Blogue Misc

Did You Know a Horse Can Eat Between 16-20 Hours Per Day?

The stomach of the horses is very small compared to the large size of this animal. It has a capacity of 7 to 15 liters and represents only around 8% of the entire digestive system. This means that he can empty himself in only 20 minutes and explains why the horse eats almost all day if he has the possibility.

In addition, unlike humans, where the stomach produces hydrochloric acid only when there is food to digest, that of the horse produces it continuously (whether the stomach is empty or not). It can produce up to 72 litres of acid in just 24 hours. Only the production of saliva can naturally reduce the acidity of the stomach. And again, differently from us who have the power to salivate simply to look at or think about our favorite dish, the horse’s system, as for him, saliva only when he has food in his mouth and he mastics. Hence the importance of feeding the horse frequently since this physiological characteristic makes it susceptible to stomach ulcers.

It is now easier to understand that in the horse, very frequent small meals are essential to respect its digestive physiology and therefore, the maintenance of a healthy digestive system. That’s why in the wild, the horse eats 16 to 20 hours a day, and sometimes more—

Sophie Gauthier, agr
Director General Nature Bélisle Division