- 28th August 2019 by Rowen Barbary
Top Tips for Winter Feeding
- Forage should be the forefront of any horses diet and there are many options available to you to increase the fibre content of the horses diet if grass is limited including hay, haylage, chaffs and high fibre feeds.
- It is essential to check all water sources and remove ice daily as horses may decrease their consumption of cold or freezing water during the winter leading to an increased risk of colic.
- It is important to ensure your horse is receiving the correct amount of nutrients for overall health and vitality so you may consider topping up the diet with a vitamin and mineral supplement.
- Fibre alone is usually insufficient to supply the energy demands for a horse to maintain its body weight, so you may consider adding extra calories to the diet through the use of conditioning feeds.
- It is very important to weigh your horse’s feed to ensure that you are feeding the correct quantities as recommended by the feed manufactures, so if you are already using a conditioning feed check that you are feeding the correct quantity.
- Adding fats and oils to the diet in the form of straight oil or high oil supplementary feeds are an ideal way to help poor doers gain weight.
- Using a weigh tape to monitor your horses weight weekly is a good idea to allow you to identify any changes in condition early on so that any action can be taken quickly.
- As temperature drops maintenance energy requirements increase, increasing even further in the presence of wind and even more so in both wet and windy weather. As a general rule for every ten degrees below freezing you can increase the horses hay ration by another 10 percent.