Factors that Influence the Nutritional Requirements of Horses

Horses eating grass

Horses eating grassWhether you are a horse owner, trainer, manager or breeder the daily feeding of your horse is an important issue. There are many types of horse feeds available in the market. They are not, however, all equal.

If your horses are getting sufficient animal feeds, which you can get from vendors such as Takanini Feeds, they will perform and behave below par. It is hence essential to ensure your horses get all their required nutrients from their feed.

Here are some factors that influence a horse’s nutritional requirements.

Specific Horse Factors

Animal factors that influence a horse’s nutrition needs include its breed, age and body type. The activity level and type will also dictate the type and amount of feeds. Performance horses will typically need higher calories compared to regular ones.

Nursing mares have a higher forage and water intake than pregnant ones.

Dietary Factors

There are six essential nutrients of horses’ diet. These include fats, carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, water and vitamins. Carbohydrates and fats provide energy while proteins maintain and produce healthy enzymes and muscles. Phosphorous and calcium are essential for bone growth.

Natural grains and pasture can provide the animal’s vitamins. Dehydration can lead to infection and death of your horse more quickly than lack of other nutrients. Clean and readily available water is, therefore, an essential component of your horse’s diet.

Feeding Management Factors

The amount, location and time of feeding also have an impact on your horse’s nutrition. Divide the animal feeds to small portions through the day in a comfortable and quiet environment. Avoid feeding the animal on dusty or sandy ground and instead, use commercial feeders or hay nets.

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It is hard to evaluate if your animal is nutritionally sound by a simple look since horses typically exhibit no visible malnutrition signs. Strive for an ideal balance between forage, grain-based feeds, commercial feeds and treats to sustain a healthy digestive system.