Friday, June 14, 2013

Fodder/Forage/Hay/Grass is important!


Horses are biologically designed to eat 20 hours per day. Unlike deer, they are not browsers, they are grazers. Chewing produces saliva, which helps buffer stomach acids. On a pasture/hay diet a horse normally produces up to 10 gallons of saliva per day. When there is less for the horse to eat all day, less saliva is produced which translates into less buffering of the stomach acids. This can result in an increased imbalance of the bacteria in the stomach, and increased production of stomach acid, and thus the potential increase in gastric ulcers. If the stomach becomes more acidic than it should be, gas is produced by bacterial fermentation, and the result can be pain, colic, or even stomach wall rupture.

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