Are Horses Used For Food

Bob Roberts
• Sunday, 06 December, 2020
• 17 min read

Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Poland and China are among the nations where many people eat horse meat without a second thought. Those two words at the end are key: While beef was being rationed by the government at the time, horse meat was not.

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(Source: equinenutritionnerd.com)


In the 1940s and 1950s, according to New York University professor of Food Studies Marion Nestle, there was a de facto “black market” for horse meat in which people would go into pet food stores to buy horse meat for their own consumption, viewing it as an inexpensive and tasty alternative to beef. Today, Nestle said, most pet food companies do not profess to use horse meat, partially for fear it would discourage people from buying the product.

Against the wishes of animal rights activists, horses are still being shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter and, in many cases, human consumption. But the taboo in the United States is also tied to the perception that horses fall into or near the category of pets with distinct personalities.

A veterinary surgeon named John Stewart, professor of veterinary medicine in Glasgow, Scotland, wrote a book that was published in 1856 called The Stable Book: Being a Treatise on the Management of Horses. Readers in the twenty-first century might chuckle at the frequent mentions of drafts and cordials for horses (according to Dr. Stewart, a cordial helps many an ill or over-worked horse), tonic balls (a herbal preparation made into a ball with honey that is fed orally) and a physic (herbs and other concoctions directed by a veterinarian).

These root vegetables are all boiled or steamed before feeding except the carrot., and mostly fed in winter. Dr. Stewart provides a travelogue of diets used for feeding horses in different countries: pumpkins, apples, sweet potatoes, and corn stalks in America; figs and chestnuts in Spain and Italy; dates mixed with camels’ milk in Arabia; dried fish in Iceland and Norway; black bread, rye, malt, and rye bread in Germany and Holland.

In the East Indies “meat was boiled to rags to which is added some kinds of grain and butter”; and sheep heads were boiled for horses during campaigns in India”; cows’ milk in England was given to stallions during the covering season.” Horses living near the sea in England could be fed dried and ground seaweed. He recommends feeding boiled food in the winter at the last meal of the day and adding turnips.

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He does recommend one day per week that the horses get pasture time, particularly access to hedgerows of various plants. He also suggests feeding native herbs like dandelion leaf, hawthorn, milk thistle, mint, and marshmallow root.

He claims when fed regularly they produce general rottenness, which I suspect in these cases is caused by disease of the liver. They also contribute to producing staggers and founder.” Dr. Stewart also doesn’t recommend raw wheat because fermentation, colic and death are the consequences”; however, he says that if wheat is boiled and given with beans, some oats, and chaff that it can be useful.” He also stands strongly against the feeding of eggs (so stated because some stallion owners recommended it to increase the stallions’ sexual potency), because he believes that eggs play no role in stallions’ readiness”.

And while we may think of horses in the 19th century as living bucolic lives, in truth these horses worked daily, worked hard, and had limited access to pasture because they worked 6 days a week either carrying riders, as mail or stage horses, pulling coaches, carts, plows, and wagons, or galloping into battle. The distillers grain now used in animal and equine feeds are the by- product of the ethanol industry and are made from corn.

Some feed companies like Penn fields have removed dried distillers grains because they are a potential source of mycotoxins. Dr. Stewart’s recommendation of frequent feedings is a good reminder today for those horses that are primarily stabled with limited turnout: small amounts of food more often is the best feed plan for the health of the equine GI tract.

The amount of calories expended by horses in the 19th century, required significant amounts of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and fiber foods to replace the calories burned, and provide energy to work 8-10 hours per day. Take a look at the steady stream of products affected and industries involved and you can't help but reach the unscientific conclusion that very few of us meat eaters in Europe have escaped gnawing on horse.

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These follow other companies that include major chains of supermarkets in England, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Belgium, pasta makers in Italy and Spain, international hamburger producers in Ireland, Luxembourg and Romania, and frozen food giants in France and Portugal. You probably won't recognize them all but odds are you've dined or bought meat from at least one of them as they're among the top giants of the European industry: Tesco, Lidl, Iceland, Button, Eager, Daniel, Finds, Picardi, H. K Scruple, Silver crest, Burger King, Frigilunch and even a few private equity firms like Lion Capital.

Australia's Agricultural Department estimates that between 30,000 and 40,000 horses are slaughtered there annually and exported for human consumption to 14 countries including Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy and other European Union nations. President Donald Trump wants to cut a budget the Bureau of Land Management uses to care for wild horses.

Instead of paying to feed them, he has proposed lifting restrictions preventing the sale of American mustangs to horse meat dealers who supply Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses. Horse meat, or Chevalier, as its supporters have rebranded it, looks like beef, but darker, with coarser grain and yellow fat.

Horses became taboo meat in the ancient Middle East, possibly because they were associated with companionship, royalty, and war. As butchers formed guilds, they too strengthened the distinction between their work and that of the knacker, who broke down old horses into unclean meat and parts.

Horses were killed in specialist abattoirs, and their meat was sold in separate butcher shops, where it remained marginalized. For one part, the Pilgrims had brought the European prohibition on eating horse flesh, inherited from the pre-Christian tradition.

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Even the Civil War caused beef prices to fall, thanks to a wartime surplus and new access to Western cattle ranges. Innovations in meat production, from transport by rail to packing plants and refrigeration, further increased the sense of plenty.

When French and German consuls visited a Chicago abattoir suspected of selling diseased horse to Europe, opponents tried to smear the U.S. Agriculture secretary, who had previously intervened. When beef prices rose as manners shipped it abroad during World War I, Americans finally discovered horse steak.

By 1919, Congress was persuaded to authorize the Department of Agriculture to provide official inspections and stamps for American horse meat, although as soon as beef returned after the war, most citizens abandoned Chevalier. The end of the war meant another drop in demand for range-bred horses no longer needed on the Western Front.

During World War II food shortages, horse meat once again found its way to American tables, but the post-war backlash was rapid. The 1973 oil crisis pushed up the price of beef and, inevitably, domestic horse meat sales rose.

Protestors picketed stores on horseback, and Pennsylvania Senator Paul S. Schneider floated a bill banning the sale of horse meat for human consumption. In the early 1980s, Montana and Texas senators shamed the Navy into removing horse meat from commissary stores.

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Sick, injured, or distressed horses were driven long distances to slaughter under poor conditions. In 1997, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that 90 percent of the mustangs removed from the range by the Bureau of Land Management had been sold on for meat by their supposed adopters.

Meanwhile, the town of Kaufman, Texas, mobilized against the Belgian-owned abattoir on their outskirts that paid little tax but spilled blood into the sewage system. In DeKalb, Illinois, the only remaining American horse meat plant burned down in unexplained circumstances.

The owners were prevented from rebuilding, as Illinois once more passed a law to stop the horse meat business. The pro-slaughter lobby, backed by a 2011 GAO study, suggested that American horses had suffered, as owners no longer receiving meat money would not pay to dispose of them.

Opponents pointed out that poor paperwork meant many slaughter-bound horses had been treated by drugs that should have ruled them out of the food chain. Animal-welfare information has disappeared from government websites, and the administration is rumored to have called on the GAO to launch another study into the benefits of building domestic abattoirs.

And yet, without adequate funding for proper inspections in a reborn U.S. horse meat industry, the market might languish. Europe is already skeptical of Mexican and Canadian exports sourced from the United States, making horse meat less profitable anyway.

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Feeders that restrict the horse’s access to hay cause less hay waste (5 to 11 percent) than feeders that provide greater access (13 to 33 percent). There’s no significant difference in waste between circular and non-circular feeders of this type.

Cosmetic rub marks on the face can occur with some feeders. Hay intake and weight changes Feeder design doesn’t affect the amount horses eat.

Horses ate less (1.3 percent By) eating without a feeder. Less eating and herd weight loss without a feeder was likely due to greater hay spoilage.

Without a feeder the horses could trample and pass manure or urine on the hay. Most waste occurs on the bottom of bales because of higher moisture levels and little air flow.

Weather will most likely damage this layer if the bales are stored improperly or unprotected. Storing hay inside can reduce storage waste by about two-thirds.

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Using a good plastic covering can reduce waste by one-half when storing bales outside. Wind the twine tight and space it 6 to 10 inches apart for best storage.

Reduce bottom hay waste by using a well-drained, 4- to 6-inch coarse rock base or wooden pallets. Place a temporary cover over round bales you store outside.

Net, plastic, and twine wrapped large round bale storage loss. Busk irk, D., Vanilla, A., Harridan, T., Van Lent, J., Ghana, L., and Archer, M. 2003.

However, hay waste occurs during feeding and storing of round bales. Using a feeder and properly storing round bales can help reduce your hay waste.

University of Minnesota researchers evaluated the effect of round-bale feeder design on: Please note that these are approximate guidelines designed to provide a starting place when considering the work level of the horse.

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Free turn out: Horse is provided the opportunity to exercise at will typically in a paddock or pasture, as a significant portion of their daily routine. Light work / pleasure: Horse is exercised for approximately 1 – 3 hours per week at low intensities, involving mostly walk, some trot, and limited cantering.

Examples: recreational riding, horses in early stages of training or conditioning. Examples: elite 3-day evening, racing (sprint and endurance), grand prix level show jumping.

Asian nomads probably domesticated the first horses some 4,000 years ago, and the animals remained essential to many human societies until the advent of the engine. Horses still hold a place of honor in many cultures, often linked to heroic exploits in war.

There is only one species of domestic horse, but around 400 different breeds that specialize in everything from pulling wagons to racing. Free-roaming North American mustangs, for example, are the descendants of horses brought by Europeans more than 400 years ago.

A stallion (mature male) leads the group, which consists of mares (females) and young foals. When young males become colts, at around two years of age, the stallion drives them away.

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The colts then roam with other young males until they can gather their own band of females. Gelatin is made from the bones, hides, and other parts of animals, including horses.

Underneath JELL-O’s jiggly wholesomeness lurks a secret many consumers are disconcerted to learn: JELL-O is made from gelatin, an animal product rendered from the hides and bones of animals, typically pork skins, pork, horses, cattle bones, and split cattle hides. The production of gelatin starts with the boiling of bones, skins, and hides of cows and pigs, a process that releases the protein-rich collagen from animal tissues.

Seahorses are ambush predators, feeding primarily on crustaceans, mostly shrimp. In our aquariums, Wild Caught specimens often don't recognize many food items offer that are not from their natural environment.

Even those captive reared seahorses not previously fed frozen make the switch almost immediately in most cases. Varying their diet allows for a more complete nutritional profile, as well as providing mental stimulation which they often lack by only feeding one food type.

Marine animals are rich in Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (Huffs) that freshwater organisms lack or have in the wrong concentrations. While there are many types available to the hobbyist, it can be difficult to obtain from local fish stores.

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Most cultures require large amount of space and are labor intensive. For most hobbyists, live food has to be purchased over the internet, or if they're lucky enough to have this option, collected from local waters.

*IMPORTANT NOTE* Some wild caught seahorses refuse to be trained on to frozen foods. Anyone attempting to keep wild caught seahorses should plan to dedicate themselves to continuously providing live food should such circumstances arise.

There are cases were no amount of diligence or experience will result in wild seahorses eating frozen foods. For that reason, if you are not prepared to offer live foods for the natural life span of your seahorse, which could be up to 7 years, I strongly suggest you do not consider keeping wild caught seahorses.

Many fish stores recommend feeding this because as a live food, a lot of seahorses will react to it and eat it. However, there is virtually no nutritional value to them, and because seahorses have a short digestive tract, they can not even make use of the little nutrients there.

Seahorses fed only this will slowly die of starvation, sometimes over a period of months. They are often refused as well because they do not behave like “normal” shrimp which are part of a seahorse's natural diet.

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Their swimming habits often confuse seahorses, leaving them often to entirely ignore the brine shrimp. They have a nutritious yolk reserve to allow them to hatch out and survive the first twelve hours until they develop a complete mouth and anus.

There are a few different species and strains available in aquaculture, and choosing larger ones is usually better for seahorse fry. Cope pods Tiny crustaceans, most roughly the size of newborn brine shrimp.

There are three kinds of cope pods generally used for feeding seahorses, harpactacoid, Cyclops and paranoid. Harpactacoid are the easiest to culture, but they prefer living on the surface of objects, and thus do not always attract the attention of seahorses. They can be gathered from aquariums at night when they are most commonly found on the sides of the aquarium.

Culturing just requires a container with an airline set on low, and crushed flake food. Paranoids swim in the water column which makes them ideal for seahorse fry and dwarves.

They reproduce at an alarming rate, producing young every 1 – 2 weeks, and are sexually mature at around 15 days. The young are born alive, and newborn my sis make excellent food for juvenile seahorses that are starting to outgrow BBS. They however require a lot of time and energy culturing as the young need to be separated from the adults to prevent cannibalism.

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They also require feedings of newly hatched Artemis Naples or similar twice a day. My sis can also sometimes be found it reef tanks among live rock and in refugees.

Sometimes you can convince your LFS to collect them from their live rock tanks, especially if you're in a panic and ask REALLY nicely. Most LFS's will do it, afraid of upsetting the crazy seahorse lady again.

They make good seahorse food for large species such as H. erects or H. radio. The freshwater variety is often available through local sources, such as fish stores and bait shops.

Culturing is time-consuming, and either requires a large outdoor container such as a Kidd pool or separation of the young. Amphibious, Grammars, Scuds Often described as “little bugs”, these segmented crustaceans are usually present in our tanks, even under aggressive predation.

Most seahorses will poke around rocks for a quick snack when these guys come out. For the occasional treat, you can easily create an in the tank Refugio which will allow them to hide and breed.

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Isopods Similar to amphibious, these relatives of the common pill bug also make good seahorse food. They are usually born at night, but are positively phototrophic so can be collected by setting up a light in/near a container to trap them.

Raising them is difficult, but having enough bloodstock around can leave you with an endless supply of shrimp larvae. Some seahorses will eat live bearer fry, while others ignore them completely.

Roughly the same size as my sis shrimp, but may have a harder shell as seahorses seem to struggle with them a little more Brands: Hikaru, Sub, Fish King Krill Good for large seahorse, such as adult H. erects, H. radio, and H. in gens. Brands: Sub seems to be the only suitably sized krill commercially available.

Brands: Fish King, MBC, Henkel Enriched Brine Shrimp While it's not a wonderful food source, some seahorses are too small to eat anything other than brine shrimp. A few companies like Hikaru and San Francisco Bay put out enriched brine shrimp.

I would recommend ONLY feeding frozen brine as a last resort, and only the enriched kind. And many freshwater food sources do not contain any fatty acids, which is why enriching is so important.

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The number of enriching products ranges in the thousands, and are specific to what your intended results are; such as general Huff increase, DHA increase, enriching for color enhancement, additional protein, etc. Take a chunk of my sis and place in a plastic Dixie cup.

If you use a net with holes too small, the excess of some non-liquid products don't rinse away properly. Liquefy any dry enrichment product by adding RO water and mixing in a blender.

Bio-Encapsulation AKA Gut Loading Here is where you feed the intended food the enrichment product you're trying to get to the seahorse. Adult brine shrimp only take a short while to enrich, but baby brine shrimp require an additional 12 – 24 hours from the time they hatch to be enriched.

When enriching newly hatched brine shrimp, never use the hatch water; always switch to freshly made water. Brine Shrimp being gut loaded with SELCA and algae paste. In general, you can ride them, drive them, and most importantly, pamper them like spoiled pets.

Horses and ponies alike have shaped human society, letting people make agricultural and industrial advancements and helping civilizations wage wars and. As any barn rat will tell you, the main difference between a horse and a pony is height.

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An equine that measures 14 hands, 2 inches at the withers (the ridge between their shoulder blades) is considered a horse, whereas those that fall below this threshold are known as ponies. But despite the strict height distinction, how people refer to certain horses and ponies is a bit fluid.

Minis were essentially designed to resemble their much-larger counterparts, just drastically smaller, as if they'd been shrunk in the evolutionary dryer. The Icelandic Horse averages a height of 13 to 14 hands and has a heftier build.

Basically, nailing the difference between when to call something a horse or a pony can be as tricky as naming one. A person may call their horse a pony in the same way the owner of a full-grown dog may refer to their pooch as a puppy, but it’s a term of affection rather than an acknowledgment of age.

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