What is a Horses DietHow about a horse diet?
It has often been noticed that horses are ordinary beasts. In contrast to us human beings with our all-eating taste, horses are exclusively herbivores. Feed is the foundation of horse nutrition, and if the feed is of good nutritional value and abundant, horses have few digestion problems. Only when we depart from the "feed principle" do our horses get into problems.
However, at first sight the horse's intestinal system seems to be something of an evolved error. Let's take the horse's gizzard, for example. On the other hand, when unwound and extended, the small bowel can reach an astonishing length of 70 ft (about 22 meters) with a three to four inch circumference and a 10 to 12 gallon storage area.
Feed is the foundation of horse nutrition. Horse should consume 1.5% to 3% of their daily physical mass; at least half of their death should be fodder, such as straw or weed. Let's take a more thorough walk through the horse's intestines and see what we can learn about the connection between his physical condition and his diet.
By tearing off a blade of gras with its tusks or using its gifted lip to take up a piece of straw or cereal from the floor or a feeding tray, the horse's mouth transmits the crop to the back of its throat. Out of there, the tongue-base presses the food past the soft palate into the throat, the opening to the oesophagus, a hose of flexibility that runs down the throat to the abdomen.
Arrived in the oesophagus, a number of muscle contracts push the feed along. Astonishingly little indigestion takes place in the digestive system itself. While a small bacterial populace triggers either bacterial or enzyme degradation, there is little room for greater degradation because foods only remain in the digestive tract for an average of 15 min before being introduced into the small bowel.
A non glandular, plate-shaped cellular stratum, which is susceptible to chloric hydroxide secreted by the digestive tract, forms the inner part of the mucosa. If you have regular amounts of foods in your abdomen, you tend to take up the excess and prevent it from injecting this overlay. Rarely-feed horses (one or two large daily lunches instead of several smaller lunches) are more prone to peptic ulcers caused by stress from digestive upsets.
The typical case of horses feeding only straw is that they have a very low ulcer rate, while those who eat a mixture are more at risk. Horses that are feed ed only on straw have a very low ulcer rate. Next stop on the route is the small bowel, a twisted and tortuous hose hung from a fan-shaped diaphragm, the mesenterium, at the lumbar area.
As the small bowel expands, the first section of the small bowel - the duodenum is formed like a twist that prevents nutrients from being pushed back into the bowel. It is the main site for digesting proteins and absorbing Amino acid (although grain is more thoroughly digested than feed) and can absorb up to 30% of the overall GI uptake.
It is also the main digestive tract for lipids. The majority of horses use gall bladder secretory to degrade lipids, but horses have no gall bladder, another small evolved feature. Nevertheless, horses seem to be able to use 10% to 15% fatty foods very effectively for increased body mass and increased nutrition.
Eventually, the fat-soluble vitamin A, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin C, as well as some phosphorous and vitamin C, are taken up in the small bowel. Mean time for the liquid diet to reach the length of the small bowel is 60 to 90 time. And the last part of the small bowel, the calyx, goes to the last part of the digestive tour: the posterior bowel.
The section consists of the celium, the large (or ascending) large bowel, the small large bowel, the rectum und the analus. They are not only a part of the digestion system, they are also indispensable. Vegetable dietary fibres, consisting of cellsulose and other non-digestible proteins, cross the gastrointestinal tract without being affected by the enzyme, but when they reach the "fermenting tub of Cecum", the bacterial populations do brief work with them there and usually degrade them in about five-hour time.
Zecum's volume and composition (the physical counterpart to our annex, but far more useful) are designed to slow the flow of nutrients so that germs can do their work. Of the Zökum, the partly-digested feed reaches into the big large intestine, where the furermentation is continued.
Nearly 12 ft long, on an average, and with an amazing 14 to 16 gallon or 50 to 60 litre of nourishment per gallon (about 38% of the GI tract's overall capacity), the large intestine is also the place where nourishment lives the longest - between 36 and 48 hour. Not only can this make it easier to break down large amounts of fibre but it can also become a hazard if the bags are expanded during the process of blowing off gases as they appear to be tailor-made for turning and even strangling one's own tissue.
As soon as the lining has been thoroughly worked in the large intestine, it will move to the small intestine, which is another 10 to 12 ft long, but with a smaller circumference (about four inches). Once the feed has left the small large intestine, it has become firm again and formed into excrement beads.
The small bowel may not be able to fully digest and assimilate all nutriments under these circumstances before the food passes into the hind bowel. If surplus quantities of dissolvable sugars enter the fermenting tank of the caecum, they are converted not only into VFA's but also into lactate.
At the same time, bacterial growth begins to degenerate and toxins can be released. All of a sudden, the old rider's policy of small quantities of food often starts to make a great deal of difference, especially if your horses have a high level of nutrition. So what do horses actually need in their diet? A general principle is that horses should eat between 1.5% and 3% of their own daily dietary intake - and at least half of it (and often much more) should be food.
Keep in mind that horses in the wilderness do not have direct contact with and little need for concentrations of a carbohydrate because they do not do "work" in the way we human beings do. We have also raised horses that are bigger, more powerful, quicker, more stylish, often less resistant and more reliant on high power concentrate to keep a balanced balance.
Nevertheless, cereals should always be regarded as an option supplement to the diet.