Articles Relating to Horses

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Published by Ken Dunn
Dunway Enterprises

Hay Really is for Horses?

Articles Relating to Horses Private Label Articles Stable and nutritional management Published by Ken Dunn - Dunway Enterprises

http://horse-articles.dunway.com

Article #7

Hay Really is for Horses?

As you well know horses are herbivores and foragers by nature. Horses eat grasses, herbs and other foraged plants as a primary source of their daily nutrition.

Horses raised in the wilds do not have access to all the feed supplements our domestic friends have today. A content horse is a horse that is allowed to graze 24 - 7.

This is not always possible for our horses, so we have many supplements to help them meet their nutritional needs. One way that we can meet their need to chew (this is very important) and their nutritional needs is quite simple, really.

Feed them a high quality hay on a regular basis!

Hays vary in nutritional value and in different areas of the country, so you need to do a little research on the subject in your area.

When purchasing hay for your horse you must take into consideration; energy (equine digestible energy), this reflects how much energy the hay has and how much energy the horse can digest and use.

Don't forget about digestible fiber in the hay equation; this is necessary for proper functioning of the horse's digestive system. Alfalfa contains a high percentage of protein (16) to (18%).

Grass hays (timothy, bromegrass, and orchard grass) although lower in protein (5) - (12%) generally meet the protein requirements for the mature horse.

Young horses need more protein for growth but you may need to add more protein to their diet by either protein supplements or soybean meal which has (48%) protein.

On the other hand, too much protein may cause founder and/ or Laminitis, so do your homework. If you are unsure of the nutritional requirements for your horse ask you veterinary for assistance in setting up a good nutritional regime for your horse.

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