Cover Image
close this book Animal traction
View the document About this manual
View the document About the author
View the document Acknowledgments
close this folder 1. Introduction
View the document What is animal traction?
View the document History of animal traction
View the document Why use animal traction?
View the document Some considerations
View the document How can animal traction be used?
View the document Before beginning: what do you need to know?
close this folder 2. Draft animal selection
View the document Popular draft animals
View the document Determining power requirements
View the document General rules concerning power requirements
View the document Method for determining size of the hitch
View the document Determining weights of animals
View the document Selection of individual draft animals
View the document Conformation
View the document Temperament
close this folder 3. Animal husbandry
View the document Sheller
View the document Nutrition
View the document Grooming
View the document Minor medical problems and first aid
close this folder 4. Training draft animals
View the document Before training begins
View the document General comments on training procedure
View the document Training cattle
View the document Program for training cattle
View the document Training horses, donkeys and mules
View the document Program for training horses, donkeys and mules
close this folder 5. Yokes and harnesses
View the document Yokes and harnesses for cattle
View the document Yokes and harnesses for horses, donkeys and mules
View the document How to harness a horse, donkey or mule
View the document Steering systems
View the document Breeching harness
close this folder 6. Hitches
View the document Safety rules
View the document Implement hitches
View the document Vehicle hitches
View the document 7. Field operations and implements
close this folder 8. Economic and technical assistance
View the document Farm planning assistance
View the document Equipment options
View the document Credit for equipment
View the document Credit for animals
View the document Procedures and controls
close this folder 9. Animal traction extension
View the document Extension education
View the document Appendix A: Animal power
close this folder Appendix B: Animal nutrition
View the document Energy needs: bovine animals
View the document Energy needs: equine animals
View the document Nutrient needs of draft animals: protein, minerals, vitamins
View the document Feeds and feed composition
View the document Calculating a ration
View the document Recommended rations and feeding practices
close this folder Appendix C: Disease recognition and control
View the document Parasites and parasitic disease
View the document Appendix D: Workshop and spare parts inventory
View the document Appendix E: Animal traction instruction forms
View the document Appendix F: Animal breeds used for power
View the document Bibliography
View the document Resources
View the document GIossary

Energy needs: equine animals

Horses, donkeys, and mules are non-ruminant animals. They do not store food and later chew it, as oxen do. In addition to their molars, they have a set of upper and lower front teeth suitable for grinding roughages. (Bovines have no upper front teeth: they pull the grass loose, swallow it, and later bring it up and chew it with their rear molars.) With equines, digestion begins in the mouth, continues in the stomach, and is completed by various intestinal organs.

Equine animals must be fed with respect to their particular digestive functions and abilities. Where an ox can be fed its entire ration at the end of the day, a working horse, because of its smaller stomach and faster rate of metabolism, should be given its feed in small quantities. This facilitates complete, regular digestion of nutrients and ensures that the animal will be comfortable when working. A common plan is to feed the grain (concentrate) ration in three equal parts, morning, noon, and night; the roughage ration 1/2-3/4 at night, the remainder being given in the morning and at noon.

Body weight being equal, horses have somewhat higher maintenance energy needs than oxen because they are naturally more active. Their activity is related to their more nervous disposition and higher rate of metabolism (rate of using digested nutrients to build and repair body tissue and to produce heat and work). But horses can store more energy in their muscles than oxen and this explains their ability to produce greater bursts of power and work at a faster rate.

Research in both tropical and temperate climates shows that equine animals need about twice their maintenance requirements when doing medium-to-hard work. The following guidelines are suggested by CEEMAT for equines:

Idle horses: 2.5 U.F. per day (Assume 250-kg horse.)

Working horse: 5.0 U.F. per day (Assume 4-5 furs. pulling cultivator, medium soil.)

Idle donkey: 1.5 U.F. per day (Assume 100-kg donkey.)

Light work donkey: 2.5 U.F. per day (Assume 3 hrs., cultivator, light soil.)

Continuous work donkey: 4.0 U.F. per day (Assume 5 hrs., cultivator, light-medium soil.)

Unfortunately, very little data is available on the value of feeds as they apply to equine animals in the tropics. Thus it is necessary to use the tables adapted for bovines when formulating diets. Experience indicates that the values are generally applicable with the exception of straws. Bacteria in the ruminant's stomach enables it to digest straw and low-grade roughages effectively. Equines can derive very little energy from coarse fiber, so care must be taken to supply them with better hays and fodders.