Horses require a forage based ration fed at 1-1.5% of their body weight(kg) – meaning an average 500kg horse needs 5-7.5kg of forage per day.
Conventionally this has been fed as hay and chaff most commonly.
Now, of course feed requirements depend on the age, size, condition and work level of the horse. Horses who are in work or underweight are fed closer to 1.5-2% and those who are overweight are fed closer to 1%.
How much of the cubes do I feed?
The percentage of roughage fed is a combination of your forages. Our Hay Cubes aim to decrease the amount of hay fed, and eliminate the need for other fiber sources such as chaffs.
Our Hay Cubes are fed by weight not volume – for example an owner feeding 2 kgs of hay or chaff per day, would substitute this with 2 kgs of Hay Cubes.
Introducing Cubes Into Your Horses Diet
As with any new feed, Hay Cubes are best introduced gradually. Offering individual Hay Cubes as a treat allows horses and ponies to readily accept the alternative form. Fresh drinking water should always be available.
We have found horses to have preferences of how they like their cubes – so it’s a good thing they can be fed to accommodate this.
Hay Cubes can be fed dry, soaked (with the same volume of water as cubes given) or sprinkled with water. Try the different ways on your horses and see which way their prefer.
Which cubes are best for my horse?
Which cubes are best is dependent on many things such as age, workload and underlying medical conditions. We always recommend consulting your Veterinarian or Nutritionist if you have complicated health concerns. However we can offer some basic options for you.
Horses that are in consistent work and performing require energy and protein to ensure optimal health and function. Our Lucerne & Oaten Cubes or Lucerne Cubes are great for this.
For those horses who are sensitive to Lucerne we also offer Pasture Hay Cubes which are Clover, Rye & Oaten.
These days metabolic diseases such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome/ Insulin Resistance (EMS/ IR) and Equine Cushings (PPID) are becoming more frequently diagnosed. These horses can be harder to manage because they need to keep their sugar levels consistently low. MultiCube offers a Lucerne & Teff Hay Cube which has been found to have a low WSC/ ESC. The benefit of the Lucerne & Teff Hay Cube is that the horses receive the protein needed for muscle and hoof growth, whilst ensuring they do not consume too much sugar.
Unfortunately due to the nature of the Teff Hay we have not yet been able to create a Teff only Cube – however this may change in the future.
Estimating your horses weight
Feeding your horse appropriately is very important.
You will often see us and many others recommend horses be fed at certain percentages of their body weight. This is all well and good if your horse has stepped on a scale recently, or you have a weight tape in your back pocket. But what if you’re not sure of your horses weight?
There are many simple ways to estimate your horses weight, and you will see a formula below to help you. This is based on the length and girth of your horse – it is important to measure from the points illustrated on the picture.
Horse owners should be familiar with how to Body Condition Score (BCS) their horses. This helps you determine if you’re feeding too little or too much. There are two commonly used BCS scales – one out of 5 and one out of 9. We have illustrated the one out of 5 below.
** It is important to remember that all feeding recommendations are based on the average horse – there are variations between breed, age, exercise regime and health status **