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Merck Manual

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Nutrition: Horses and Other Equids

By

Sarah L. Ralston

, VMD, PhD, DACVN, Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University

Last full review/revision Jan 2021 | Content last modified Jan 2021

Horses are maintained for a much longer time than most farm animals and have more varied uses, as athletes and service and companion animals. Feeding programs, therefore, must sustain a long, productive, and athletic life and be varied according to individual needs, unlike food animal feeding programs. The feeding recommendations given below are based on both practical experience and scientific research. Detailed recommendations can be found in Nutrient Requirements of Horses, 6th Ed, published in 2007 by the National Research Council and Equine Applied and Clinical Nutrition, 2013, Geor RJ, Harris PA and Cohen M (eds), Saunders/Elsevier.

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