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Cold Weather Tips for Horsemen

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Radio Transcript

Date:                 November 23, 2020
Agent:               Damon Pollard

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center. Today’s topic is Cold Weather Tips for Horsemen.

With winter finally showing its presence, horse owners can help their horse stay warmer and more comfortable in extremely cold weather by providing some form of shelter, extra nutrition and warm water when the mercury is low.

Horses need some type of shelter and it doesn’t necessarily need to be a box stall. Run in shelters work well; however, even a line of evergreen trees or the leeward side of a building helps to keep the prevailing wind from robbing critical body heat from a horse’s long winter coat.

By feeding extra hay or fibrous grain during temperature extremes, you can help your horse generate extra body heat. Feed 5% more hay between 20°& 32°F or 2lbs of whole oats, in addition to the regular grain fed and between 10-20°F, feed 10% more hay, or 4 lbs of whole oats. Feed 15% more hay or 6lbs of whole oats when temperatures are below 10°F. It is best not to exceed more than 6lbs if grain per feeding, and don’t use crimped oats.

Another recommendation is to provide clean fresh warm water to encourage more water consumption and aid in reducing impaction colic. Always provide trace-mineralized salt. Loose salt is better than blocks for horses. If your horses are not consuming enough or any salt, add 1-2oz. to the daily ration, which increases water consumption.

This is Damon Pollard, Livestock agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center. If you would like more information please call us at 764-9480.