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Horse Nutrition

Horse CarrotBy Walter Berger © 2001

By now you will probably have a fair idea how much your horse weighs. You hopefully have also worked out approximately how much work he gets, ie. Light, medium or hard.

Now to work out how much energy he needs per day you have to get a calculator and try to follow the maths below.

For a horse standing around in the paddock (on maintenance rations)

  1. Multiply the weight of your horse in kilos by 0.03
  2. Add 1.4
  3. Multiply the result by 4.185
  4. This gives you the energy needed in Mega Joules (MJ)

For a horse in light work multiply the above result by 1.25

For a horse in medium work multiply the above result by 1.5

For a horse in heavy work multiply the above result by 2

Here is a table that shows the energy content of basic feeds. If you are feeding a kilo of oats then this means that you are feeding 1 multiplied by 89.2 divided by 100 = .892 kilos oats by dry matter.

This means that the energy contained in the oats is .892 multiplied by 11.86 = 10.58 MJ.

Now with lots of paper you should be able to work out roughly how much you are feeding to your horse and if it is about right for the work he is doing.

As mentioned in last month there will be some variance depending on the temperament and living conditions of the horse.

FEEDSTUFF

% DRY MATTER

DIGESTIBLE ENERGY MJ/kg

Barley

88.60

13.56

Bran

89.00

12.23

Brewers yeast

93.10

12.77

Coprice M

90.00

13.90

Corn

88.00

14.06

Dolomite

100.00

 

Hulled oats (groats)

89.60

12.85

Lucerne

90.50

9.32

Mollasses

74.30

10.82

Oaten chaff

90.70

7.28

Oats

89.20

11.86

Palabind

94.40

13.35

Pasture hay

87.00

7.34

Pollard

88.90

12.65

Rapidvite Vitamin E

100.00

 

Seaweed meal

90.00

 

Sunflower seed

92.00

16.70

Thurra

88.00

11.45

Vitamite Economix

90.00

12.00

There are also important mineral requirements that should be looked at, but I haven’t even mentioned yet.

If any body is keen to go further with equine nutrition, there are books such as “Practical Horse Nutrition” by R. H. Kerrigan, or you can ask me. Happy feeding, Walter.

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