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Answer Exchange

  • Q:

    Can I feed corn and cob mix to my horses?

  • A:

    Loosely defined, corn and cob mix (CCM) is a blend of dried kernels and chopped corn cob. CCM is a versatile feedstuff for cattle and finishing pigs because it serves as a high-fiber, high-energy alternative to grains. Limited information is available regarding its value and use in horse diets, though. If CCM is to be included in a ration, a nutrient analysis should be performed prior to formulating a diet, as nutrient variability occurs frequently with CCM.

    Processed corn (cracked, steam-flaked) is commonly used as an energy source in horse diets due to its starch content. When fed in large amounts, high-starch, low-fiber corn can lead to digestive upset. Corn is also low in protein and deficient in many vitamins and minerals, and therefore requires precise inclusion rates in rations, especially those designed for growing horses.

    Another important factor is awareness and risk management of mold and mycotoxin contamination when feeding CCM, ground ear corn, and corn screenings. Horses are extremely susceptible to the effects of fumonisin contamination.

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