Horse Feeding Diet
One of the main conditions for rational horse breeding is feeding horses a ration. The animal’s body consists of various organic, mineral substances and water. It can replenish the substances expended during the life process only through feed, which is also a source of energy for the functioning of organs and systems and maintaining a given body temperature. In addition, important regulators of biochemical processes in the body, macro and micronutrients, vitamins, enzymes, come from the feed.
The level and quality of feeding determines the rate of development of the body. Thus, malnutrition of young animals disrupts the growth of bone and muscle tissue, the functioning of body systems; this leads to adverse and often irreversible changes in the constitution of the animal. In addition, unbalanced feeding leads to a sharp increase in feed costs per unit of output. Therefore, full-fledged horse breeding is possible only on the basis of rational feeding organization. For this, it is necessary to be able to evaluate the nutritional value of feeds, to know the need of a particular individual for nutrients, to master the principles of normalized feeding, as the most rational way to use feed.
The nutritional value of a feed is understood as its ability to satisfy the needs of the animal’s body. When evaluating the nutritional value of a feed, its chemical composition, protein, amino acid, mineral and vitamin sufficiency are taken into account.
Speaking about the needs of the body, they mean the amount of energy, nutrients and biologically active substances (BAS) needed by the animal to cover the costs of maintaining life, the formation of new body tissues, production, reproduction, and health. In experiments on the study of the animal’s need for energy and individual elements of nutrition, the costs of each process are calculated separately. So, the body’s need for nutrients to maintain life is the sum of the costs necessary for the physiological processes of blood circulation, respiration, secretion, and others.
Feed is evaluated not only by the content of individual elements, energy, and so on, but also by their accessibility to the body’s assimilation of the animal. Usually take into account the amount of dry matter necessary for normal filling of the gastrointestinal tract, energy, measured in energy or feed units, nitrogen-containing substances (crude and digestible protein, essential amino acids), crude fiber, easily digestible carbohydrates and fat, as well as minerals and vitamins. Feeding horses ration.
Depending on the direction of economic use, age, gender, physiological state (growth, pregnancy, lactation, etc.), the animal’s needs for nutrients are not the same. So, in a growing organism, the synthesis processes prevail over the decay processes, so it needs more protein per kilogram of live weight than an adult animal.
Feeding rates are developed taking into account modern knowledge about nutrition and are designed to provide increased productivity (efficiency) with the economical use of feed. Feeding rates are the basis for drawing up diets that allow you to plan the procurement of various feeds for the livestock on the farm.
A diet, as you know, is called a scientifically based set of feeds that animals eat for a certain period of time.
Compared to other animal species, horses are most demanding on feed quality. The horse’s stomach is 9 times smaller than that of a cow, the digestive tract is shorter by 46%, the suction surface is 30% less, and the components of the feed pass through the digestive tract 5-6 times faster. Horses are worse than ruminants digest fiber: only 18-30% versus 50-60% in cows, therefore hay harvested in the phase of budding of legumes or sweeping panicles of grasses is preferable. The best of roughage is considered good meadow, steppe, clover or alfalfa hay or a mixture of leguminous and cereal grasses. Good hay is fed without preparation. It is better to steam the straw, preferably barley or oat, or (it is easier) to season with molasses, bran, and compound feed.
Among grain feeds, oats, barley, corn, and wheat bran are traditional. It is advisable to flatten the oat grain, and to crush barley and corn. After such treatment, the horse’s body absorbs it 12-18% better. Bran is given moistened or mixed with other feeds.
In addition to the main traditional feeds, the horses ’diet includes, based on availability, compound feeds, sugar beets, molasses, herbal or grain-herbal granules, briquettes, haylage, silage, mineral and vitamin mixtures, protein and other additives. Of the concentrated feeds, in addition to the noted ones, rye, oilcakes and meal are fed, brewing wastes – dried malt sprouts and barley polishing product. In the southeastern regions of the country, ground grains of millet, sorghum, and mogar are used to feed horses.