Feeding Tips Friday
I often get asked what people should feed their horses, and I love the fact that people do reach out for help! Sometimes though it can be hard to reach out for help with a feeding issue. Many people feel like they would look silly or incompetent of owning a horse if they don’t know how to feed it. And unfortunately social media has given rise to the keyboard warriors that prevent a lot of people wanting to get help as they have seen others be ridiculed for asking something similar. So my advice to anyone that does not quite know what to feed your horse but you are too shy or nervous to ask just do some research of your own. It’s not as hard as it seems and I’ll help you keep to the basics so you understand what you are looking at. The key components to look at are Fibre, Digestible Energy and Digestible Protein. Fibre is found in plant based products and is important for your horses gut health. Fibre aids in your horses digestion, satisfies hunger, and can help meet your horses energy requirements. Horses are hind gut fermenters and this is where the fibre is broken down by the intestinal microorganisms. To help keep the balance of microorganisms correct it is important that the horse receives enough fibre to keep the digestive processes happening. Digestible Energy is what will obviously give your horse energy but what will also help put weight on your horse as energy turns to glycogen storages in fat in your horse. Digestible Protein is what your horse needs in order to be able to build and maintain muscle and all other tissues including hair. Now what you do is search up the recommended daily intake of these things for your horse (google) and then look up what is in your feeds and calculate what they are getting. Now compare the two and if they are way off then you may need to adjust your horses feed. All concentrate feeds will have the amounts on the bag but your chaff and hay you may just have to get an average off the internet. Have a play around with it and let me know how you go!