August 30th, 2022
6 Horse-Feeding Mistakes and How To Avoid Them
Nothing is more important than ensuring that our horses are healthy and happy, but doing so can be challenging as horses have quite delicate systems. That is why it is so important that you are aware of these horse-feeding mistakes so you can avoid them.
Calculating by Volume
The feed we give our horses can vary quite a lot in weight, even when they look the same. As such, a mistake many owners will make is to feed their horses what looks like the same amount of food. However, eyeballing is not good enough here; you must make sure to calculate your feed by weight rather than volume.
You might think you are saving money by purchasing a cheaper type of hay. However, you must know that not all hay is the same, and some types can be deficient in nutrients that are vital to your horses. Hay that is unsuitable can result in colic, lung issues, and detriments to a horse’s overall well-being. Before giving it to your horses, you must ensure your hay is nutritionally dense and free from dust and mold.
Underfeeding is common mistake owners make with work or senior horses. Workhorses must eat more to make up for the energy they expend during the day. Moreover, senior horses tend to have more digestive issues that can make certain types of feed harder to digest, resulting in malnutrition. To avoid this common horse-feeding mistake, ensure you have enough hay or pasture and include supplements or concentrates for your working or aging horses.
Overfeeding is another significant issue, as it is all too easy to overfeed our horses. Unfortunately, this mistake can result in equine metabolic syndrome, obesity, and other conditions like laminitis. To avoid overfeeding, try to limit treats, and have the hay tested so you know the type of nutrients you need to supplement into their diet. Knowing what supplements your horses need helps keep you from over-supplementing and over-feeding.
It can be a challenge trying to maintain a good diet for your horses when using feeders that are not suitable for them. That is why we make custom livestock feeders to help meet the specific needs of your horses. At Palouse Ranches, we make our custom products to last and ensure they are everything you asked for to get the job done.
Like any animal on this Earth, horses require free access to a good-quality water source. However, the challenge comes in making sure your horses will actually drink the water. Water must be the perfect temperature for a horse to drink; if it is too cold, that could deter them from drinking, resulting in impaction colic.
Ignoring Dental Health
Without our teeth, we wouldn’t be able to chew our food, which could significantly affect our well-being. Thankfully, humans have various avenues to ensure our teeth remain in good health. However, we cannot say the same for horses; failure to pay attention to dental health can result in difficulty chewing food, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. That is why you must ensure your horses have adequate access to dental care.