What You Need to Know about Complete Horse Feed
While most horses graze in the pasture or eat hay, a horse occasionally needs to switch to a complete horse feed. There are many reasons why a complete feed may be more convenient or even necessary to your horse’s health and well-being. It’s important to know when, why, and how to properly feed this type of diet. Here is everything you need to know about complete horse feed.
What is a Complete Horse Feed?
There are many different types of feed for horses. A truly complete horse feed is one that you could feed all by itself, without adding any extra kind of food as a supplement. This is different than a complete concentrate, which is what many horse owners think of as “grain,” a pelleted feed that offers complete nutrition but is generally fed in addition to forage. Many horses are also fed one or more supplements, which usually provides specific nutrients that a horse might be missing in his diet.
In order to be able to be fed all by itself, a complete feed has to have not only a full complement of necessary vitamins and minerals, but also the fiber required to keep a horse’s digestive tract running smoothly. Fiber helps stave off colic by keeping things moving in their intestines. A complete horse feed must have something to replace the fiber found in forage. Usually complete feeds such as hay pellets offer plenty of fiber from alfalfa or grass hay, although other sources of fiber may be used, and the more slowly it’s digested the better.
When to Feed a Complete Feed
There are a variety of times when a complete horse feed may be appropriate for your horse. Especially if your horse has a medical or dental condition which prevents him from eating or digesting forage. This could be caused by anything from bad teeth to digestive tract problems. Some horse owners decide to feed a complete feed because it’s more convenient for them during periods of travel or because they need to be able to monitor their horse’s caloric or nutritional intake more closely than feeding forage allows.
How to Feed a Complete Feed
Boredom can be a huge problem for any horse that isn’t allowed to eat in the pasture. Horses are wired to graze 16 hours a day, so a complete horse feed that allows them to eat more quickly also leaves them with nothing to do for long periods of time. This idleness can be rough on horses, even leading to bad habits such as cribbing, windsucking, and weaving.
The best solution is to make sure your horse has plenty to do. For instance, it may help to break up his feeding regimen into many smaller meals each day. You can feed them as often as you like, as long as the overall daily amount stays the same. Feeding your horse more often is also better for both his mind and his body.
Another way to keep your horse busy is to work him more often. This could mean riding, lunging, or even just turning him out at least once a day, more if he seems to be having a difficult time with the empty hours.
Where to Buy Complete Feed
Whatever you feed your horse, it’s important to make sure it comes from a trusted source. Ask questions about the ingredients that go into the feed, the nutritional content, and how the mill guarantees quality. For more information about our complete horse feed and why our quality is superior, please contact Sacate Pellet Mills at 602-237-3809.