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Equine Nutrition Hub

Forage Frequencies

Something I wanted to share as I have seen so many people forgetting recently. It is not just the WEIGHT of forage fed that is important, but ALSO the need to not go for too long without, so therefore the FREQUENCY of forage supply that is important too. Please don't ever forget this!

We never want the horse to go for longer than four hours without an opportunity to access some form of forage. This does not mean we should not weigh out what we are giving to those good doers - we absolutely should, but feeding the appropriate amount little and often, so splitting into enough feeding opportunities is paramount. Looking into ways to extend that eating time is necessary too for those on controlled intakes.

Obviously when we are providing a set weight, if the time between feeding opportunities is too long problems can really set in. This is where careful management comes in:-

1. Could you get up to the yard earlier in the morning? 2. Could you leave the yard later in the evening or get a friend to pop a net in when they leave a bit later than you? 3. Could you use a small hole hay net? 4. Is it possible to leave a low calorie forage replacer alongside the hay ration or as a partial hay replacer because it takes them longer to eat?

As an owner of an extremely good doer I get it from a nutritionist and owner perspective. Remember nutrition is part of the puzzle and another part is the management.


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