A good dental structure is the beginning of a good digestion. In the mouth, the food is reduced and the saliva production is stimulated by chewing.
Saliva ensures that the food easily slides through the esophagus and blends well with gastric juices.
|Chewing time||Saliva formation|
|1 kg roughage||40 min||3,5 liters saliva|
|1 kg concentrate feed||10 min||1 liter saliva|
When the food is swallowed, it passes through the esophagus to the stomach. Normally, this goes smoothly, but in horses who eat very generously or inadequately chew, clogging can occur. Greasy eaters can be inhibited with the Hartog Feedingbox and / or one of the Hartog roughage, such as lucerne mix or grass mix, by mixing the concentrate feed, which will allow better chewing on the feed.
The stomach of the horse is very small with a content of about 10-15 liters. A proper mix of the gastric juices improves the digestion in the small intestine. If the food is wet and thus contains more saliva, it mixes better and faster with the gastric juices. Besides the type of feed, of course, the amount is important for the degree of mixing with gastric juices as well. Therefore, give a mature horse no more than 2 kg of concentrate per meal and make sure that at least 60% of the horse's energy needs come out of the roughage and is distributed as much as possible throughout the day.
The small intestine of a horse is about 20 meters long. The composition of the feed material determines where it is digested in the gastrointestinal tract. The digestion of, for example, concentrates, cereals and carrots occurs mainly in the small intestine. Through intestinal movements, the food mass mixes with bowel fluids. Fibers in the diet affect the degree of intestinal movements and therefore the digestion.
Blind and small intestine
The blind bowel of a horse is very large and fills the entire right side of the stomach. The small intestine is a bag-shaped organ where the food stays for some time, then flows to the large intestine, which is also significant in size. In the large intestine, horses can break down the food parts (fermentation) from hay and grass through millions of useful bacteria. Then the food flows to the rectum and disappears in the form of manure. In good digestion, the horse produces smooth mastballs without long residues of roughage.