what do horses eat

Naturally, horses spend most of their time grazing. The primary source of food for horses is grass. Grass alone may not be enough for your horse’s daily nutrient requirements. Due to the nature of their digestive tract, they require a diet that contains fiber. This fiber will be very nutritious for their gut bacteria that also assist in the overall digestion. They also require different minerals and nutrients to stay healthy. You need to feed them properly.Now we have 2 relevant questions. How Much Does A Horse Weigh and also what do horses eat Here is a list of what horses eat and some foods that you should not give your horse.

1. Pasture

Horses graze exclusively on pasture, and that includes grass, tender plants, and Napier grass. There is a wide variety of pasture that you can feed your horse on. You should allow them to graze in the fields, after that you can introduce small rations of pasture or hay in the stables. Grass contains most nutritional requirements your horse needs. This is what wild horses depend on in the forest for survival. Another reason you should let your horse graze naturally is that grass contains silica, which is very important for the dental health of your horse.

2. Hay

It comes a time when grass is not available, or the conditions for its growth are no longer tolerable. This is especially during the winter season. With grass out of the feeding options, the next food to give your horse is hay. Hay is grass that has been preserved by drying and baling. It is still nutritious even after the drying process. If there are shortfalls in the vitamins and minerals content, you can feed your horse on hay, then give them mineral and vitamins supplements afterward to compensate the lost vitamins and minerals in the hay making process.

3. Grains

There is a wide variety of grains that you can feed your horse on. The most common grains that we feed our horses on are oats and corn grains. They contain the essential nutrients and minerals that your horse require. You should never feed your horse on wheat grain, and this is because it impacts on the gut process and causes colic. These grains should be used as supplementary feed. After grazing, give them these grains. Giving your horses more than enough oat or corn grains will cause them health problems. If they consume too many grains, they may end up having dental issues, as the grains don’t contain silica. The horse may become a founder or colic.

4. Salt and minerals

Salt is essential to your horse. You should mix this salt in the feeds, or you can purchase a salt block. Put it in the stable so that if they have a craving, they can lick the salt block any time. Salt provides the necessary electrolytes of Sodium and Chloride. These two electrolytes are vital in maintaining the correct water balance in the horses’ body.

5. Concentrates

Concentrates have a variety of minerals, vitamins, salt, and molasses. This is the best food to feed your horse as it bridges the shortfalls that might have occurred during feeding. Concentrates contain a mixture of everything a horse needs for increased performance and overall health.

These are the types of feed that you should consider giving to your horse. Although I forgot to mention water. Water is essential to body fluids. After feeding them, give them clean water. If you want your horse to perform better, feed them on concentrates.

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