Barley is an important ingredient in many pre mixed horse feeds. A lot of barley is grown around the world and the grain belts in the globe have it in plenty. The availability of barley in the pasture will determine if it will be an essential component in the horses diet or not. The grain competition is mostly between the brewing and farming industry.
Barley As Horse Feed
Barley can be a great addition in the diet for your horse since it lies in between corn and oats in terms of nutritional value. Corn has a higher percentage of nutrients than barley while oats have less. Barley is able to provide the horse with surplus digestible energy which makes it more commonly selected type of feed as compared to oats. Barley is not a perfect feed for horses but it is ideal in putting them in a certain condition. Barley does not have vitamins A and D which means the horse owner has to find other feeds with these vitamins to add to the diet or add supplements. The phosphorous levels and the calcium ratio in barley are also very low which means other sources of the two nutrients have to be put in the diet by the horse owner.
Prior to feeding barley to horses they need to be cooked, rolled or crushed. When rolling and crushing, the grain should not be crushed in a way that it becomes too fine. When it is being cooked this should be done without having to roll or crush the grain first. The owner needs to be extremely careful about the condition of the grain they feed their horse because when it is fed in an improper state it can accumulate in the stomach of the horse causing it to colic. The normal digestive system of the horse requires feed that is mostly available in the forage diets but absent in barley.
Feeding barley to horses is very beneficial such as in their regulation to ensure that they do not exhibit a “hot” behaviour all the time. Rather than putting your horse in a certain condition barley is also important due to its nutritional value. Every kilogram of barley contain about 33to to 3600 calories. The total percentage of nutrients that can be digested is about eighty two percent, fourteen percent crude protein, six percent of crude fibre, 0.05% calcium and phosphorous of about 0.38%.