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Why Horses Need Hay

Feeding Mistakes Horse Owners Often Commit—Overfeeding And Underfeeding

Your horse’s diet is one of the important considerations when you want to have a healthy and fit animal. But horses can have special dietary needs and many owners often make mistakes when planning their horses’ diets, mistakes that could have been avoided if they are fully aware of these common feeding mistakes.

Overfeeding

When a horse’s food calorie intake is in excess of what the body needs each day, it can lead to obesity and problems associated with carrying excess pounds, such as metabolic syndrome and laminitis. A good grass pasture or hay can already provide most of the nutrients needed by a horse. Supplements or concentrates can be given when there is a deficit in nutrition. Overfeeding is a common problem among young horses and this has led to higher incidence of joint malformations.

Underfeeding

If your horse has a gaunt appearance, it is probably underfed. This is a common occurrence in draft and senior horses. If the pasture quality is not good, you should provide concentrates to provide the essential nutrients needed by your horse. However, the bulk of your horse’s diet should always be composed of grass or hay. If you give more concentrates than hay or grass, your horse has a high risk of developing colic. 

Know more about the nutritional needs of your horse by consulting your Helotes, TX veterinarian. Click here for additional details.

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