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Weight Of A Horse Is More Complicated Than Just Food

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Safely adding weight to a horse is more complicated than just adding food to their diet. Horses have a complex digestive tract that includes the esophageal sphincter making it a one-way system; a small stomach to start the breakdown of food with acid; a cecum with microbes to breakdown fiber. A horse’s body condition score is a scale from 1-9 where 1 is emaciated and 9 is obese, and the ideal score is 5. Horses should consume 2 percent of their body weight to maintain their condition. No more than half of their feed should be grain, and the rest should be forages. The amount of food for every horse is based on their age, workload, production status, and their desired body condition score. Overfeeding grain can cause horses to become overweight or even colic. Horses basic nutritional needs are water, energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. To fulfill an adult horses water requirement they should drink between 10 and 12 gallons of fresh, free choice, and comfortable temperature water. It is important for horses to consume a balanced diet so they have enough energy to successfully do their job. Feeding starches, carbohydrates and fats can satisfy horse’s energy requirement. Starches and carbohydrates are in grains that horses eat such as oats, and corn. To maintain body weight, horses need to eat about 16.4 Mcal every day depending on their age, workload, and production status. Adding 4 Mcal of energy to the horses grain every day for a hundred days will increase their body
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