The calculations for the amount of energy in your horse’s diet (and yours) is based on a platinum-iridium bar made in 1885.
That bar weighs exactly one kilogram (1,000 grams or about 2.2 pounds). It is kept at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, France. Copies of the bar are kept at various governmental weights and measures agencies around the world.
What does that bar have to do with energy in a diet? It is the international standard for the metric system. The metric system is used in nutrition calculations.
Over the years we develop many habits – some good and some not so good.
Habits are behaviors which become automatic over years of repetitiveness. Adding a new habit to our daily routine takes effort and concentration.
Why is small 60 feet in length and large only 25 feet?
It’s a question about the equine intestine that could keep you awake at night. When you know the answer you’ll sleep more soundly.
A horse’s meal leaves the stomach through the pyloric sphincter and enters the small intestine – a tube that is approximately 60 feet in length and holds about 15 gallons of material.
Through the lips, over the gums…look out stomach! Here it comes!
Once the horse has sorted, chewed and softened feed with salvia he swallows. The slurry travels down the esophagus and into the stomach.
The esophagus, a muscular tube about fifty inches in the average horse, leads to the stomach.
A horse chokes if a foreign object blocks the esophagus. This object may be an apple, corn cob, hay cube, a wad of improperly chewed feed or baler twine. Horses can choke on most anything…
The equine esophagus could also be blocked by a growth (tumor) or scar tissue from trauma (a previous choke episode or damage to the sensitive tissue because of a medical procedure).
Symptoms of choke in horses:
Do you know what happens to expensive grain and hay during its long journey to become manure?
Equine lips have almost a prehensile (adapted to wrap or fold around an object) ability. They can separate oral additives from grain, chose the tender shoots of grass and untie a lead rope.
A horse’s meal starts at the lips which gather feed and make it available to the teeth. Desirable grass is collected by the lips and presented to the incisors for snipping and moved back with the tongue to the molars for grinding. Loose products (for example – grain and hay) are collected and moved directly back to the molars.
Horses have no trouble determining where to poop, as opposed to the confusion facing some humans these days.
Most confined horses will designate a “latrine” area – whether in a turnout, pasture or stall. My own horses will leave their hay, walk across the turnout, relieve themselves in the favored corner and return to eating.
High in digestible fiber.
Low glycemic index.
10% crude protein.
What is this miracle feed for horses? Beet pulp!
After sugar is extracted from beets the left over pulp is a form of highly digestible fiber suitable for horses. Beet pulp contains 18.0% crude fiber, which puts it on the borderline of being classified as forage.