Feeding Horses by Weight, Not Volume

Horses October 27, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Grain Scoop - measuring weight

All concentrates do not weigh the same.

For example:

A 3-lb coffee can full of

32 lb/bushel oats = 2 1/2 lbs
34 lb/bushel oats = 4 lbs 
corn or pellets = 5 lbs

Therefore, a coffee can full of oats is not the same as a coffee can full of pellet or sweet feed. This doesn't mean you can't use the coffee can method to feed your horses. Simply weigh out the appropriate amount of concentrate and mark the coffee can with a permanent marker so you know where to fill it each time. This technique allows you to standardize the amount of concentrate you are feeding.

All hays do not weigh the same.

A flake of grass hay can appear twice as large as a flake of alfalfa and weigh the same or less. So, it is a good idea to weigh your hay flakes to get an idea of how much a flake of the hay you're feeding would weigh.

Anytime you change feed, it is a good idea to reweigh the feed to make sure the amount is right.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.