Feed/Deer Bait corn still on the cob... For the horses?
My horse is currently boarded at my boyfriend's house with his sister's horse and he had a big barrel of that dried, hard feed corn on the cob that he was going to use to bait deer this year and decided he wasn't going to hunt so they never used it. They decided since they have nothing better to do with it that they would feed it to the horses. They've been throwing 4 or 5 cobs down there in the morning. Is this bad for the horses? They just bite all the corn off the outside and leave the cob. I know whole corn just goes right through them, but is it going to be unhealthy in any way?
Thanks in advance.
It won't hurt them unless it has mold on it. When I was a child we picked up corn from the field that the harvester missed. We fed it to the hogs as well as the horses. They were fine. Would I do it now? Probably not.
I'm not a big fan of feeding corn to horses - it's a pretty hot feed, and most horses don't need it. I have a mare that had serious attitude problem. Her previous owner had been feeding her sweet feed and an extra scoop of feed corn - and the mare was basically just a pasture ornament. I changed her feed to alfalfa pellets and beet pulp with a bit of rice bran, and she's a totally different horse - calm, laid back and polite!
On the other hand - throwing out no more to the horses than your friend is - it's more like a treat than a full feeding, so it probably is fine - as long as the corn is not moldy or smutty.
I have heard that too much could cause colic, but just a few each day won't hurt.
I agree, it's being fed as more of a 'treat' as it is, so they should be just fine.
When I was growing up we fed cracked and whole corn all the time in the winter, and none of our horses ever had any issues; it wasn't a staple though, no grain should be fed as a staple diet.
I agree that if it's being fed just as a treat, it shouldn't cause any real probs. But I'd cut down the treats to one cob per horse to be safer, and I wouldn't feed it to any horse that was susceptible to laminitis.
Cereal grain, while commonly fed, is generally not great for horses. Corn is about the worse of the lot. It is indigestible in the horse's stomach & so goes thru to the hind gut to wreak havoc with it's very high starch/sugar content. This often leads to 'fizziness' due to tummy ache, colic, and 'hind gut acidosis' which is thought to be the leading cause of laminitis.
We used to feed our horses corn, and they were always fine. However it wasn't their "diet". Corn isn't necissarily good for the horse. It's high in sugar and can cause weight gain, and upset tummies. A bit here and there isn't going to hurt them.
You need to be careful feeding corn to horses. At my boarding barn the owner gave some horses the stalks of his corn and all the horses that ate it coliced pretty bad. One had to be put down because of it.
I don't know what kind of climate you live in but when I was a kid in the harsh northern winters we would give our horses a bit of hard corn off the cob in the really snowy/cold weather. Just to give them those extra few calories. It definitely wouldn't be an issue if you'd give it to them every now and again.
We still mix in some cracked corn with their complete/sweet mix. When you get into the northern areas, a little extra fat sure helps, and it looks like this winter is going to be a good one. They're off it during the summer, but ours were put back on it the beginning of the month. Need to build some fat stores. As said by several before me - as long as there's no mold, you're fine. I know a farmer that gives their horses a bucket full of corn on the cob every day - each. And, no, that's not the only grain, but it is about half of what they get if you were to shuck it and measure.
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