Feeding Your Horse in Cold Weather

Many horse owners believe that when the weather is cold, horses need to be fed rations containing more corn, because they think of corn as a “heating” feed. However, corn and other cereal grains do not cause the horse to become warmer; they simply provide more energy (calories) to the horse. Hay, which contains more fiber than grain, provides more of a warming effect internally, as more heat is released during the digestion of fiber than of starch from grain. Therefore, horses are more able to maintain body heat if adequate hay is provided in the diet.
However, it is often necessary to supplement a horse’s winter ration with additional grain to boost calorie supplies.

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