How to accurately feed a Horse
Many assortments are available in the market related to various feeds and horse supplies. There is much confusion among people regarding what exactly is best for their horse or what their horse needs concerning nutrition. The horse owners usually don’t pay heed to the information on the label of the feed and behave carelessly.
In this article, you will get to know about your horse’s nutritional needs and what are good horse supplies.
The Basic Nutrients Needed By A Horse
Horse feeding requires horse owners to understand the nutritional requirements of their horses. Those fundamental nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, water, and minerals. Requirements for these nutrients vary because they depend on the horse’s body, like the daily workload, age, etc.
Manufacturers generally try to offer all the nutrients in the supplies, but the horse’s water needs are to be taken care of by the horse owners only. Though for the rest, it is recommended that the horse owner should go through the label or feed tag to confirm whether it will get the required nutrients from those horse supplies or not.
A healthy and normal horse requires 5-15 gallons of water per day or even more. Clean water should be provided to the horses daily, and ideally, it should be made available every time to the horse. If sufficient water needs of the horses are not fulfilled, they are vulnerable to conditions like dehydration.
Protein is essential for the growth of the body, and it is very crucial for horse owners to realize the importance of proteins. Proteins get broken into amino acids, and help grow hair and muscles. Most horses require 12% protein, and that is sufficient for them. Hays and Forage are good sources of proteins, though hays should be chosen depending upon the protein needs like legume hays have high protein content.
This nutrient makes up the bulk of the horse’s diet. Carbohydrates have two categories- structural and non-structural. The horse takes structural carbohydrates from the hay or the grass that it eats, while, grains, corn, etc., are sources of its non-structural carbohydrates. Feeding less could lead to health issues.
Horses have high-fat requirements as they are easily digestible, and at the same time, they are a good source of energy. Though adding only fat to the diet is not enough to provide energy, other nutrients should also be taken care of.
Minerals are the most essential requirements of the body. Mineral needs may vary in different horses concerning the daily workload, age, and other factors. Some minerals help in hoof strength, like zinc and copper. The addition of minerals in the diet should be taken care of.
Vitamins are very important bodily needs and are essential for survival and good health. Excess vitamins in the diet are not desirable as they can cause toxicity. It is required that the horse supplies provided have sufficient vitamins.
Any nutrient should not be provided in excess as this may lead to deterioration of health conditions. Undernutrition should also not be a condition. Therefore, it is critical for the horse owners to brief themselves about the nutrients required by their horse and always check the feed tag on the horse supplies they get from the market.