The season for extreme hot days is upon us here in the Central to South Central Kentucky areas.
Keeping animals cool and hydrated are a very important part of keeping them healthy during extremely hot temperatures.
As horse farm owners for more than 25 years, my wife Kathleen and I know the importance of keeping horses well hydrated and safe in extreme hot temperature seasons.
Average horses will drink around 1 gallon of water per 100 pounds of body weight daily. So a 1,000 pound horse will drink on average around 10 to 12 gallons of water a day. During extreme high temperature days this can go up to as much as 15 gallons of water a day.
A mare that is with foal can consume up to 20 to 30 gallons of water a day depending on the size of the mare.
A suckling foal can consume as much as 20 to 30 pounds of milk in a 24 hour period, so this takes a lot of water for the mare to produce this much milk.
Its very important for the water to be fresh and as cool as possible. If water has been sitting in a metal or rubber stock tank in the open sun and has not been changed, the water temperature can become very hot. This leads to horses drinking less water than they need too.
If you do not have an automatic waterier, it is best to keep the stock tanks in a shady area as much as possible to reduce water becoming hot and undrinkable.
Salt is also a very important part of horses hydration during hot weather. Horses need on average 1 to 3 ounces of salt a day. During extremely hot weather where they sweat a lot, they need up to 6 ounces a day.
Salt is the most crucial mineral that horses require.
Loose salt is easier for horses to consume but we prefer the larger salt blocks. Salt blocks are easier to use and there is normally not a lot of wasted salt.
Salt not only helps replace the electrolyte's which are lost through sweating but it also helps with the horses digestive system.
Salt/sodium is very important for the horses muscles as well.
Our horses are our family too. We want to keep them as safe as possible.
Remember! Fresh cool water, salt, shade. As well as a good quality hay.
Have a blessed day. And enjoy your horses.