Energy requirements

In the "European standard" (French/Dutch system) as implemented in this program, the maintenance requirement of energy is expressed in digestible energy as 0.58 MJ per kg of metabolic body weight. The metabolic body weight is a common way to scale energy requirements for differently sized animals, and is expressed as body weight (BW) exponentiated to a power of 0.75 (i.e. BW0.75). For example, a horse with a body weight of 500 kg has a metabolic body weight of 103 kg. The maintenance requirement for energy is linearly related to the metabolic body weight.

In the program we use the value of 0.58 MJ per kg metabolic body weight as the basic energy requirement for cold-blooded ponies and heavy breeds. Warm blooded horses are given 5% more energy, and thoroughbred horses 10% more. Stallions are given 10% higher energy requirements than mares and geldings irrespective of their blood type.

Maintenance requirements for energy (MJ digestible energy/day) for adult horses

Cold-blooded

Warm-blooded

Thoroughbred

BW, kg

Mare/gelding

Stallion

Mare/gelding

Stallion

Mare/gelding

Stallion

100

16

17

17

18

17

19

200

26

29

28

31

29

32

300

36

40

38

42

40

44

400

45

49

47

52

49

54

500

53

58

56

61

58

64

600

61

61

64

70

67

73

BW=Body weight