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Feeding horses in winter; what you need to know.

by Megan M on

Keeping your horse's weight stable during winter can be challenging as horses need extra energy to keep warm and the pasture may not provide enough nutrition. To maintain weight, horses need an adequate amount of roughage, which should make up 1-1.5% of their body weight per day. A 500 kg horse needs around 5-7.5 kg of forage daily.

One alternative to traditional hay or chaff is MultiCube Hay Cubes. These cubes are a nutritionally consistent and digestible option with no added ingredients, and they generate less waste since they are dense and easy to portion control. In addition, hay cubes can be safely fed in windy winter conditions and are less likely to cause dust-related respiratory problems.

For older horses, hay cubes can also be soaked to make a warm winter mash that is easy to swallow. This way, owners can provide their horses with the fiber necessary for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. MultiCube Hay Cubes come in different forage options to suit individual horse needs, including Lucerne Hay Cubes for horses in work, Lucerne and Oaten Hay Cubes for competition horses, Teff and Lucerne for horses on a low sugar diet, and Pasture Hay Cubes for all-round maintenance.

It's important to note that during winter, horses tend to drink less water and are at a higher risk of colic and choke. Unlike chaff, hay cubes retain the fiber length through the cubing process, which promotes chewing and saliva production. This helps the forage move down the oesophagus and neutralizes stomach acid, reducing the risk of stomach ulcers.

Hay cubes also provide a solution for horses with digestive issues. The retention of fiber length in hay cubes helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system, which is essential for the absorption of nutrients from feed. Without adequate fiber in the diet, horses may experience weight loss, muscle loss, poor coat and skin, loose stools, and lethargy. Hay cubes can provide the necessary fiber for gut health and overall well-being, making them a suitable option for all horses.

For more information on MultiCube Hay Cubes, contact the company or visit their website.