Feeding horses through traditional methods can be laborious, time-consuming, and detrimental to their health and overall well-being. Horses naturally require frequent small meals due to their digestive system, and feeding them large meals infrequently can result in health issues like colic, ulcers, and laminitis. Furthermore, extended gaps between feedings can lead to undesirable behavioral habits such as cribbing, biting, weaving, pacing, and food aggression. If you’re seeking a solution, read more to learn about automatic horse feeders. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Automatic Horse Feeders
Feeding hay can be a messy and time-consuming task, as many horse owners are well aware. Finding reliable stable help can be both costly and challenging. Moreover, frequent handling of hay can pose respiratory issues for humans, including allergies, worsened asthma symptoms, and potential long-term lung damage from exposure to irritants.
Hay feeders are available in a variety of sizes and configurations. Also, prices range from $150 to $3,200 (based on 2021 prices). They come in different designs tailored for specific feeding needs, accommodating small quantities of hay or entire bales, be it small square bales or large round bales. Experts categorize certain feeders as “slow feeders,” enabling horses to access only a small amount of hay with each bite. Others are “free choice” feeders, allowing horses to consume as much hay as they desire. Some owners choose to combine a hay net with a free choice feeder. This can regulate the eating rate and reduce hay waste simultaneously. Livestock equipment dealers typically offer a wide selection of hay feeders to choose from.
Just like us, horses need a good balance of nutrients, including salt. But did you know that there are different types of salt for horses? Giving your equine salt every day ensures that their maintenance sodium needs are met, which is vital for hydration. Continue reading for some tips on which types of salt to give your horses. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
What Kind of Salt Should I Use?
Firstly, make sure you’re using sodium chloride and not Lite Salt. Lite Salt is a blend of salt that includes potassium chloride, which will not give your horse its maintenance salt. Sodium chloride comes in many forms, including plain white salt block, iodized salt, sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan salt, and others. To keep your horse’s sodium level balanced, use plain white salt block. However, some horses are known to be picky eaters, in which case use a form of salt your horse prefers. As long as the packaging says sodium chloride, it can be used for horses.
But how much salt does the average horse need to maintain healthy levels? A 1,100-pound horse at maintenance on a cool day needs the amount of sodium provided by about 28 grams of sodium chloride. That is the equivalent of 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons of salt. This might seem like a lot, but remember your horse is a lot bigger than you and therefore needs more than you. If your horse doesn’t like salt-licks, you’ll have to add the sodium straight to their food. You can add the sodium chloride to their feed yourself, so you know they are getting the nutrients they need for hydration. However, you should still keep the block salt around so that your horse can consume more if they want.
Many horse owners see their equine companions as family; even as their children. Just like children, horses can be very stubborn eaters. Finding a diet that’s nutritious and stimulates the horse palate can be very challenging. Here are a few simple tips that you can use to get started when dealing with your stubborn eaters. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Again, just like us, horses have specific preferences for the tastes, textures, and smells of the things they eat. However, nervousness can also play a large role in your horse’s picky habits. This presents a whole new set of challenges. First you must find what is causing your horse’s nervousness. Is it a physical problem? Issues like ulcers or dental problems could cause a horse to turn away from specific foods. If your horse is not nervous, then it could just be your horse’s preferences coming into play. For example, when it comes to grain some horses prefer pelleted feed. Other horses prefer their grain to be more textured.
And there’s more than just texture your horse might be fussing about. Did you know that many feed manufacturers add aromas and flavors to their products? Though these additives are meant to entice your horse, it could be doing the opposite. The answer here is to sample different products to find what your horse prefers. Horses often chose sweet flavors over sour ones, such as lemon and orange. In some cases, some horses have been known to not like grains at all. Nothing says your horse has to eat grain, but they’d have to make up the rest in forage. Remember, an average 1,000-pound horse requires 15-25 pounds of forage every day. If you are having issues with a stubborn eater, always check with your horse’s clinician for nutrition options.
Horses owners know that their horses are just as much a part of the family as uncle John and Aunt Jane. This means that they also deserve a gift for the holidays. Though your horse will no doubt appreciate a new harness or winter blanket, there might be something they’ll like more for the holidays. Homemade horse treats! Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Homemade Horse Treats
Before making equine holiday snacks, take this into consideration. Though some horses can have a few daily snacks, others gain weight easily. This takes knowing your horse’s temperament and habits. Therefore, only give snacks in moderation so it doesn’t interrupt a normal, nutritious diet. Try breaking down the horse treats into very small amounts at first to gauge your horse’s reaction. This way if your horse has a negative reaction, like becoming too hyper, then you can stop giving it to them.
The great thing about holiday horse treats is that you can make them using just about anything that is safe for horses to eat. The most popular ingredients are carrots, apples, oats, molasses and peppermint, but you can substitute what your horse doesn’t like for things that they do. There are a ton of cookies, bars and muffin recipes online that are simple to make and easy to feed. Here are a few horse treat recipes for the holidays that we’ve found popular among our community members. If you have a recipe that you’d like to share with the rest of the Colorado Horse Property community, then please share it in the comments below. And to all the horse owners out there, we wish you and your horse family a happy holiday.
Making sure that your horses have the right nutrition to stay healthy all year long can be a hassle. If you are not prepared that is. There are a few easy things that you can do to make sure that your horse nutrition is up to par. You should always try to provide fresh, temperate water for your animals. Water should be kept at a palatable temperature to encourage drinking and prevent dehydration. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.
Colorado Horse Nutrition
Another thing you can do is use a prebiotic or a potent probiotic to keep the hind gut microbial population healthy. Adding feed to your horses regular food is a great way to improve your animals health. When feeding bran mashes, or any added feed, make sure to continue the trend on a daily basis.
Use a commercial product with added calcium or feed alfalfa to counteract the elevated phosphorus content from the mash. Salt is also important for your horses nutrition. Salt blocks, free choice granulated salt, or adding two tablespoons of table salt to your horse’s meals per day will help a lot. Interested in reading more about horse nutrition? Check out more from our blog on this subject.