Horse Populations in the World
According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) of the United Nations, world populations of horses are about 58.5 million. Among which it is estimated that nine countries have more than a million horse. USA has the the world’s largest horse population of 10.15 million, then China is the second that has 6.77 million, and Americas have three other countries in the “top 5” — Mexico has 6.35 million, Brazil with 5.5 million, and Argentina with 3.59 million. Horse populations of other countries that exceeded one million were Mongolia with 2.112 million, Ethiopia with 2.028 million, Kazakhstan with 1.528 million, and the Russian Federation with 1.340 million.
In 2011, European horse populations were 5.8 million. Australian horse numbers have increased slightly, from 256,413 in 2009, to 259,467 in 2011, while New Zealand has 56,505 horses.
If you do not want your horse quickly decline in performance or generate a series of health problems, owners have to provide proper nutrition to horse as people often say “you are what you eat”, the same is also true for the horse.
In order to make horse live a long, healthy life and perform his best, two most significant nutritional factors to offer to horse are water and forage—pasture grass or hay. Some horses can maintain healthy weight on forage without additional grain or feed, while for some horses especially those in rigorous training programs would need more than that.
Types of Horse Feed
Grains here mean cereal plants grown, harvested and used as horse feed. Grains can provide nutrients and carbohydrates for horse. For horses, the most common grain is oats which are also easy to digest. Apart from oats, corn and barley are also popular horse feeds to offer energy and weight. Some people also mix sorghum and wheat with other grains to use as horse feeds.
It is also called as textured feed, textured concentrate and concentrate mix which is a fairly sticky blend grain-based feed and sold by bag. Sweet feed mainly contains grains (such as oats, barley, corn) and protein, minerals, vitamins with high levels of molasses. Grains contained is wholly or coarsely crushed and plainly visible in the mix. Sweet feed is also chewier than other forms of feed, so with more saliva production it can encourage better horse digestion. With high molasses content, sweet feeds become an ideal choice for those who want to encourage horses to eat more and have an extra boost of energy.
Pelleted feeds are made by grinding up grains, proteins, vitamins and minerals, then using heat and moisture to form them into pellets. Compared with unprocessed grains, pelleted feeds are uniform and more easy to digest especially for foals, weanlings and older horses.
Disadvantages of Grains
As to using grains to feed horse, there is one thing to pay attention, kernels and hulls of sorghum and wheat are too hard for horse to eat and digest, so they should be processed before feeding.
Drawbacks of Sweet Feeds
☞Even though sweet feed is a go-to feed, its high sugar content makes it quite harmful just like sugar for people. People don’t let children to have sugary candy for dinner, so is the same for horses. Too much sugar is bad for their teeth and not good for their bodies.
☞ Sweet feed is sticky, however some horses can still pick out the grains that it doesn’t like to eat and leave healthy behind. Moreover, molasses content can also attract flies.
☞ During hot, humid weather molasses content makes sweet feed more likely to caking and spoiling, while in winter makes it more prone to freezing. This problem becomes more sticky if you store sweet feeds in a bulk bin.
☞ For horse with certain health problems, such as insulin, metabolic syndrome, polysaccharide storage myopathy, sweet feeds is certainly not a good choice.
Why Adopting Pelleted Feeds?
♡Pelleted feeds are made of feed that ground into particles formerly, so pellets are much more digestible than whole grains or hay, which is especially a better choice for very young or old horses, or for horses that have mouth or tooth problem. For those elderly horses that have little or no teeth pellets can also be soaked into a mush.
♡Horses can’t sort out feeds in pelleted type. If you have horses that always sort out ingredients to eat and leave the rest, it probably doesn’t get the nutrition that is designed to deliver. However with pelleted feed, horses have no choice but to eat the whole pellets. In this way, horses can get balanced nutrition that owners want to deliver.
♡Without molasses content, pelleted feeds are easier to store in special weather. Pellets can also remain fresh for a long time because some special ingredients are added to preserve its storage life.
♡Pellets have high density and small size, so they are easy to transport and move around.
♡Pelleted feeds are also economical because making horse feeds pellets cost much less than buying feed pellets. Moreover pellets provide more energy with less bulk and readily available.
How to Make Horse Feed Pellets?
First, raw ingredients have to ground into powder, so one horse feed hammer mill is a must for grinding up raw materials. Then ground powder has to be separated by a sieve to make sure powder meet requirements.
Second, feed mixer is needed to mix processed raw materials. During these processes, vitamins, protein, minerals are added to raise the nutritional value of feed pellets.
Third, mixed materials are fed into a feed pellet mill to be extruded into pellets under high temperature and high pressure.
As the pellets to be extruded has high temperature, so pellets cooler is a necessary to cool the heat. Next pellets packer can be adopted if you have bagging requirements.
Tips to Pay Attention
Brains, including wheat and rice barn are not suitable to be regarded as major part of your horse’s diet because they may cause mineral imbalances. Besides, such things like tomatoes, acorns, cauliflowers, kale, cabbage are also can not fed to your horses.