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Created by Lindsey Blaine for the Phantom Riders 4H Club

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1 Created by Lindsey Blaine for the Phantom Riders 4H Club
The Digestive System Created by Lindsey Blaine for the Phantom Riders 4H Club

2 Objectives By understanding the structure and function of the unique digestive system of the horse you can appreciate proper feeding techniques Label the structure (anatomy) parts of the digestive system Understand the basic function (physiology) of the digestive system

3 Unique Digestion The digestive system of a horse is different from other farm animals. The horse has a single compartment stomach like a human or dog but the horse can utilize roughages like a cow or sheep, which are ruminants. This is possible because of a special type of intestine. Digestion is the process of preparing food for absorption from the alimentary canal into the blood stream and elimination of unabsorbed residue from the body.

4 The Mouth The first part of the digestive system
Initial breakdown of feeds Mastication (chewing) Horses secrete about 10 gallons of saliva a day

5 Pharynx Swallowing (deglutition) 6 inch muscular sac
Food must move through pharynx quickly so it doesn’t enter windpipe Once food/water enter pharynx it cannot return to the mouth due to blocking action of the soft palate For this same blocking reason, horses cannot breathe through their mouth

6 Esophagus Did you know horses can’t vomit?
This muscular tube is inches long Extends from pharynx down left side of neck to the stomach Choke can occur in horses when food or other materials become lodged in the esophagus Peristalsis (wave-like contractions) moves food and water along – it is a one way action

7 Stomach The horse’s stomach is small (8-19 quarts) which makes frequent meals important Similar in form to non-ruminant Many types of stomach disorders can occur from improper feeding

8 Small Intestine 70 feet long, holds 48 quarts Makes up 30% of tract
Fast rate of passage Horses have no gall bladder Absorption of many nutrients (amino aids, sugars, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins) occur here Villi increase surface area which helps absorption

9 Large Intestine Made up of 4 parts (cecum, large colon, small colon, rectum) Cecum Microorganisms help digest Large Colon 10-12 feet long, diameter 8-10 inches More absorption Small Colon 10-12 feet long, diameter 3-4 inches Water absorption Characteristic balls of feces formed Rectum Extends 1 foot from small colon to anus A horse normally voids lbs of manure a day

10 Review Can you name these parts? Anatomy Terms: hindgut Esophagus
Small Intestine Large Colon Anus Small Colon Stomach Cecum hindgut

11 But before you move on…Review the material To receive your
You’re almost done! But before you move on…Review the material To receive your Phantom Riders HORSE certificate of the Digestive System you must score 80% or higher on the quiz.


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