Diet & Eating Habits

Clydesdale

Diet & Eating Habits

Diet Preference

  1. All horses are herbivores (plant eaters). In their natural environment, they almost constantly graze.
  2. Clydesdales are fed hay and feed. The feed is a mixture of beet pulp, oats, bran, minerals, salt, molasses and water.

Diet Amount

  1. Each Clydesdale consumes approximately 20 quarts (19 l) of feed, 40 to 50 lb. (18 - 23 kg) of hay and 30 gallons (114 l) of water every day.
  2. Each Clydesdale on a hitch team is fed grain twice a day and hay four to seven times per day. They are given water every two hours.

Method of Grazing

  1. Highly prehensile lips gather food and work with the sharp front teeth when cropping grass.
  2. The tongue pulls food to the back teeth.

Dentition

  1. Depending upon the breed, horses have 40 to 48 teeth that continually grow throughout their lifetime.
  2. Cheek teeth have high crowns for grinding. This grinding breaks plant cell walls to release the digestible contents.
  3. Rear teeth have table-like surfaces crossed by ridges that form a grinding surface between the upper and lower jaw. The jaw moves in a sweeping transverse motion, in contrast to the more up and down motion of other mammals such as humans.