The second Equine Guelph video about the horse’s digestive system will be launched in Equine Guelph’s November Enews (November 5, 2020). Sign up for the free monthly Enews and watch as Jack, a rising standardbred film star, shows off what organs, like the large colon, really look like. You’ll learn more about how horses break down their feed and feeding approaches that will help keep their digestive system happy. The video is the second in a three-part series that was generously made possible by Trouw Nutrition Canada.

Part one replay is also available here.

The three-part video series aims to help viewers learn what the equine digestive system looks like and how it works, and then uses this to help viewers understand why certain feeds and feeding strategies are more appropriate than others. The series uses a life-size model of a horse’s digestive tract to show viewers what each organ looks like and how big it really is. There are no graphic images as the gut model was made with artificial materials, making the videos ideal for anyone with a weak stomach (no pun intended). Part one covers the first section of the horse’s digestive system, including the mouth, teeth, esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Part two focuses on the horse’s hindgut, which is a term that refers to the horse’s cecum, large colon, small colon and the rectum. Part three takes what we’ve learned about the digestive system and applies it to how and what we feed horses.

For a sneak peek at some of the facts you’ll learn in the video series, see if you can answer the questions below:

1) Does a horse drool at the sight of a carrot?
2) How many times does a horse chew per day when eating hay?
3) What about chew time for a pelleted diet?
4) Do you know how the answers to these questions can help you keep your horse healthy?

The answers to the above questions are:

1) No, because a horse can normally only produce saliva when chewing.
2) A horse chews around 43 000 times/day when eating hay.*
3) A horse chews around 10 000 times/day when eating a pelleted diet.*
4) Saliva production (more chewing means more saliva production) is important to help move food through the digestive tract and for healthy digestion. Chew time is also important for your horse’s welfare.

Part Three, and replay links, will be released in Equine Guelph’s December Enews communication.