Horse owners and other livestock producers have traditionally classified certain feeds as either horse feed, cattle feed or hog feed. Many horse owners believed they had to feed their horses oats and timothy hay and generally paid higher prices for these feeds. Now they have realized that these higher costs were not justified.
Today, horse owners are more aware of alternate feedstuffs. They realize that oats, corn, grain sorghum, timothy hay, alfalfa hay, soybean meal and cottonseed meal are simply sources of basic nutrients. There is nothing magic about any of these feeds; they are simply a way to meet the nutrient requirements of horses.
Feedstuffs divide easily into three categories: forages (pasture and hay), energy feeds (grains) and protein sources (soybean meal and cottonseed meal). All three feedstuffs (forages, grains and protein sources) are important and are used in varying amounts depending on activity, stage of production or age of the horse.
This fact sheet will discuss all three feed categories and then illustrate how these feeds can be used in rations for horses with different stages of growth and production requirements.
"TNH0006-Rations for Horses," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, TNH-0006 3/03 E12-4415-00-021-03, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexani/18