During the winter your horses requires special care, particularly during freezing conditions in order to maintain their health and wellbeing. It is vitally important that your equine stays warm and nourished so here at The Soaker we thought we would provide our Five Top Tips for winter feeding.
Ensure water is available constantly.
In cold weather when your water tanks and troughs are susceptible to freezing over break the ice at least twice a day, and try adding hot water where possible to your horse’s drinking water in order to keep is from freezing.
Provide generous amounts of hay or haylage at least twice daily
When grazing is covered by snow or frozen hard, it is essential to provide a source of fibre for our equines in the form of hay. This keeps the gut healthy and mobile and as the horse digests fibre the fermentation process of the roughage literally warms him up from the inside out. In order to boost the water content of the hay soak it in The Soaker providing 1-2 gallons of water per soaked flake to keep your horse hydrated.
Consider adding a feed balancer or supplement to the diet
In order to provide essential micronutrients during the winter time when the nutrients in the grass are depreciated, consider either feeding a suitable feed balancer or adding a vitamin and mineral supplement to the diet.
Keep the weight and the blanket on!
If your horse is stabled over the wintertime then be careful turning out during the day in snow or ice, your horse can easily slip or trip and injure himself. If he is still getting to enjoy regular turnout ensure your equine is sufficiently blanketed in order to make sure he doesn’t lose energy, calories and weight in order to keep warm.
Avoid turning your horse out on cold, frosted grass. This is because the fructan level can be the highest after a frost and these fructans can cause your horse to develop laminitis. Fructans serve a protective function within grass as they are able to convert to other sugars and substances allowing the grass to withstand below freezing temperatures. The greatest amount of fructan storage in these grasses happens when ambient temperature cools to just above freezing. So if you see frost on the grass, this fructan accumulation has occurred in order to prepare to protect the grass from the freezing temperatures and you should avoid turning out or provide ample hay soaked in The Soaker as an alternative forage source.
So welcome the winter everyone and simply plan carefully and put your correct feeding measures in place so winter can simply breeze by!
For more information about The Soaker visit the website www.healyourhay.com