Horses are hoofed mammals that have 24 teeth specially adapted for chewing their favorite foods. But what are these favorite foods? What do horses eat? This post will answer that question, and also look at some interesting facts about horses.
What do Horses Eat?
Horses love to eat grass and plant materials. They eat what are known as legumes. The best known legumes are peas, beans, peanuts, lentils, alfalfa and carob. Horse owners usually feed their horses a mixture of grass and legumes which is called hay. Some owners feed horses oats and corn (maize). Horses also enjoy eating fruit, especially apples. Carrots are also given to some horses as a treat. Horses also need a high amount of salt in their diets, because they drink a lot of water. Owners usually leave a pile of salt (sometimes called a salt lick) that horses will lick during the day.
Interesting Facts about Horses
- China has the world’s largest population of horses, with over 8 million of them!
- Horses were voted as the fourth favorite animal in a worldwide poll. It was beaten by the tiger, the dog and the dolphin.
- Horse meat is consumed in some parts of the world and is exported from the United States.
- Police officers sometimes ride horses to control large crowds and patrol the streets.
- Horses can sleep both standing up and laying down.
- Horses are pregnant for 335-340 days.
- The oldest horse, ‘Old Billy’, lived to be 62 years old.
- Vets look at a the teeth of a horse to work out how old they are.
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