Top animals TV working with draft horses on a small sustainable farm horses are grazing animals designed to obtain nourishment by eating fiber rich forage with the domestication of horses meals have evolved to include a combination of grass hay and processed feeds Performance Racing and high-strung like breed horses often require high energy feeds to maintain healthy body conditions conversely.
Draft breeds even working draft horses require less energy than their smaller counterparts when it comes to daily calories draft horses require slightly less calories pound-for-pound than a comparably sized light.
Horse said beth valentine dvm/phd an expert in draft horse nutrition and professor of anatomic pathology at Oregon State University College of Veterinary.
Medicine the way a draft horses metabolism functions accounts.
For the most significant difference draft horses have a slower metabolism than riding horses they are more.
Even-tempered and have a different fight-or-flight instinct added Michael R stone DVM and owner of Oakhaven Belgians in Fremont Ohio there is a general consensus that while a draft horse may eat.
More than a light horse because they are larger animals their energy requirements are lower on a pound-for-pound basis said Kathleen Crandall PhD an equine nutritionist at Kentucky equine research number one estimating rations rations for all horses are determined with mathematical formulas for light horse owners Valentine said that you can estimate the daily calorie.
Needs for your draft horses by the calorie intake of similarly sized liked horses an accepted standard of calorie intake in relation to body weight exists for light horses using the accepted light horse standards the.
Target calorie total is multiplied by 0.
75 to determine the daily needs for draft horses as an example the maintenance diet of a 1,000 pound light horse is 15,000 calories per day she said adding that.
The maintenance diet for a 2,000.
Pound draft horse is 2 times.
75 equals 20 2500 calories per day a chart of standard daily caloric requirements has been developed and is available in Valentine’s book draft horses an owner’s manual there is a table of estimated calorie needs for light horses and draft horses published in the book she said once you identify the calories your draft needs to maintain his body condition it’s important to.
Translate that into the pounds of forage hay and grass the horse needs each day typically.
Draft horses need between 1.
5 percent of their body weight and forage for example if your draft horse weighs 2,000 pounds you multiply that by point zero one five that equals a minimum of 30 pounds of forage on a dry matter basis the horse needs each day Grandal said some draft horses can thrive on hay and or grass without the needing of.
Feed good quality hay will go a long way in meeting your horses nutritional needs I personally like feeding high quality grass hay with some alfalfa mix stone added draft horses that are able.
To maintain healthy body conditions on pasture and hay alone often require additional supplements to compensate for girls and vitamins lacking in the forage many areas in the United States have soils that are deficient in selenium and low in other trace minerals like.
Copper and zinc however it is important to work with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount for your horse providing too much selenium can be toxic a good mineral supplement or a ration balancer can help provide the other trace minerals as well as selenium Grandal said Valentine often recommends additional vitamin E even for horses kept on pasture.
And or alfalfa products which are naturally high in vitamin E content extra vitamin e never hurts and sometimes helps I recommend one of vitamin E per pound of horse each day she said in addition to concentrates that compensate for lacking minerals or vitamins some horses may need additional supplements if hoof quality is an issue.
I recommend a hoof supplement with meth 9 as well as biotin valentine said working horses that are pulling or straining to move heavy loads may benefit.
From joint supplements the key is to only use supplements when they are needed Grandal noted number two special considerations as it turns out two-thirds of all draft related horses are metabolically different and prone to developing a muscle issue known as equine polysaccharide storage myopathy EPS M also called Epsom and PS sm valentine said equine polysaccharide storage myopathy is an abnormal glucose metabolism in the horse which leads to excessive glycogen storage in muscle.
Cells stone said clinical signs.
Are similar to tying up the disease can also be found in other breeds such.
As draught crosses warmbloods and quarter horses symptoms can vary among breeds before much was known about the condition it was called Monday morning sickness the biggest challenge with EPS Emin draft horses is that the animals are stoic and symptoms can be subtle clinical signs include muscle soreness and weakness in muscles left untreated the.
Condition is potentially fatal.
During research in 2000 Valentine discovered that Yee PSM is strongly linked to nutrition these horses need a high fat and fiber low starch and sugar diet she explained alfalfa hay ballets senior feeds or other low starch and sugar commercial feeds are best for a horse with recognized dpsm issues I recommend adding 1 pound of fat per 1000 pounds of horse each day she said the least expensive.
Doing this is by adding soy canola or corn oil 2 cups of oil is 1 pound of fat you want to introduce the fat slowly and increase it gradually she suggested even horses that have not been diagnosed with.
EPS M can benefit from added fat for non EPS em horses she recommends adding at least 1/2 pound of fat per 1000 pounds of body weight each day Grandal cautioned that feeding dietary fat to a horse.
That is already overweight may exacerbate a condition insulin resistance which is common in obese horses plentiful turn out consistent exercise are important components to managing horses diagnosed with EPS.
M these horses do better with.
Regular steady work stone said it’s best to avoid giving long bouts of stone rest and then a.
Quick return to work number three learn more draft.