Feeding Horses Corn? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Question Feeding Horses Corn?

I was planning on going to town this tuesday but unfortunetly we cant. Anywas because we were planning on going to town I did not worry about my horse's feed finishing, and we are going next week, But all the feed I have left for my one horse is about 1 or 2 days worth. I dont want to feed her my other horse's feed because they are specially formulated for them. And my only option is the molasses covered cracked corn we feed our goats, and the scratch grain we feed our chickens. Both of these have corn and I am unsure about corn, and I dont want to leave her grainless for a week+, so can i give her corn? I heard from people that corn is bad for horses, and some people said corn is fine for horses. So which one is right? I also heard that it can cause colic, is this true?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 03:47 PM
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I wouldnt not feed horses just corn. That would be an incredibly high starch intake which can lead to problems. And yes, corn can cause colic. I've seen it first hand and it wasn't much corn at all (sensitive horse) The corn ferments and creats gas in horses, which can lead to gas colic. I would strongly advise not giving your horse just corn.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 03:47 PM
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I would up the hay and go without grain for the week. Corn isn't always bad but it isn't good either. But molasses covered corn? No way.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by poppy1356 View Post
I would up the hay and go without grain for the week.

Yeah, I guess I'll do that, she isnt going to die lol.

Corn isn't always bad but it isn't good either. But molasses covered corn? No way.
Yeah, lol thats what we feed our crazy goats.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 04:16 PM
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They won't die without grain for a few days. As Poppy said, just up their hay.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 04:28 PM
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The most common cereal grains that are included in horse feeds are oats, corn, and barley. These grains are included in the feed to provide for energy but not all of them are equal. Two main factors that affect the safety and performance of these grains in horse feeds are the starch found in the grains and the grain processing. The starch found in cereal grains is what supplies energy to the horse. However, an excess of starch can lead to obesity, over excitability, and metabolic problems in horses. Oats tend to have the lowest starch level and corn typically has the highest. Because of this, corn is much more energy dense and should be fed in lower amounts. It is important to keep in mind that corn starch can tend to be less digestible unless it has been processed in some way (cracked, flaked, etc.).

As long as you recognize that the starch content of the corn is going to be higher and that less is needed, feeding processed corn in the correct amount is alright to feed to horses. It is when corn is overfed that digestive upsets do occur and cases of colic or acidosis does happen. I would advise that if your horse is not working heavily or in need of any supplemental calories (energy), simply feeding forage for the time being should be sufficient.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 05:16 PM
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I'd also go with just hay until you can get more of your regular feed. Molasses covered corn is going to be waaay higher sugar/starch than whatever feed they've been getting, as isn't going to be offering much in the way of nutrition anyway. Better to just skip it altogether.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank-you everyone for your answers, I'll just skip the grain, and give her a bit more hay.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 07:14 PM
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Cracked corn in high amounts or even moderate amount can lead to a serious colic.......I heard if a trainer giving a high amount of cracked corn to a horse to actually get it to colic for insurance money.....they found the poor thing hanging over a gate in the morning......sad but true
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-19-2012, 09:02 PM
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Good post Nickers(not Knickers??)

I have been advised by my nutritionist that corn is actually still difficult to digest if only cracked - steamed, extruded, etc is much better.

OP I tend to avoid any cereal grain or otherwise high starch/sugar ingredients, regardless of processing, wherever possible, as there tend to be safer, more effective things available if your horses need extra energy to their hay/grazing.
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