Fall Feeding Tips For Horses

Fall Feeding Tips For Horses

Colder weather requires horse owners to monitor a horse's nutrition program more carefully and possibly adjust it to meet the horse's nutritional needs. If specific questions arise when adjusting a feeding program for the winter, it's advisable to consult a veterinarian or equine nutritionist.

As temperatures drop, horse owners should begin to make changes in their horse's feeding program [3] in preparation for winter. But what alterations are needed? Here are some points to consider when preparing to adjust a nutrition program for the colder weather.

As the temperatures fall, horses will often decrease their water consumption per day. Ensure horses always have access to fresh water [4], and when temperatures dip below freezing, make sure to check all water sources for ice.

Also consider providing electrolytes and/or warmer water to encourage drinking. If adding electrolytes to water rather than via an oral supplement, provide a second watch bucket in case the animal won't drink the flavored electrolyte water.

The most common way to provide forage to a horse is by supplying them with hay. Depending on the type (grass or legume) and harvest time, hay can provide a significant amount of a horse's daily nutritional needs [5]. In addition, hay provides the horse with the required fiber for hindgut health.

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