Can a Horse Consume Too Many Electrolytes?
A. Keeping horses hydrated in cold weather is so important and is often a challenge. It sounds as though you might have found a great solution to ensure your mare will drink when she’s stabled. In addition to just drinking more water, you mare might need the electrolytes you’re putting in the water.
While ration balancers do a fabulous job of delivering the majority of a horse’s mineral and vitamin needs, they don’t always provide enough sodium and chloride to meet electrolyte needs, especially if a horse is in work. This is also true of other types of commercial feeds even when properly fed. In comparing four popular ration balancers I found the amount of sodium provided by feeding 1.5 pounds per day (a typical feeding rate) varies from 3.4 grams to 8.8 grams.
According to the National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements of Horses, a 1,200-pound horse in light work requires 15.1 grams of sodium a day and 50.8 grams of chloride. Based on the amount of sodium in the ration balancers, forage needs to contribute a considerable amount of sodium if sources are available
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