Corn in the Equine Diet

Happy Horse Healthy Planet_CornWhat is it and where does it come from?

Corn, or maize as it’s known in many parts of the world, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times.  It constitutes more than 80% of the grain fed to animals in North America and, when fed correctly, it is a good-quality and nutritious grain for horses. Corn is grown in almost all states in America and is readily available to horse owners.

The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels. Because Corn is a hull-less grain, however, it is very high in starches.

HappyHorse HealthyPlanet_Corn Field

Corn grain is a major feed grain and a standard component of livestock diets where it is used as a source of energy. Some of the by-products of Corn processing for flour (hominy feed, bran, germs, oil meal), starch (Corn gluten feed, Corn gluten meal) and alcohol/biofuel industries (distillers’ dried grains and solubles) can be fed to horses.

Corn quality is judged by the moisture content and percentage of well-formed kernels. When checking for quality the presence of damaged kernels should be accounted for.  

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