Hay, or some other source of fiber, is absolutely necessary to the health and function of the horse's digestive tract. Because of a scarcity of hay in many regions, can you just skip feeding hay this winter and make up the deficit by doubling your horse's grain ration?
Scientists have revealed that Dr. Green may not be the best prescription for all horses. Under specific growing conditions, common pasture plants can harbor sufficient sugar to cause metabolic problems in certain horses that are especially sensitive to carbohydrates.
When a pile of lawn clippings is placed in front of him, the horse can consume the cut grass much more quickly than if he were grazing naturally. If your horse has a tendency to bolt his feed (eat it very quickly), he may do the same with lawn clippings.
All horses are subject to digestive upsets associated with lush spring pasture. The content of highly fermentable carbohydrates in lush pasture can be overwhelming to the unadapted digestive system.
Digestibility of various grains was quantified and fecal analyses were conducted to establish which grains held the greatest risk of hindgut starch fermentation and acidosis. Hindgut acidosis can impair performance, and could be career-threatening if it leads to laminitis.
Horses have evolved over millions of years as grazers, with specialized digestive tracts adapted to digest and utilize diets containing high levels of plant fiber.
The most popular types of forage cubes are made from coarsely chopped alfalfa hay, timothy hay, alfalfa/grass hay, whole corn plants, and alfalfa hay/whole corn plants," said Crandell. Horsemen derive numerous benefits by choosing hay cubes over more traditional long-stem hay.
Forages, concentrates, and other basics of equine nutrition.
Following Hurricane Katrina it became clear that thousands of cattle, horses, and other livestock were in need of basic food and care. Tons of hay and pallets of feed were required immediately, and in enormous quantities. It was clear that no quick or easy "fix" was going to sustain these large animals throughout the months ahead.
Can't live with them, can't live without them. Humans have been inundated with the supposed evils of carbohydrates. But what contributions-good or bad-do carbohydrates make to the equine diet? Must horsemen be mindful of counting carbs in their horses' diets? As with most topics in equine nutrition, the question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
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