Hey Horse FoodHello horse feed
Well before people came and realized that it was much more comfortable to breed a horse once or twice a night in the shed, the dog-sized Dinohippus - the forefather of our present horse - would spend the whole afternoon on meadows.
From prehistory on, however, our animals have become larger and more domesticated, but their nutritional needs have remained the same. Granting your horse unrestricted acces to weed is the best way to imitate your horse's forefathers, but for many of us this is not convenient all year round. Straw, however, comes very near the turf - and may even be a better option.
Every kind of feed - whether gras, high-quality hey, straw or cut turnip marrow - is of great benefit to the horse. Six essential nutritional elements are essential for a good and balanced diet: Natural weed contains all the natural sugars, proteins and mineral salts a horse needs. Dry fodder stuffs such as straw, chips and turnip schnitzel may lack some of the vitamin and fat in your grasses - but that doesn't mean that straw has no place in your horse's nutrition.
High-grade straw offers a slow-burning, low-carbohydrate, high-fiber horse feed that makes it an easy horse to choose. Test your straw at your nearest farm to make sure it is of high standard and meets your horse's dietary needs. As soon as you find that you are eating high value food, think about some of the main causes why it is becoming a key element of your horse's nutrition.
A Penn State University survey found that ripe equines generally eat 2 to 2.5 per cent of their daily nutritional intake. That'?s 20 to 25 quid for an ordinary horse! Horse lovers who are living in northerly climate zones or who do not have 24/7 pasture will find that there is a significant shortfall in this area.
Mud willows, snowstorms or fly are no substitute for a shaded pad of grass or a sheltered stable that allows the horse to get food under all circumstances. Equestrian animals that travel to shows often can have food of a high standard regardless of their whereabouts. Feeding straw is possible when the fructane levels are high in early springs.
The sugar level in green grasses is highest in early summer, making your horse more prone to colics and deer. Free selection of straw means your horse can remain warm in cold weather. Feed is clearly an important part of your horse's diet. The food is broken down into small, easily digested lumps when you bite and chew (or formally "chew").
There is also the start of salivary secretion, which further degrades food and stores acid in the digestive tract for better absorption. Low in calories and carbohydrates, it provides the horse with fibre, volume and nourishment to keep it full and happy. Full tummy also relieves the symptoms a horse feels when its tummy is too empty to absorb the naturally occurring gastric acid in the tummy to degrade food.
About 60-70 ft long, the small bowel is the place where most of the mining and feeding of food take place. The horse gets more food from food that needs a longer period of passage through the small bowel. Converted feedstuffs such as cereals pass through too quickly to be absorbed. The hay is slow to move and leaves behind nutritional elements that are crucial to your horse's wellbeing.
Ceum and large intestine can absorb up to 32 gal of fibre matter, which ferment gradually over 2-3 consecutive day, resulting in VFAs, an important food for the horse. By fermenting dietary fibres in the hind intestine, equines can cover up to 70 per cent of their own needs for power.
If too much food is consumed by the horse, it will get too quickly into the hind intestine to be digested, sometimes resulting in back intestinal acidosis. Food that has been too much worked up will be too much for the horse to digest. However, if straw is your horse's main food, lacidosis of the hind intestine is rare. Feeding is the cornerstone of digestion, and for the vast majority it is the ideal nutrition to deliver endurance and endurance.
In the case of some highly skilled equines (e.g. sports or hard working horses), however, it is possible that straw may not supply enough power for sustainable work. It is important to remember that some vitamines and fat are damaged by the environmental impact once the lawn has been mown for thatch.
This is why other dry fodder, such as turnip schnitzel or straw, are poor in these substances. Getting your horse ready for gras can help make up for these shortcomings, but you may need to add a cereal or crop mixture that is tailored to the horse's diet. Tischart from the National Research Council of the National Academies can help you assess your horse's nutritional needs; or read our nutrition for horses for more information.
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