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How to Feed a Horse: What you can and can’t feed it

Posted By admin On June 22, 2016 @ 2:25 pm In Pets & Animals | Comments Disabled

If you own a horse or plan to own a horse, it is important to understand exactly what foods are ok for horses to eat. Much like humans , there are a number of different types of food that are really bad for animals. Understanding the needs of your animals and giving them what they need can go a long way to keeping them healthy and happy.

A high-fibre diet is exactly what the long equine digestive track [1] needs, and it usually consists of grains, fruits, vegetables and, of course, grass.  Feeding times are also important not only to keep your horse on a schedule, but to also prevent it getting fat or gaining unnecessary weight.

Experts from Takanini Feeds advise owners to condition their horses to feed gradually throughout the day, meaning no big meals. They add that horses are only supposed to consume around 2% of their body weight per day, so some measurements and calculations are in order to keep the dietary amount optimal.

It is also important to note that horses do not have the same tolerance for ‘human food’ as humans do. Here are some of the items you should never, ever include in horse feed [2]

Anything With Caffeine

Horses are already very active beasts. Augmenting their diet with a cup of tea, coffee or cola will only result in an irregular heart rhythm.

Anything From a Bakery

Items such as fresh bread and donuts do not exactly jive with a horse’s gastric fluids. Keep these items to yourself or to the trash if you want to protect your horse from intestinal blockage [3].

Anything From the Allium Family

Not to be confused with a surname, keep horse feed free of onion, garlic, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives. They all contain N-propyl di-sulphide, a toxin that results in equine anaemia [4]

Anything With Chocolate

Perhaps the greatest feeding time hazard facing the domestic animal kingdom, chocolate proves far less enjoyable to our companions than it does the entire human race. Keep that theobromine away—your horse’s non-enlightenment of internal bleeding is at stake.

Anything Made for Your Cat or Dog

Cat or dog kibble? No. Just no.

By following these guidelines and giving your horse plenty of exercise, you can ensure that your horse or horses are cared for and kept happy. Wether you use your horsese for racing, riding or recreation. Keeping them happy and healthy should always be a priority.


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URLs in this post:

[1] the long equine digestive track: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/info_digest.htm

[2] horse feed: http://www.takaninifeeds.co.nz/products/horse

[3] intestinal blockage: http://www.myhorseuniversity.com/resources/eTips/January_2010/Didyouknow

[4] equine anaemia: http://www.petmd.com/horse/conditions/cardiovascular/c_hr_anemia

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