One of the most important things that a horse owner needs to keep it in top condition is proper feeding. As a responsible horse owner, you will not only need to offer the best horse feed for weight gain, but you also need to provide it the right way, however. Overfeeding grain feeds to a horse may cause colic. This is very serious condition and can be fatal.
Rules For Proper Feeding
Consider these rules to make sure that you provide the right nutrition to your horse.
Feed a small portion but often. A small tummy that a horse has will need only as much as it can be filled. You will only need to feed your horse a small amount at regular intervals. The longest period that one can have without food should not go more than eight hours.
The general rule when feeding a horse is that the total weight of feed eaten should be between 1.5% and 2% of the horses’ body weight.
Offer bulk feeds. For your horse to live well, you will need to feed bulk feeds to fill his ever hungry stomach with hay or grass.
The amount and type of feed that you need to offer your horse will depend on several factors, such as the horse’s type, age, weight, health, workload, the climate, time of year, age of the horse, and other local elements. Remember that if you fail to provide just exactly what your horse needs, whether feeding too much, too little, offering feed that it should not have, may cause physical and mental problems.
Provide good quality feed. Anything that has past a sell date is not a good thing to offer your horse. Feeding high-quality hay free feed in addition to pasture is more than enough to provide the horses’ nutritional needs. That means you will need to know what these various forages can actually provide to your horse.
If any modification needs to be made with your horse’s diet, it should be made gradually over a one to two weeks period. This will help the horse to adjust well to the changes and ensure that it won’t experience any digestive problem.
Feeding the horse after an exercise is a bad idea. Give it at least an hour before offering feed to the horse or it may develop colic and breathing problems.
Follow a feeding routine so as not to upset the horse’s digestive tract.
Keep your filly’s feeding utensils clean, as well as its stable.
There are other sources of essential vitamins that you can offer to your horse such as apples, carrots and swede.
Offer water before the feed, otherwise your horse’s tummy may just wash undigested food out of its stomach. But, of course, a horse won’t be needing enough water only during meals. Having a massive size requires it to consume a large amount of water to keep its body functioning properly.
An average-sized horse will need about five to ten gallons of water a day. Factors such as the horse’s workload, temperature, humidity, overall health condition of the horse, the amount of hay intake, and so on, will also affect the volume of water that the horse needs. There are times when a filly will need up to about three or four times the normal amount that it requires.
Having said that, you need to make sure that your horse has free access to plenty of fresh water. Remember that without enough water, there will always be a possibility that your horse may get experience impaction colic. It that happens for an extended time, it can result in kidney failure, brain damage, or death.
In general, your horses’ general diet must contain balanced amounts of protein, crude fiber, vitamins and minerals and digestible energy from carbs, sugars, and fats.
Commercially produced horse feeds
There are also good-quality commercial feeds that you can offer to your horse. This makes choosing the best horse feed make it a lot easier. Choose commercially produced horse feed that contain adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals for the class or type of horse that you are keeping or breeding.