Grass Growth Rate for Horses

grass growth rate for horses

My field has no grass but my horse is still fat!….Sound familiar?

It is so difficult to manage a good-doer at this time of year. Is your horse hungry or greedy?! 

Grass growth is really important for farmers so there is a national scheme that records the growth rate every week. In the last week of May 22, in the South West of England, the growth rate was 80kg (dry matter) per hectare (2.5 acres) PER DAY! If we assume that a 500kg horse needs to eat 2.5% of its bodyweight every day, that 2 1/2 acre field would produce enough food for 6 horses – and a pony!!! 

Now, this is only looking at fertilised grass grown for dairy cows so if you have an unfertilised, natural paddock for your horses the growth rate will be considerably less than this, BUT it will still be producing a LOT of grazing every day. 

So why, is there ‘no grass’ in your paddock??….

…Because it is in your horse’s belly!!! 

I think the best way to judge whether your horse is hungry or greedy is to regularly measure his weight with a weigh tape and keep a close eye on his behaviour.