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Equine Nutrition Equine Science. Introduction  Feed is the greatest expense for horse owners.  Feeding horses means:  Furnishing horses with a daily.

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Presentation on theme: "Equine Nutrition Equine Science. Introduction  Feed is the greatest expense for horse owners.  Feeding horses means:  Furnishing horses with a daily."— Presentation transcript:

1 Equine Nutrition Equine Science

2 Introduction  Feed is the greatest expense for horse owners.  Feeding horses means:  Furnishing horses with a daily supply of nutrients in the correct amounts.  Supplying palatable, easily obtained feeds.  Providing feeds economical for the conditions.  Cost can be reduced by:  Keeping horses healthy  Feeding a balanced ration according to need  Purchasing feeds that meet the needs of the animal

3  Nutritional needs change depending on:  Condition of the horse  Breed (size)  Activity level  Age  Gestational stage or lactation  High quality roughages are the foundation of a horse feeding program.  Concentrates and protein supplements help meet additional nutritional needs.  Minerals supplementation may also be necessary.

4 Nutrition Requirements  Energy (digestible energy or DE)  Protein (crude protein or CP)  Minerals (Calcium or Ca and Phosphorus or P)  Vitamins  References for determining what to feed horses:  Daily Nutrient Requirements of Horses  Nutrient Concentration of Feed

5 Table 1. Daily Nutrient Requirement for a 1,100-Pound Working Horse Type of Work ExampleDE or Digestible Energy (Megacalories) Crude Protein (grams) Calcium (grams) Phosphorus (grams) MaintenanceLittle to no riding 16.46562011 LightPleasure riding20.58202518 ModerateRanch work24.69843021 IntenseRace training32.81,3124029

6 Feeds and Feed Composition  Feeds divided into five groups:  Roughages  Concentrates  Protein supplements  Minerals  Vitamins

7 Table 2. Feed Composition for a Few Common Horse Feeds FeedDry Matter (%) DE (MCal /lb) CP (grams /lb) Ca (grams /lb) P (grams /lb) Vitamin A (1000IU /lb) Roughage Alfalfa, early bloom 90.51.02825.81.8623.00 Alfalfa, full bloom90.9.89714.90.9910.74 Orchard grass, early bloom 89.1.88521.091.366.08 Orchard grass, late bloom 90.6.78351.091.223.29 Timothy, early bloom 89.1.83442.041.138.51 Timothy, late bloom 88.3.72321.54.597.23 Fescue, full bloom 91.9.8654.811.328.73 Concentrates/Protein supplements Barley88.61.4953.231.54.37 Corn88.01.5441.231.27.98 Oats89.21.3054.361.54.02 Wheats, red88.41.5552.141.77--- Wheat bran89.11.3370.595.13.48 Soybean meal89.11.432021.592.86--- Mineral Supplements Limestone, CaCO3 100--- 178.67.18--- Oyster shell99--- 170.64.31--- Bone meal, steamed 97--- 135.1256.58---

8 Dry Matter and Nutrient Concentration  Insufficient dry matter  Horses may become bored  Too much bulk & not enough nutrition  Horse may not be able to eat enough to meet nutritional requirements

9 Math of Feeding Horses  Must know:  What the horse requires  What kind of feed will fill those requirements economically  What feeds are palatable  How much of a given feed the horse can eat  How to calculate the amount of a nutrient in a feed

10 Figuring Nutrient Content of a Ration  FIRST--  Pounds of feed X level of nutrient contained  Must be done for each type of feed in the ration and for each nutrient  THEN--  Add up the amounts and divide by the total pounds  Gives you an average level of each nutrient per pound of feed

11 Example:  Find the average protein in a mixture that is 200 pounds of oats and 100 pounds of soybean meal.  200 lbs oats X 54 g protein/lb = 10,800 g of protein  100 lbs of soybean meal X 202 g protein/lb = 20,200 g of protein  10,800 g + 20,200 g = 31,000 g of protein  31,000 g / 300 lbs = 103 g protein/lb

12 Types of Feed

13 Roughages  Include alfalfa hay, grass hays, clovers, lespedeza, timothy, fescue, bromegrass, prairie hay and pasture  Decrease the risk of colic and laminitis  Help maintain the correct calcium-to- phosphorus ratio  Help prevent boredom  Feed at least 1 lb. of hay per day for every 100 lbs. of body weight

14 Selecting Good Hay  Should be free of dust and mold  Early-cut, properly cured hays preferred  Break bales to check for dust and moldy odor  Legume hays vs. Grass hays  Legumes are higher in protein and minerals  Legumes are more palatable

15 Alfalfa Hay  Best of the legumes from a nutrient standpoint  Must be properly cured  High in protein, calcium and vitamins  Useful in balancing rations for brood mares and young growing horses

16 Timothy Hay  Popular for horses  Grown in many climates  Cures easily  Has a bright color  Free from dust and mold  Low in protein  Requires supplements when fed alone  Mature, late-cut is poor

17 Pastures  Natural feed for horses  Most nutritionally complete feedstuff  Reduces cost of feeding  Furnishes minerals and vitamins sometimes lacking  Hardworking horses will require supplemental energy feeds  Can reduce stable vices  2-5 acres of pasture per horse for maintenance

18 Concentrates  High-energy feeds  Grains are used with hay to regulate energy intake  May be grinded or rolled, but should not be ground fine  Feed in small amounts frequently  Include oats, corn, grain sorghum, barley, wheat, wheat bran and cane molasses

19 Oats  Bulky  Minimum danger of digestive disorders  Satisfy even picky horses  Higher in protein than most grains

20 Corn  Used extensively in the Midwest  Higher in energy than oats  Works well to improve the condition of thin horses and maintaining condition on hardworking horses  Often a good buy  Low fiber content  Must be careful when feeding to avoid colic  Feed in small amounts at a time  Equal parts corn and oats makes an excellent grain ration

21 Barley  Very satisfactory feed when ground  Fed the same way as corn  Mix with wheat bran or oats to help avoid colic  Does not completely eliminate risk

22 Wheat  Seldom fed to horses  Except in pacific northwest  Should be rolled or coarsely ground  Can be fed as 1/3 of grain ration with a bulky feed

23 Wheat bran  Highly palatable  Slightly laxative  Bulky  Preferred for animals stressed by extreme fatigue, foaling or sickness  Higher in protein than oats, wheat, barley or corn

24 Protein Supplements

25  Most average size horses need ¾ to 1 pound (1 lb = 455 g) of CP daily  Supplementation is needed when poor quality hays are fed  Common supplments:  Linseed meal  Soybean meal (higher in protein & better balance of amino acids)  Cottonseed meal  Commercial supplements vary in composition  Formulated for specific feeding programs  May be expensive

26 Minerals

27  Rations should contain more calcium than phosphorus.  Ratio should be between 1.1:1 and 2:1

28 Feeding Guidelines

29  Feed only quality feeds.  Feed balanced rations.  Feed higher protein and mineral rations to growing horses and lactating mares.  Use non-legume hays for adult horses.  Feed salt separately, free-choice.  Feed calcium and phosphorus free-choice.  Horses will eat better, digest food better and be less likely to develop colic if exercised regularly.  Feed according to the individuality of the horse.  Feed by weight, not volume.  Minimize fines (small particles) in a prepared ration.  Offer plenty of good, clean, cool water free-choice. Water should be no colder than 45°F.  Change feeds gradually.  Do not feed grain until tired or hot horses have cooled and rested.  Feed before work.  Feed all confined horses at least twice daily.  Give half the hay allowance at night, while horses have more time to eat and digest it.

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