Regardless of their size, all equines have the same basic nutritional needs. Each animal must consume enough water, forage, and (possibly) grain to meet the requirements of growth, tissue repair, reproduction, exercise, and maintenance of all body systems. Factors such as body size, age, breed, work, climate, health status, and metabolism affect the type and amount of hay, pasture, and grain a particular horse should be given.
Pica is the desire to eat unusual substances that possess little or no nutritional value, such as dirt, wood, hair, and feces. This phenomenon has been observed in horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes.
Enteritis is an inflammation of the small intestine. More specifically, anterior (or proximal) enteritis affects the duodenum and jejunum, sections of the small intestine anatomically closest to the stomach.
Depending upon the severity of the disease, horses may have to receive nutrition parenterally (intravenously) during treatment. This is particularly true if a bout of anterior enteritis lasts longer than three or four days.
Continuous ingestion of feedstuffs keeps the digestive tract running smoothly. Modern management practices dictate that many horses remain in confinement for long periods of time with limited or no access to pasture.
Feeding horses properly is not difficult. Reliance upon an educated horseman, a veterinarian, or an equine nutritionist is paramount if a feeding management question arises. This is particularly true when confronted with an old wives' tale.
While some old-fashioned feeding practices remain pertinent in this day and age, others have fallen by the wayside. Over the last several decades, research has debunked some commonly held beliefs concerning the nutritional management of horses.
<p> What do people mean when they refer to “foreign material” in hay?</p>
<p> Can I do anything nutritionally to continue to help my horse recover from Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis?</p>
<p> How can I tell if my horse is choking?</p>
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