As you take care of your horses, does it ever interest you to give them sweet feeds? Will the food help your horses or make them have bad health? Well, here we’ll talk about the sweet feed for horses.
This feed will tend to work well for some horses. But it can also be a problem for some other horses. So, it means they have both a good and bad side as you give them to your horses.
Also, if it’s a must that you give your horse a sweet feed, you can get some other choices. They’ll work in the same way as the sweet food.
So, let’s begin right away. We shall first understand the meaning of sweet feed for horses.
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What are Sweet Foods for Horses?
These feeds are a group of many grain foods given to the horses. The grains are things like oats, corn, other grasses, additions, minerals, and vitamins. Also, these foods have a high amount of molasses in them.
You can call them ‘the hot dogs’ of horses. When you buy these foods, you’ll get them in a bag. The makers of such things also give you a plan on how your horse will eat the food.
So, these foods try to give your horse a collection of many nutrients but in one meal. It is something that some horses love, but others will treat it like trash.
Remember, some of these nutrients in the sweet feeds are the same as those in other feeds. Take, for example, a sweet meal that has both corn and oat grass. It’s better than giving your horse oat or corn alone.
How to Make a Sweet Feed for Horses?
Here, the first thing is to pick on what you’d want to be in the sweet foods. So, after that, you can use the grain as they are or crush them. One can easily see the grains in the mix.
If a firm has made the feed, they’ll list the grains in the mix by name. It helps the user know what is in the mix without going ahead to check inside the sack.
Also, on the pack, there are protein and vitamin supplements. The smallest amount of each nutrient in the mix is also on the sack. But for the crude fat, you’ll see the highest level written on the pack.
One can’t forget to use molasses. It’s something that makes the mix to be sweet.
This thing also reduces the weight of the feeds. So, it will be easy for the horses to eat and light for you to carry.
Remember, one can add water to make the feed less sticky. It will also make the pellets (supplements) not be away from the mix. When the horse eats the meal, it will miss none of the elements in the feed.
Judy Marteniuk, a professor from Michigan University, would say that dry molasses won’t bring the nutrients together. Also, the depth of the feed will reduce.
Uses of Sweet Feed for Horses
Yes, this feed doesn’t contain all nutrients and can’t suit every horse. But still, some reasons should push you to buy these foods for your horse. Keep reading to see how you can use these feeds.
1. A Source of Energy
Expect your horse to get more power once they eat these foods. Horses are animals that love to take part in many activities that take more of their energy. So, these sweet feeds will be a good pick for them.
You can give it to racehorses, working ones, farm horses, and the ones that are growing. Also, the lactating ones can take these foods. It helps them regain more power while in their state.
This energy will come from the grains inside the sweet feed mix. Remember, it will be easy for the horses to break down the grains and get power in their bodies.
But it would be best if you didn’t have the myth that your horse will mainly need grains in the mix to grow well. How it survives will vary with the quality of the mix.
Most horses will need vitamins, minerals, or protein supplements to help them grow fast. They don’t always need more calories.
2. Increases the Horse’s Appetite
Your horse will improve on its appetite or eating habits once it starts using the sweet feed. Sometimes, a horse might not have the zeal to eat. At other times, the horse might not be eating well due to something that keeps stressing them.
Many horses can get this benefit from the sweet feed. But the ones that will enjoy it the most are the young ones in the weaning stage.
Changing from one eating habit to another might be tricky. If you use the sweet feed, things will turn to be easy for them.
These young ones will prefer the sweet feed mix. After that, you’ll know the food that each of the young horses likes.
But remember, most young ones will prefer to eat other foods in the mix rather than pellets or supplements. They’ll start eating the pellets better as they keep growing.
3. Improves the Gut
Every horse needs to chew more food in a day to have a better gut. Well, it’s what the sweet feed will give your horse. Also, there will be less fermentation of starch.
As any horse eats, they’ll need more saliva to regulate the pH of the stomach. But the slight belly in their body makes it quite hard. It can hold small amounts of meals at a given time.
So, if a horse can’t get something to chew, it will become hard to make more saliva. The GI system will be in danger if it doesn’t have something to chew every time. Also, it will tempt them to chew anything around.
But with sweet feeds around your horse, expect it to have a better gut. If your horse eats very fast, it won’t have any choking problems. It is because the horse will need to chew the feeds for a long time before it swallows.
4. Gives the Ease of Feeding
Sometimes, it can be hard to keep your hay or other foods for your horse. But sweet feeds can give you a lasting solution. Since they come as a package, you can buy some tiny amounts of food that can suit your horse over a given time.
So, every week, it will be easy to feed your horse without the worry of the feed losing its quality. Your work will just be picking some small amounts and giving them to your horse.
Also, it will help you make an easy feeding schedule for your horse. The result will mean that the feeding habits of or your horse will improve.
Remember, the feeds will always be available. So, when it’s your time to feed the horse, you don’t spend time preparing it.
5. You can Use to Give Medications
Some people use these feeds to give medications to their horses. It’s because the meals can mix well and easily with the drugs. The wet molasses will place the medication together with the grains well.
But it’s not every medication that will work well with this method. So, it would be best to check with your vet to seek a better way to give the medication. Your horse will eat well and heal from the disease using the drugs.
Other Choices for Horse’s Sweet Feed
If your horses can’t cope well with sweet feeds, it shouldn’t worry you. Also, you might fail to afford the costs of these feeds. Some other options will work the same way when you give your horse.
Some grains and food products in the stores will help you. You can go for Purina or Tribute. Remember, since sweet feed doesn’t have a roughage, it’s good to give your horse some hay after taking the sweet meal.
Pros of Sweet Feed for Horses
Here’s are the good things that come with giving your horse a sweet feed.
- You can use it to give some medications.
- It gives the baby horses more energy, fats, and proteins in one package.
- Also, it’s available in many stores.
- They are cheaper than pellets.
- It improves the GI tract of the horse through the chewing factor.
Cons of Sweet Feed for Horses
These feeds also have cons. Please take a look at them.
- Not every horse would love to take such feeds.
- The molasses can also make the feed spoil fast during hot weather.
- Also, the molasses can bring around flies which can harm the horse’s health.
If you always keep your horse at home, you should consider giving it the sweet feed. It will work only if your horse accepts the feed. The horses will give you’re an easy time to keep and feed your horse.
Even if it doesn’t give your horse all the nutrients, it will improve the GI tract of the horse. Also, these feeds are suitable for your young horses that are in the weaning stage.
They are cheaper than pellet foods. But they are more costly than hay foods.
So, do you plan on getting some sweet feeds for your horse? If you’ve ever given your horse some sweet feed, how did it react? Please share your thoughts with us.