In addition to these issues, problems can also occur with bone growth, and because of their size they are susceptible to heat stress and dehydration. Draft horses should be fed to maintain a moderate body condition, a 5 or 6 on the familiar scale of 1 to 9.
A 6 indicates a moderately flesh horse, with a slight crease down spine, the ribs and tail head feel spongy, and there are fat deposits along withers, neck, and behind the shoulders. Maintaining a high-forage diet is also pivotal and when feeding your draft horses, make sure your equines always have access to water and salt as well.
This is a grass hay fortified with vitamins and minerals, contains a low NSC level, and is molasses and grain free. This forage is a draft horse ’s entire diet and eliminates the need to feed concentrates or supplements to meet vitamin and mineral requirements.
Safe Starch is a great choice for draft horses with metabolic issues who may have the need for little more calories in their diet. Draft horses that are more susceptible to equine metabolic diseases and disorders will also benefit from Triple Crown Timothy Balance Cubes.
This is specifically formulated for horses with Cushing’s Disease, Insulin Resistance, Laminates, and other related conditions where a nutritious diet low in non-structural carbohydrates is recommended. If you do need to provide a grain to your draft horse, Triple Crown Lite is a great pelleted concentrate for easy keepers.
Lite is meant to be fed with forage and will give your draft the vitamins and minerals it needs without excessive weight gains. Again, these products are nutrient dense and provide your draft with essential vitamins and minerals in a small amount of concentrate; they also contain our Equinox Technology.
June 9, 2016January 9, 2019By Kentucky Equine Research StaffAlthough less prevalent now than in the 20th century, draft horses are enjoyed the world over as reliable companions in work and recreation. Drafts are easily recognizable because of their sheer size and substance, often weighing 1,400 to 2,600 lb (550 to 1,400 kg).
Use of high-energy concentrates or feeds depends on physiological state, as growth, gestation, lactation, and work intensity will require more calories to keep horses in sensible condition. Horse owners in Australia can depend upon Gold Pellet to deliver vital nutrients.
Some drafts are prone to polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSM), a debilitating disease that causes muscle pain so severe that horses are sometimes reluctant to move. Special low-starch feeds should be used for horses that require additional energy for maintenance of body weight.
Obesity is often a problem with drafts, so every effort should be made to keep body condition adequate but not extreme. Certain measures can be taken to control weight gain, including use of grazing muzzles, strategic use of dry lots or stalls, and limited turnout time.
For sound, healthy horses, near-daily structured exercise will keep metabolic diseases from developing. Bio-Bloom PS (Bio-Bloom HF in Australia) not only provides the suggested amount of biotin but also methionine, an essential amino acid used in keratin production, as well as zinc and iodine.
Even if you have the best hay, the best oats and plenty of grassy fields for them to “mow”, sometimes these things just aren’t enough for a horse ’s dietary needs. Horses with health conditions or those that are severely emaciated can benefit greatly from a man made feed that has extra vitamins and minerals added.
In our table below, we’ll take a look at some of the best horse feed and supplements that are good to keep on hand in the barn for horses that need a little extra boost. Once they start to creep up there in years, chewing hay and oats isn’t as easy as it used to be.
These are easier for the horse to gnaw on and swallow, which means they’ll get the proper amount of food each day without having to fight the hard oats or sharp hay stems. Number 3, for example, is a feed specifically designed to help horses gain weight at a safe pace.
Pennsylvania Imports Himalayan Salt Brick Lick for Horses Salt Lick$4.3 The reason we like this one is that it is derived from natural mineral deposits in the Himalayan Mountains rather than man made. This is a low-starch food that is made with non-GMO ingredients, natural vegetable oils, protein and fiber.
The mixture of high fat stabilized rice bran, coconut meal and flax will really help regulate your horse ’s digestive system. These low calorie pellets contain plenty of vitamins and supplements that will help keep your horse in tip-top shape.
It is especially useful to horses that are hyperactive or that have metabolic conditions (i.e. ulcers, laminates, insulin resistance or obese horses), and the ingredients also support hoof health, bone and tissue growth and overall digestive health. This not only provides them with the fat and fiber they need, but also plenty of vitamins and minerals, bacterial and yeast inoculate to help improve their gut functions and digestive healthy, protein to increase their energy level and vitamin E and organic Selenium to help them recover from stress.
Horses should almost always be grazing or have access to hay 24/7 for a healthy digestive system. This can be challenging for horses with limited access to pasture or at barns that only feed twice a day.
Whether you want your horse to be eating constantly for digestive health or boredom problems, a slow feeder is the perfect solution. The front features closely configured holes to keep your horse occupied.
The straps are adjustable and the bag can hold two large flakes of hay. It allows your horse to keep its head in a natural grazing position and there is no hay wasted.
Its design is easy to carry and won’t leave you covered in hay seeds. The idea of keeping it in a larger contain as pictured also helps cut down on waste.
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Our selection ranges from Strand Bells to Saddle Chimes. Butterfly, Elbow, Button, Liverpool, Berwick, Tom thumb, Full check, Low ports, and many other bits.
Each one is specially designed for horses in a specific age group or performance level. This grain, available whole, rolled or steamed, is good for horses of all ages and all activity levels.
“Oats are all natural and a whole grain that is closest to the horse's natural diet,” said Julie Goodnight, host of the television show Horse Master with Julie Goodnight and member of the Equine Oat Research Advisory Board. Oats are also free of additives, extra sugars and do not contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
“Horses fed oats eat slower and chew more, which stimulates saliva and good digestion,” she added. A processed oat (crimped or steamed) improves digestibility for older horses with poor teeth, but a young horse with good teeth can chew well and eat the grain in its unprocessed state.
“In an old preference trial done many years ago oats were preferred (by horses) over other cereal grains,” Robert Coleman, Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky, Department of Animal Sciences said. Horses have been eating oats for thousands of years and are able to easily digest the grain.
Oats are a traditional grain popular with horses because of its ease of digestion, and a good balance of protein, fat and starch. It takes a larger ration of oats than corn for a horse to receive the same number of calories per feeding.
“If a horse needs additional concentrates in his diet because he is young, old, in hard work or poor condition, start with a small amount and increase gradually over several weeks.” “Look at the forage offered (hay or pasture) and add oats to balance the calorie needs of the horse,” Coleman said.
An oats/alfalfa mix is much richer and higher in protein, but great for growing horses and brood mares. “Barley cannot be fed whole to horses because the husks will burrow into the skin and gums and cause awful sores,” she explained.
That being said, the horse needs to eat more pounds of dry matter per day to meet its requirements. Typically, less expensive than alfalfa, oat hay is often better suited for sedentary horses because of a lower protein content.