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Cracked Corn

This is a discussion on Cracked Corn within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
  • Iscracked corn good for horses
  • Is cracked corn good for horses

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    02-12-2014, 10:58 AM
  #11
Super Moderator
I wouldn't waste money on cracked corn - the horses find it hard to digest if they don't chew it really well and most of it gets pooped out 'untouched'
In the UK we can get micronized maize flakes (Corn) which is very good for putting weight on horses and a good winter feed for horses that live out and need extra calories to keep them warm but its not available in the US as far as I know - its also 'high energy' so not great for a horse that's a bit fizzy or not in fitness work
We used to feed boiled oats to the show horses (cooked in a boiler or small amounts in a pressure cooker) to get show condition on them. For some reason it doesn't make horses hyper when you feed them like that and is good for weight gain
     
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    02-12-2014, 11:04 AM
  #12
Weanling
Once upon a time, I had a horse that was a little under weight, and my farrier at the time (you know, the BEST one around ) told me to feed her corn. It would help put on weight, AND help keep her teeth smoother.

She colicked and died about 2 months after we started her on the corn. This is what the vet had to say:

Corn. Is. Bad.

Could he say definitely that it was the corn that did it? No. But he did say that corn is extremely hard to digest, it sits in the hind gut and ferments, causing quite a lot of pain and gas. Its not worth feeding, and really doesn't do much for weight gain.

I should have asked the vet to begin with. He said rice bran oil, flax seed oil, and beet pulp are the best things you can give a horse for weight gain. Its easy to digest, AIDS in digestion, is great for their skin and they can eat it along with their regular feed/ hay schedule and be fine.

I would stay as far away from corn as you can. If your horse needs weight, give her some beet pulp. You can't go wrong with it.
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    02-12-2014, 01:17 PM
  #13
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
In very cold weather we added about 1/2c of coarse ground corn to their pellets. The horses were in good shape, but I don't know if the corn contributed to that. People carry on like oats are toxic. Oats are higher in protein than hay and when horses actually worked for a living they needed the extra protein to carry them between feedings. This was pretty much the origins of the one hour lunch break, to allow the horses to refuel and rest. Oats are cheap. They have a reputation for making a horse hot headed but there's a direct correlation between quantity fed and being locked up in a stall.
Oats are not higher protein than hay. Oats are 9% protein, whereas the average for grass hay is 11% (according to Equi-Analytical)
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    02-12-2014, 02:20 PM
  #14
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry4Me    
Once upon a time, I had a horse that was a little under weight, and my farrier at the time (you know, the BEST one around ) told me to feed her corn. It would help put on weight, AND help keep her teeth smoother.

She colicked and died about 2 months after we started her on the corn. This is what the vet had to say:

Corn. Is. Bad.

Could he say definitely that it was the corn that did it? No. But he did say that corn is extremely hard to digest, it sits in the hind gut and ferments, causing quite a lot of pain and gas. Its not worth feeding, and really doesn't do much for weight gain.

I should have asked the vet to begin with. He said rice bran oil, flax seed oil, and beet pulp are the best things you can give a horse for weight gain. Its easy to digest, AIDS in digestion, is great for their skin and they can eat it along with their regular feed/ hay schedule and be fine.

I would stay as far away from corn as you can. If your horse needs weight, give her some beet pulp. You can't go wrong with it.
I DO NOT FEED IT TO MY HORSE I was always told corn is bad but the BO feeds it to his an suggested it to me! I said no he also puts BLEACH in water trough!!!! what's your opinion on that.
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    02-12-2014, 02:40 PM
  #15
Showing
Bleach in the water trough is fine, especially since it's only a capful. Since it is well water, the bleach will help to prevent micro-organisms from reproducing in the water and making it nasty. My horses get their drinking water from the city water tower, where all the water is treated with chlorine. Never had a single problem because of it.

As for the corn, generally it's not the best feed. As others have said, it's mostly starch and not easily digested. IME, corn is usually added to sweet feeds as a filler with no real nutritional value. I do remember back years and years ago when we were feeding sweet feeds that I would often find lots of completely intact corn kernels in the poop when I was mucking stalls.


ETA: If a horse is having trouble keeping weight, I prefer something like alfalfa pellets and a bit of canola or vegetable oil to add protein and fat to the diet in a manner that is healthy and easily digestible.
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    02-12-2014, 03:19 PM
  #16
Weanling
Bleach in the water trough is not at all uncommon, is a common practice at a well known barn I used to manage, helps keep undesirable things from growing in the water.
     
    02-12-2014, 03:22 PM
  #17
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberlyrae1993    
[size=1]Posted via Mobile Device[/size

My BO is an older man set in his way.. I pay nothing to board there.. but I feed my own feed not his he suggested it but my horse is underweight so I have her on good diet but he also puts a cap of bleach in his water trough.. I think is bizarre..

Oh, how I do wish all horse owners had to take, and pass , a class on horse nutrition and digestion.

All grains are bad for horses. Corn is the worst, followed by oats and (I believe) barley (but it's been a while since my studies so barley might not be in the top 3). The grains fed have historically based on what was most readily available and "cheap" , but that's not what's important here.

Grains are bad for the same reasons. To much NSC on the nutritional side, but just as bad (and in many ways worse) is that it negatively impacts their digestive health by impacting the number of the microbes that horses must have in the hindgut to digest the long fiber which are crucial to the best health of a horse. Grains also result in an increase in microbes that thrive on grains, but are not good for the horse's health and digestion. (so much for the cheat notes, of the Readers Digest version of one chapter, in a class on equine nutrition )
I'm sure that today you can dig a lot of this up on line. A class gives more details, but the basics of the importance of what's best should all be available online.

As for needed to put weight on your horse. The best two items I'm aware of (and have tried) are beet pulp and copra.
Both are healthy for the horse, easy to digest, provide more nutrition and calories/lb and are low in NSC and sugar (unless the beet pulp has molasses added, in which case you'll need to soak and drain it off)
Beet pulp is fiber that digests very easy in the hindgut using up less calories in the process.
Copra digest supper easily before ever reaching the hindgut and provides loads of calories/energy straight into the system.
(Don't advise either of these for easy keepers unless you are working them hard and keeping them monitored).
     
    02-12-2014, 03:26 PM
  #18
Yearling
"super" easy (I know how to spell, but my fingers don't)
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    02-12-2014, 05:47 PM
  #19
Trained
Was going to question the 'oats are high protein' but Verona beat me to it They're high in starch & have a fair amount of phosphorus(not usually otherwise lacking anyway) & that's about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by its lbs not miles    
All grains are bad for horses. Corn is the worst, followed by oats and (I believe) barley (but it's been a while since my studies so barley might not be in the top 3).
Agree with you generally, but what makes you say oats are among the worst?? I understood, as you have also explained, that digestibility & starch content were the biggest probs, which makes corn about the worst, but oats are quite low in starch(in comparison with other cereal grain) and easy to digest - nutritionists advise they're the one exception to needing to be processed.
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    02-12-2014, 06:25 PM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoySi    
Bleach in the water trough is not at all uncommon, is a common practice at a well known barn I used to manage, helps keep undesirable things from growing in the water.
Oh cool thanks I've never heard of it so was worried.
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