Saturday, February 24, 2018

Horse Feeding & Diet (sage ability)

Gives knowledge regarding the feeding of domesticated farm animals, including cows, donkeys, fowl, horses, sheep, swine and so on, so that such animals can be kept healthy enough to mature under ordinary circumstances.  The knowledge gives no special ability to control animal disease, but it does prevent the likelihood of animals over-eating or suffering from malnutrition, so long as food is made available.

Given that in most cases, a horse cannot be easily weighed in a fantasy setting, we must assume that characters cannot simply "know" the weight of an animal and thus automatically ascribe a diet based on this. Therefore, it requires an experienced character who has studied animals to have a reasonable understanding of what sustenance they require. Below is a list of animals; a character should have knowledge only of the working animal about which they have sufficient points to be considered amateurs.

If living a relaxed and easy life, a horse can survive almost wholly upon forage, or plant material that is eaten by grazing. If natural grasses or pulses are not available, the horse's diet can be sustained on dried hay for months. On the other hand, however, a working horse requires feed or fodder, a mixture of seeds, oils, sprouted grains or legumes. These prepared feeds must be fed to the animal by trough, to be sure the horse receives a supportive diet.

Horses are typically given prepared feed twice a day, with their ration cut in half.

The amount a horse will eat depends much upon the use to which a horse is put on a given day (percentage of their body weight):
  • If not ridden or worked, a horse will eat 2% in forage. It is not necessarily to give a resting horse feed.
  • If ridden gently or walked on roads, a horse will require 2½% in forage. Again, feed is not necessary for this level of work.
  • If taking part in combat or ridden/walked throughout the day, or made to travel overland off road for more than an hour, or if taking part in hauling, a horse will consume 3% in forage and ½% in prepared feed.
  • If injured or in training, a horse will consume 2½% in forage and 1% in prepared feed.

Thus, a 1,300 lb. draft horse hauling a cart would eat 39 lbs. of forage and 6½ lbs. of feed each day.

See Horseback Riding

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