The Big Cool Down: Feeding Horses In The Fall

While the heat of summer wanes, horse owners should prepare their animals for the oncoming colder weather by adjusting their feeding program. But what needs to be done to ensure the horses are prepared for the cold? There are some factors to take into consideration before any adjustments are made, reports The Horse.

These include:

  • Forage
    Providing quality hay is the easiest way to supply horses with forage, which contains fiber to keep the hindgut happy and healthy. If you live in an area that has had a tough year for hay growth and it’s in short supply, investigate alternative hay sources like beet pulp, hay cubes or complete feeds to ensure enough forage is available.
    Chewing on forage in the winter also keeps a horse warm, as the heat created by digestion allows him to save energy that would typically be expelled by producing body heat if he were not eating hay.
  • Water
    Water sources for horses must be kept ice-free to encourage drinking; many times water consumption decreases in winter, raising the risk of impaction colic. Horse owners should also consider using electrolytes (either orally or added to the water) to encourage water consumption. Warm water can also encourage a horse to drink.
  • Body condition
    While it can be tempting to race through chores when winter winds howl, it’s important to remove blankets and lay hands on horses multiple times a week so body condition can be accurately assessed. A horse’s body condition can easily change over the course of the fall and winter, so additional feed may be necessary to help maintain weight in colder months.

Read more at The Horse.

The post The Big Cool Down: Feeding Horses In The Fall appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.