for Cold Weather: Winter
Nutrition for Horses
winter on its way, many horse owners are wondering how to adapt their feeding
program to keep their
horses warm this winter. It is important to keep in mind that it is
not only the thermometer temperature that should determine the amount
of feed necessary to keep the horse warm. The wind velocity and the
thermometer reading will determine how cold the horse actually feels.
To calculate the real temperature
▪ Thermometer temperature minus one degree
for each mile per hour of wind velocity.
▪ For each degree it is calculated to be below
32° F, it is necessary to add 1% more feed. For example, if it is 40°F
and the wind is blowing at 20 miles per hour, the horse feels as though
it is 20°F. So, this horse needs 12% more feed.
Other factors which will increase
the energy demands: thin hair coat, precipitation, and poor body condition.
Highly digestible fiber sources do
the best job at producing internal body heat, although many old timers
still believe in corn and oats. Oats actually produce more heat than
corn because of the higher fiber content. It is the fermentation of
fiber in the hind gut that best produces body heat. So for cold days
and nights feed:
▪ Extra hay.
▪ Horse Kwik Complete Pellets containing
readily digestible alfalfa meal .
▪ Alfalfa cubes.
▪ Life Design Senior containing alfalfa
meal and rice bran.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION
FROM NUTRENA FEEDS EQUINE NUTRITION UPDATE, VOL. 3 ISSUE 1 1999.