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How should I treat my horse with cattle?

How should I treat my horse with cattle?

Management and feeding of the horse handles the cattle

The placing of Brazil as an important producer and exporter of beef, its large territorial area and the recent commercial need to produce "green meat", contribute to consolidate the importance of maintaining adequate quantity of horses and mules for the management of these properties. It is enough to observe the numbers that reveal the size of the area occupied by cultivated pasture for beef cattle, about 220 million hectares, for a herd of 163 million head (FNP, 2002).
These workmates have been performing, over the years, a fundamental task in the maintenance of cattle herds, especially in the regions of extensive breeding. But some details on the daily management of these animals need to be carefully observed in order to optimize their work efficiency and enable many years of efficient use.
How are rearing horses kept on most farms? Is there concern about food and sanity? And is the number of horses sufficient to support the work and the driving condition?
It is relatively common to observe the presence of service horses in lowland or near grazing pastures, or even in non-mechanizable hill areas, in farms of extensive cattle breeding, mainly in the central region of the country.
The first step is to remember that horses are herbivorous and as such, has as its main food the pasture. They were adapted in the anatomy (Table 1) and physiology of their digestive tract, during the evolution, to ingest small amounts of food (grasses, leguminosas), several times to the day. After domestication, they went to work all day and were fed with grains and sharps, which contributed, severely, to the high incidence of eating disorders (colic) that occur in the present day.


The pasture, when deficient, can be substituted by some grass or hay, provided in the trough, but it is important to note that these animals do not eat most of the Brachiarias most used in pasture for cattle. This is perhaps the greatest difficulty to be corrected. Equines eat only humidicultural Brachiarias, with severe restrictions on mineral balance and tanner-grass (brejo grass), which are not the most used for pasture formation.Only the southern region of the country does not face major problems in feeding their horses as it has native pastures of ryegrass and alfalfa, which are exceptional foods. Other properties in higher altitude regions have native pastures that are well used by equines.
Either way, you need to resolve this flaw. An alternative would be the formation of colonies pickets and their varieties (tanzania, mombaça ...) or star grass. Some properties have pastures of grass grass and batatais (fork), well accepted by the horses, but poor in nutrients and practically cease the growth in the period of drought, that in central Brazil, coincides with the winter.It is always good to remember that maintaining adequate grass for lida horses increases disposition and stamina for work and eliminates the need to provide concentrated supplements, such as ration, corn roll, or even corn kernels.In this sense, it should be remembered that the work carried out in most of the farms that exploit the extensive rearing of cattle is considered, by the evaluation tables of effort, light, and only the provision of good quality bulk food can meet their requirements.
In the need to provide a concentrated supplement, which may occur, especially in periods of prolonged drought, it is recommended to use foods with large amounts of fiber, such as corn kernels and wheat bran. corn, due to the low amount of fiber and large amount of starch, which is considered the biggest "villain" causing cramps in horses. As previously mentioned, there is no substitute for bulky food, and the presence of long fibers (more than 4 cm.) In the diet of these workers is essential.
In the same sense, the provision of a mineral supplement suitably formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of equines needs to be provided. It should be emphasized that the mineral formulations used for cattle do not meet the needs of equines (Table 2) and the large amount of common salt (sodium chloride) present in these mixtures makes it even more unfeasible for equine intake and when this occurs , is accompanied by large water intake, which can disrupt the digestive and working function.


The mineral mixture formulated for equines is not specific to each region of the country, such as cattle, and must be supplied at will, without adding common salt and in places where cattle do not have access, as these tend to to eagerly ingest this supplement.
The importance of this supplement is based on the fact that working horses have large sweat losses, especially in hot climates and muscle contraction.It is also critical for support in regulating reproduction, for those properties that create your service horses, being that the lack of supply may affect the fertility indexes of the equine herd.
Another care to be observed is in relation to the control of ectoparasites. Equines are parasitized, usually by three species of ticks, the Amblyomma cajenenses, Anocentor nitens and Boophilos. Amblyomma, known in the larval phase as micuim, in the nymph stage as red, and in the adult stage with star, is the one that appears in greater amount of more difficult control. Anocentor is known as a tick in the ear of horses, but is also placed in the horsehair and tail regions. Boophilus is the bovine tick, which occasionally can parasitize horses.
The control of these three species of ticks is based on regular sprays, with products effectively recognized and at the appropriate dilution and with regularity controlled by the parasitic load, the more ticks, the shorter the interval between the "baths". It should be noted here that the volume of "syrup" or antiparasitic diluted in water for each horse for a suitable spray is at least 4 liters, ie a 20 liter litter pump is sufficient to "bathe" 5 horses. In this control, special care must be taken with ears, mane and tail, can be used and other insecticidal products, powder, for application in these regions.
Regarding the application of drugs to control endoparasites (worms), there are in the market, products of oral application, with proven efficiency, that must be used, at least 3 times a year in adult horses and 5 times per year in lesser ponies of two years of age. Care must be taken in the use of injectable drugs, not indicated for horses, which can cause inflammatory muscular and subcutaneous reactions (abscesses), which in many cases, hinder the use of this service animal, not counting the expense of medicines for treatment.
The herds of horses should be immunized against tetanus, a disease of high incidence among the species, only once a year and in the endemic regions, vaccinated against rabies, a requirement of the sanitary control organs.
To conclude, the observation of some management items such as the maintenance of adequate pasture, the search for the supply of mineral supplement that can quickly improve reproductive and working performance, not counting the appearance (hair shine), control ecto and endoparasites and the prevention by vaccination of some diseases of great incidence in this species can result, with relatively little investment, in the optimization of the use of these "companions of work".

Note Univittá
Pro-SACC is a functional probiotic additive that provides for supplemented animals a considerable improvement in the total digestibility of the animal's diet, ensuring in many cases that the animal will lose weight especially in the dry seasons of the year.The live yeast base Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pro-SACC collaborates with the coat, immunity and mainly with the quality of life of the herd-grazed and field-handled animal.

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Dr. Alexandre Augusto de Oliveira Gobesso
Prof. Dr. Alexandre augusto de Oliveira Gobesso Veterinary Medicine - State University of Londrina - 1988 Master in Veterinary Medicine / Animal Nutrition - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science / USP - 1997 - PhD in Animal Husbandry / Animal Production Fac. Of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences / Unesp / Jaboticabal / SP - 2001 Free Professor - School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science / USP - 2009 Professor Responsible for Discipline: Equine Production - Veterinary Medicine Course Professor and Advisor - Master's and Doctorate in Animal Nutrition and Production - Responsible Researcher - Research Laboratory in Digestive Health and Equine Performance - Department of Animal Nutrition and Production - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science / USP - Pirassununga Campus / SP

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