How Much To Feed

Mature horses will generally eat 1.5 to 2.5 per cent dry matter of their bodyweight per day, depending on the type of feed and variation between individual horses. Growing foals may eat up to 3 per cent of their bodyweight in a day.

Table 1 can be used as a guide to the amounts of roughage and concentrate required when fully hand feeding various classes of horses. These amounts must be adjusted to take into account variations in feed quality and individual needs.

When you are feeding a supplement, the amounts fed will depend on the amount and quality of grazing available.

Table 1. Feed required by horses per 100 kg liveweight
Idle 1.5  
Light work (2 hours/day) 1.25–1.5 0.5–0.75
Medium work (2 hours/day) 1.25–1.75 1.0
Heavy work  (4 hours/day) 1.0 1.0–1.5
Unweaned foals (145–160 kg) 0.5–0.75 0.5–0.75
Weanlings (160–200 kg) 1.5–2.0 1.0–1.5
Yearlings (200–320 kg) 1.25–1.75 0.75–1.25
Rising 2-year-olds (320–420 kg) 1.0–1.5 0.5–1.0
Pregnant/lactating mares (400–650 kg) 0.75–1.5 0.75–1.5
Stallions (400–650 kg) 0.75–1.25 0.75–1.25

Commercial mixes that contain grain, protein meals, minerals and vitamins can be useful as a supplement to available roughages and are often cheaper and more convenient to feed than grain and high-protein concentrates bought separately.

The Equine

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