What nutrients do horses get from grass?
Forages make up a large portion of a horse’s diet, and contribute significantly to the horse’s nutritional status, a factor that is often overlooked. Good quality grass hay may provide all of the energy, protein, calcium, and phosphorus most horses need, depending on how much of it they eat.
Is grass nutritious for horses?
Horses thrive in the wild on a diet of grass and other plants. From these foliages, they extract the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong. Domestic horses are no different; eating grass is essential.
How much protein is in grass for horses?
GRASS HAYS A good-quality grass hay may meet most of the adult horse’s basic nutritional needs. Mature horses require 10 to 12 percent CP (crude protein) in their diets. Many native or prairie grass hays contain just 6 to 8 percent.
Is fresh green grass good for horses?
Green grass can be a great addition to a horse’s health, both mentally and physically. Horses love the taste of green grass and it can be very nutritious during the right stages of maturity, not to mention the joys of being out in a pasture relaxing and being a horse.
Can horses eat fertilized grass?
The consumption of too much nitrogen or potassium through fertilized hay or grass can be deadly. The solution is simple. The next time you are on a farm and you see a salt or mineral block (or even a salt rock, which are popular these days), please tell the owners to throw them away as they may be killing their horses.
What is high quality forage for horses?
Hay is the bulk of the horse’s diet. Grass or alfalfa hays, or a combination of the two, are good sources of roughage. Grass hay is generally higher in fiber and dry matter than alfalfa, but alfalfa may be higher in protein, energy, vitamins and calcium. Hay can be long-stemmed in hay bales.
Why is grass hay better than alfalfa?
One of the biggest differences between alfalfa hay and grass hay is the protein content. On average, alfalfa hay has much higher levels of protein, ranging from 15% to 21% depending on when the alfalfa was cut. This is much higher than the protein levels of grass hay, which typically contains 10% or less protein.
How much grass can a horse eat?
How much grass does a horse eat per day? A horse on grass pasture can consume 25 lbs of forage a day! This is the high end of the recommended forage intake of 1-3% of body weight. If your horse also receives supplemental hay and feed, his caloric intake will definitely cause him to pack on the pounds.
Is grass hay a carbohydrate?
What carbohydrates are in forage? Cool-season grasses are common in horse pastures and hay fields in the upper Midwest. Most of these grasses can be higher in carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are in the form of fructans and simple sugars like glucose.
What nutrients are in grass hay?
|Nutrient||Grass Hay||Mixed Hay|
|Calcium (%)||0.25 – 0.65||0.6 – 1.2|
|Phosphorus (%)||0.15 – 0.35||0.2 – 0.4|
|Copper (ppm)||6 – 15||6 – 15|
|Zinc (ppm)||15 – 40||15 – 40|
Can horses just eat grass and hay?
Many pleasure and trail horses don’t need grain: good-quality hay or pasture is sufficient. If hay isn’t enough, grain can be added, but the bulk of a horse’s calories should always come from roughage. Horses are meant to eat roughage, and their digestive system is designed to use the nutrition in grassy stalks.
Is pasture grass good for horses?
Pasture grass is an excellent source of nutrients for your horse as it is high in both digestible energy and crude protein. However, for grass to fulfil all, or most of your horse’s nutritional needs, then the animal has to have ample grazing time.
Why do horses eat grasses?
All members of the equine family have evolved to extract their necessary nutrition from grasses. Horses and donkeys especially are able to extract nutrients from coarse grasses and plants that might not support a larger horse.
Is my horse getting enough nutrients?
A horse that is working very hard may not get enough nutrition. It really depends on the type of horse you have and what its job is as to whether or not it will thrive on a diet of grass, especially one that isn’t top-notch. On the best quality pasture, horses should be able to get all the nutrients they need.
Is extended grazing good for horses?
Extended grazing has some benefits for horses. One of these benefits is that forage is very important for the gastrointestinal tract of the animal to function very well. However, for your horse to get these nutritional benefits from forage, you have to have a well-managed pasture.