses.So, any feeding of animals is divided into the following types:
- juicy food;
The basis of nutrition is juicy food. For their needs, these animals need to eat grass. It is this product that is primary and natural, because in freedom they provide themselves with it on their own. Vegetables and haylage also belong to this type of feeding.
Rough feed for horses is no less important. This part of the diet consists of dry pressed grass (granules), hay and straw. Such feed is considered an indispensable source of nutrients in the winter, when it is difficult to get succulent feed. Concentrates are responsible for the energy needed for physical exertion. They are used for feeding sports horses and horses that should be fattened or brought into a certain physical form. These products include mixed feed and self-prepared grain mixtures.
Providing a horse with natural food
Providing a horse with grass is not so difficult, because she feeds herself well . The main thing is to bring the animal to the pasture. Horses willingly eat:
- meadow fescue;
- meadow grass.
You can also do without walking, giving the horse a shock of freshly cut grass. But such food should be properly prepared and stored.Any mistake in this matter can lead to decay of plants, and such products for feeding horses are unsuitable. It is especially dangerous to give them to mares and lactating mares, because this can lead to serious health problems.
Specialists advise novice breeders to correctly distinguish between pasture. It is best to divide the selected lawn into 3 zones and admit animals to them alternately. This will extend the life of the territory and timely clean it from manure.
The role of vegetables in the diet
Proper feeding of horses should also include products from the garden: vegetables and fruits. Horses are fed only fresh food. Rot is dangerous for their digestion. It is best to give them:
Animals and greens love. They readily eat celery and lettuce. But not everything that grows in the garden is suitable for these animals. The prohibited foods include:
- onions and garlic;
In the diet those food products that are quickly digested in the stomach without causing severity or gas formation are more preferable. That is why horse breeders give beets and carrots to horses and avoid cabbage, eggplant and even potatoes.Moreover, as experienced breeders say, not only the fruits of these plants, but also their stems are dangerous.
Lemons, bananas, oranges, tangerines, dates and mangoes should be chosen as goodies. Of the exotic fruits, only avocados are forbidden.
Hay and other roughage
Horse food, especially in winter, should be nutritious and healthy, so you can’t do without roughage. When harvesting haystacks or buying them in specialized stores, you need to make sure that they are suitable. You need to choose only green bales of hay without rot and dirt. In addition, it is important to check the temperature: with your hand inside the shock. At the same time, warmth should not be felt.
The most useful and nutritious food for horses is hay from:
- meadow grasses;
- cereal plants.
Such grass as alfalfa is considered the richest protein, therefore, it is added to any mixture. Pressed granules, which are sold in specialized stores, can also be used for these purposes. But it should be noted that such food needs to be chewed slowly and for a long time, and in some cases the horse can choke on it, so you need to give these cubes a softer look by moistening them with water.
An important part of the nutrition is also straw from cultivated stems plants. They are less nutritious than hay, and are used more for volume than for good. To diversify the diet will also help haylage and silage.But such products should be administered carefully and only in small doses. A filled silo feeder can endanger the health of the animal, causing a disease such as botulism.
Concentrates and their role in the horse’s diet
Concentrated foods are important products in horse nutrition. They consist of cereals:
The composition of grain mixtures may be different. It should be selected based on the type of activity of the animal. For mare workers, as well as for sports horses, it is recommended to give only valuable nutritious foods, avoiding simple bulk feeds. For normal needs, any permitted products are suitable. Oats are especially useful, but because of its high cost, farmers often replace them with vegetables. For this, sugar and fodder beets are used. Her tops are also suitable.
The most popular concentrates are compound feeds for feeding horses. A bag of such food can be expensive, but it will be completely balanced, with a correctly calculated energy value. In addition, individual manufacturers produce mixtures for racing horses. For sports achievements, it is important that the consumed products are easily absorbed by the body and give energy. It is equally important to use concentrates for young animals. Juicy nutritious feeds will help to feed the stallion to the required weight with the benefit to his health.
Popular feed manufacturers
Feeding horses is no easy task. It is difficult and dangerous to prepare mixtures for young animals or adults on their own, especially without any knowledge in this field, so you should buy ready-made compound feed that will provide animals with the necessary useful substances. The most popular products on the market are:
- Dynavena. This manufacturer produces feed for sports and work horses. In addition, each horse owner can choose the right product for the age of the animal. Separate starts called “Energy” will give strength and stamina to young horses. For the elderly, Senior flakes are more suitable. In addition to the above, this manufacturer also produces delicacies – muesli with fruits.
- Spillers. Spillers is one of the best manufacturers of animal feed. The British product line also includes mixtures for sports horses and a variety of additives and goodies.
- Cavalor. Feed and additives from this company are popular in all countries of Europe. Together with high quality, the farmer receives benefits in the form of reasonable prices for the goods. Kovalor is a good choice for a beginner horse breeder.
- Biotech C. The best solution for buying everyday horse food. It can be given to any breed. Separate feeds are suitable for those animals that should be fattened. Others are just to keep fit. Also on sale is salt and holders for it.
- Pavo.Horse feed from these manufacturers can even be used for mares. Several varieties of products allow you to choose the right one for your own horse of various kinds of activity and age. There is also an option for a newborn stallion, which is similar in composition to mother’s milk.
Connolly Red Mills is an equally popular producer of feed. She is one of the oldest. Formed in 1908, this company specialized in the manufacture of products for cats and dogs. Most recently, their new lineup for horses has appeared. She immediately aroused interest from herders because of her high quality at an affordable price. Already now the company produces feed additives for horses, vitamin supplements and goodies.
The dream of many horse owners is to teach their own child to care for animals. Feeding them with your own hands, learning to contact with them will be much easier if the right “approach” is chosen. Any delicacy bought at a grocery or pet store helps well in this. The horses eat sugar, fruit, and well-perceived specialized supplements in compressed form. It is very difficult to establish contact between a child or even an adult and a horse without these products.
Calculation of the daily ration
Horses eat in small portions, but many times a day. Moreover, each individual eats a different amount of food. So, a fast sports horse consumes several times more food than a domestic weak mare or even a pony. This also applies to work horses.In addition to the lifestyle or even the activity of the animal, other features are taken into account:
- region of content;
- financial ability of the breeder.
The composition of the feed is also important. It is determined by many factors relating to the presence of vegetation in the region and the possibility of buying specialized, ready-made mixtures. Horse feed requirements may vary, but there are averaged data. So, for a month, one animal can consume up to: 0.1 tons of bran, 0.1 tons of succulent feed, 0.15 tons of concentrates and 0.42 tons of hay.
From these figures, get the amount of feed that the animal eats during the day is easy. For one individual weighing half a ton, it accounts for:
- 14-15 kg of hay;
- 2-3 kg of succulent feed;
- 4-5 kg of concentrates ;
- 2-3 kg of bran.
The type of activity of a horse is no less important. Working animals per day should increase the volume of concentrates by 10-20%, which provide more energy for physical activity. Salt and premixes should also be added, 40-50 g each. But the volume of such a norm can vary depending on the age and schedule of the horse’s sports or work regime. The most universal version of the diet for animals exploited in conditions of physical activity should include 7 kg of hay, 1 kg of corn, premixes and grass meal, 500 g of molasses and salt (50 g).
We must not forget about where the horses live. They can obtain part of the feed themselves on pastures.But the climatic conditions of the region can interfere with reaching the required norm in the use of grass, therefore, you should develop your own feeding schemes that will be most effective in feeding animals for not only a day, but a month or even a year.
Calculations of feed consumption for domestic horses
If the animal is not involved in heavy sporting events or is not exploited as labor, feed consumption during the day will be lower. In addition, you do not need to start a constant change in diet. Even just by providing the best conditions for care, you can achieve good stamina and stallion strength indicators. The main thing is to act accurately. And partly it concerns the diet. The daily feed intake table shows how much food a person should prepare for their pet.
Combined feeds, which include cereals, molasses and premixes, are suitable as food products. Such mixtures can be done independently, after calculating all the components in grams. The composition of such a mash may include corn, barley, peas, and other crops. If the pet is malnourished, this can be seen by its appearance and behavior. A hungry horse can behave nervously and even aggressively. In addition, very quickly he begins to lose weight. Its sides become hollow, and its ribs become sharp.
Overfeeding a pet is also unsafe. Each breeder must monitor and control the mass of the animal.If you consume too much feed, the horse can be threatened by a disease such as laminitis, so you should take care not only about regular and dosed feeding, but also about walking. The horse must move a lot in order to maintain itself in good physical shape, which it often lacks when kept at home.