Describe the relationship between the physical fibre in a forage, and chewing in horses. Give 2 reasons why feeds that promote chewing are beneficial for horses . The Relationship Between Physical Fibres and Chewing in Horses

The relationship between physical fibres and horse-chewing

Forages must contain at least some physical fiber. This is because it helps horses digest food and absorb nutrients. Horses will benefit from feedings that encourage chewing. This is because the chemical breakdown of fiber stimulates the production saliva, which helps maintain the pH balance and improve digestion. Because chewing breaks down fibre into small pieces that can be broken down by the enzymes, it increases the speed of digestion (Vieth 2011). Chewing can stimulate salivation and digestive function, as well as provide mental stimulation for horses. Chewing may be an effective stress reliever and can help prevent boredom or other behavioral issues. (Williams 2012). Chewing can also reduce feed waste because the physical break down of forage particles increase the area of feed particles and thus increases the speed at which enzymes can breakdown them (Vieth 2011,). Cont…

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