Why Do We Feed Horses Grain?04 February, 2011 | Posted in category: Horse Health | No Comments Tweet
Grains (any concentrated feeds) are commonplace in our horses’ feeding programs. But have you ever stopped to think about why we feed our horses grain?
Dr. Geoff Tucker, a Florida equine veterinarian talks about why we do need to add grain to our working horses’ diets. Related to the “why” is the “how” – we have a habit of feeding more grain than is actually healthy for our horses. Dr. Tucker gives a great illustration to help us picture how we should use grain to supplement our horses’ diets. Watch now:
To summarize Dr. Tucker’s lesson, horses who have greater energy requirements need more calories than what they can get from hay or pasture grasses alone. While forages are best for the equine digestive system, horses can’t always eat enough hay to meet their energy needs. That’s where grains in appropriate amounts come in to supplement the diet.
Dr. Tucker also emphasizes that while grain is often necessary to meet horses’ energy requirements and maintain weight, it should be a very small percentage of the horse’s diet compared to forage.
Thanks to Dr. Tucker for allowing us to use his great video as a resource. Check out his Horzvet YouTube channel for more like it.