In this article, “How to Weigh Horse Feed with Purina Animal Nutrition,” Dr. Katie Young, an equine nutritionist, discusses the importance of accurately measuring horse feed by weight rather than volume. Dr. Young highlights the variability in the amount of feed held by different measuring tools such as scoops and coffee cans, and emphasizes the need for consistent feeding to ensure proper nutrition. She suggests using a fish or luggage scale and a tall kitchen handle tie garbage bag to measure the feed, providing a practical and reliable method. Knowing the exact amount of feed and hay your horse is consuming is essential for implementing an effective nutrition program. For more information on horse nutrition and feeding management, you can visit Purina Animal Nutrition’s website at or contact their customer service line at 1-800-227-8941.

Understanding the Importance of Weighing Horse Feed

When it comes to feeding your horses, precision is key. Measuring horse feed by weight is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, it ensures that your horses are receiving the right amount of nutrition they need to maintain optimal health. Feeding horses based on volume, such as scoops or coffee cans, can lead to inconsistencies and inaccurate feeding practices. By weighing the feed, you can be confident that your horses are getting the correct portion size every time. Additionally, accurate feed weighing is essential for monitoring your horse’s caloric intake and making any necessary adjustments to their diet.

Possible Errors When Feeding Horses Based on Volume

Feeding horses based on volume, such as using scoops or other measuring tools, can lead to a variety of errors. One common mistake is the inconsistency in the size and shape of the scoop. Scoops can come in different sizes, and even if you use the same scoop each time, the amount of feed it holds may vary due to factors like compaction and settling. This inconsistency can result in over or underfeeding your horse, which can have adverse effects on their overall health.

Another error that commonly occurs when feeding horses based on volume is the variation in the density of the feed. Different types of feed can have different densities, which means that even if you fill the scoop to the same level each time, the weight of the feed can differ. This can lead to discrepancies in nutritional intake and may affect your horse’s weight management or overall health.

How to Weigh Horse Feed with Purina Animal Nutrition

Improving the Accuracy of Horse Feeding with Purina Animal Nutrition

To ensure accurate and consistent horse feeding, Purina Animal Nutrition offers a range of solutions. Purina understands the importance of precision when it comes to meeting your horse’s nutritional needs. They provide scientifically formulated feeds that are designed to meet the specific requirements of different types of horses, from young foals to senior horses.

Purina’s feeds are not only carefully formulated, but they also come with detailed feeding instructions. These instructions specify the weight of feed that should be given to your horse based on their weight, age, and activity level. By following these guidelines and weighing your horse’s feed, you can be confident that your horse is receiving the right amount of nutrition every day.

Measuring Tools Commonly Used for Horse Feed

When it comes to measuring horse feed, there are various tools available. The most common ones include scoops, coffee cans, and kitchen measuring cups. While these tools are convenient and readily accessible, they have limitations and can lead to inconsistencies in feeding.

Scoops, for example, are a popular choice for measuring horse feed. However, the shape and size of scoops can vary, resulting in inconsistencies in the amount of feed they hold. Additionally, the density of the feed can impact the volume per scoop, further complicating accurate measurement.

Coffee cans are also commonly used for measuring horse feed. However, the sizes of coffee cans can vary between brands and even within the same brand over time. This inconsistency can lead to inaccuracies in feed measurement, ultimately affecting your horse’s nutrition.

How to Weigh Horse Feed with Purina Animal Nutrition

Factors Affecting the Volume Amount of Feed per Scoop

Several factors can affect the volume amount of feed per scoop. One crucial factor is the compaction of the feed. Over time, feed can settle and become more compacted, leading to an increase in density. This density change may result in a smaller volume of feed per scoop, even if you are using the same scoop.

The type and quality of the feed can also impact the volume per scoop. Different types of feeds, such as pellets, grains, or textured feeds, have varying densities. Feed that is more finely ground or contains higher levels of oils or molasses can be denser, leading to a smaller volume per scoop. It’s essential to consider these factors when using scoops or other measuring tools to ensure accurate feeding.

The Misconception of Measuring Feed with Coffee Cans

Many horse owners have been using coffee cans as a convenient way to measure their horse’s feed. While this method may seem practical, it can lead to inaccuracies in feeding. The volume of feed that a coffee can holds can vary significantly depending on the brand, size, and even the level of compaction of the feed.

Using a coffee can as a measuring tool assumes a consistent weight for the feed, regardless of the type or brand. However, different feeds have different weights, and even the same feed may vary in weight due to changes in moisture content, processing, or other factors. Relying on a consistent volume of a coffee can may result in under or overfeeding your horse.

How to Weigh Horse Feed with Purina Animal Nutrition

Inaccuracies in Using Coffee Cans

Another drawback of using coffee cans to measure horse feed is the lack of precision. Coffee cans are not designed to provide accurate weight measurements. They are made for holding coffee, not for measuring precise amounts of feed. If you rely solely on coffee cans to measure your horse’s feed, you may unintentionally be providing too little or too much nutrition, which can negatively impact their health.

Moreover, coffee cans can introduce additional variability when used over time. The shape and size of coffee cans can change due to wear and tear or inconsistencies in manufacturing. These variations can further contribute to inaccuracies in feed measurement and compromise your horse’s nutrition.

Variable Feed Weights in a Consistent Coffee Can Volume

Even if you use the same coffee can each time to measure your horse’s feed, the weight of the feed can vary. As mentioned earlier, different feeds have different densities, which means that the same volume of different feeds can have different weights. While a coffee can may consistently hold the same volume, the weight of the feed it contains may not be consistent.

For example, if you use a coffee can to measure oats one day and corn the next day, even if both fill the can to the same volume, the weight will differ. Corn is denser than oats, so the weight of the corn in the can will be higher. This variation in feed weights can impact your horse’s nutritional intake and may lead to imbalances in their diet.

How to Weigh Horse Feed with Purina Animal Nutrition

Comparing Different Feed Weights

Understanding the weight differences of different feed types is crucial for accurate horse feeding. Each feed has its own weight, nutritional composition, and caloric content. It’s essential to consider these factors when assessing your horse’s diet and making informed decisions about their nutrition.

For example, comparing the weight of oats and corn can illustrate the variations in feed weights. A pound of oats will take up more volume than a pound of corn due to the difference in density. By understanding these differences, you can better manage your horse’s caloric intake and ensure they are receiving the appropriate amount of nutrition.

Different feeds may also have variations in their nutrient composition, such as protein, fiber, and fat content. When comparing feeds, it’s essential to evaluate these factors and consider their impact on your horse’s overall nutrition and health.

Effects of Feed Type on Horse Nutrition

The type of feed you choose for your horse can have a significant impact on their nutrition and overall well-being. Different feeds offer varying levels of nutrients, and it’s important to select the one that best suits your horse’s requirements.

For instance, if you have a performance horse that requires high energy levels, you may opt for a feed with higher fat content. On the other hand, if your horse is on a maintenance diet or has specific dietary restrictions, you may choose a lower calorie feed with controlled nutrient ratios. Understanding the nutritional composition of different feeds allows you to tailor your horse’s diet to their specific needs.

Additionally, different feeds may offer specific benefits, such as improved coat condition, joint support, or digestive health. By selecting the appropriate feed, you can provide your horse with the necessary nutrients for optimal health and performance.

How to Weigh Horse Feed with Purina Animal Nutrition

Tips for Accurate Feed Weighing with Purina Animal Nutrition

To ensure accurate feed weighing, Purina Animal Nutrition recommends using specific tools and techniques. Here are some tips to help you achieve precise measurements:

Recommended Tools for Weighing Feed Accurately

Investing in proper weighing tools can significantly improve the accuracy of feed measurements. Using a digital scale designed for weighing feed is highly recommended. These scales are specifically calibrated to weigh feed accurately and can eliminate many of the inconsistencies associated with volume-based measuring.

The Use of Fish or Luggage Scale in Weighing

Fish or luggage scales can also be utilized to weigh horse feed. These scales are portable, easy to use, and can provide accurate weight measurements. By suspending a bag of feed from the scale, you can assess the weight quickly and precisely.

Adopting Kitchen Handle Tie Garbage Bags for Feed Weighing

Another practical option for accurate feed weighing is to use kitchen handle tie garbage bags. These bags are commonly available and can hold a significant amount of feed. By filling the bag with the desired weight of feed, you can easily measure and dispense the appropriate portion for your horse.

Practical Demonstration of Weighing a Feed

Weighing your horse’s feed accurately can be a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step guide to ensure precise measurements:

  1. Gather your weighing tools, such as a digital scale, fish or luggage scale, or kitchen handle tie garbage bags.
  2. Ensure that your scale is calibrated or set to zero before weighing.
  3. Place your chosen container or bag on the scale and tare it to subtract its weight from the final measurement.
  4. Carefully pour or scoop the feed into the container or bag until you reach the desired weight.
  5. Record the weight measurement and repeat the process for each feeding.

It’s crucial to handle the tools and feed safely during the weighing process. Avoid inhaling dust or contaminants and ensure that the bags or containers are clean and suitable for storing feed.

Importance of Weighing Hay

While accurately measuring grain and concentrate feeds is essential, it’s equally important to weigh hay. Hay is a significant component of a horse’s diet and can contribute to their overall nutrition and health. Estimating hay amounts by volume, such as flakes or bales, can be misleading and lead to imbalances in a horse’s diet.

Why Hay Should Also Be Weighed

Weighing hay allows you to precisely determine the amount of forage your horse receives. Hay weight can differ based on factors such as moisture content, bale density, and the specific type of hay. By relying on weight measurements, you can ensure that your horse is receiving the appropriate amount of roughage, promoting a healthy digestive system and maintaining an ideal body condition.

How to Accurately Weigh a Flake of Hay

To accurately weigh a flake of hay, follow these steps:

  1. Select a representative flake of hay.
  2. Place a bag or container on your scale and tare it to subtract its weight.
  3. Carefully stack the flake of hay in the container, making sure it is level and free from any loose strands.
  4. Record the weight measurement.
  5. Repeat the process for each flake of hay you plan to feed.

By consistently weighing the hay, you can better manage your horse’s forage intake and ensure that they receive the appropriate roughage to support their overall health.

Misconception on Hay Feeding Volume

Many horse owners rely on estimating hay amounts by volume, such as the number of flakes, to determine their horse’s forage intake. However, this method can be deceiving and may result in over or underfeeding.

The density of hay can vary depending on factors like the type of hay, baling process, and moisture content. A flake of hay may appear consistent in size, but the weight can differ significantly based on these factors. By relying solely on volume, you may unintentionally provide too little or too much hay, which can impact your horse’s digestive health and nutritional balance.

The Role of Purina in Horse Nutrition

Purina Animal Nutrition is a trusted brand that prioritizes horse health and offers a wide range of products specifically formulated to meet horses’ nutritional requirements. With years of research and expertise, Purina understands the unique needs of horses at different stages of life and activity levels.

Purina works closely with veterinarians, nutritionists, and equine experts to develop feeds that not only meet basic nutritional needs but also support specific health concerns and performance demands. By choosing Purina feeds, horse owners can have confidence in providing their horses with a balanced and tailored total nutrition program.

Tailoring a Total Nutrition Program for Your Horse

Purina Animal Nutrition takes a holistic approach to equine nutrition by providing a total nutrition program. This program combines high-quality feeds with specialized supplements to address specific needs and promote overall horse health.

Purina offers feeds tailored to different life stages, including foals, growing horses, performance horses, and senior horses. These feeds are developed using the latest scientific research and formulated to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth, development, and performance.

Additional Resources provided by Purina for Equine Health

Purina Animal Nutrition understands that horse owners may have questions or need further information about horse nutrition. For this reason, Purina provides additional resources to support horse owners in making informed decisions about their horse’s diet and overall health.

Purina’s website offers a wealth of educational content, including articles, videos, and feeding guides. These resources cover a wide range of topics, from basic feeding principles to specific health concerns or management practices. Horse owners can access this information to expand their knowledge and ensure they are providing the best possible care for their horses.

Engaging with Purina’s Customer Support

If horse owners have specific questions or require personalized advice on feeding management, they can reach out to Purina’s customer service line. Purina’s knowledgeable customer service representatives are available to answer inquiries, provide customized feeding recommendations, and address any concerns related to horse nutrition.

By engaging with Purina’s customer support, horse owners can access expert guidance and make informed decisions regarding their horse’s diet and overall well-being.


The importance of weighing horse feed cannot be overstated. Accurate feeding practices are crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of your horses. By measuring feed by weight, you can ensure that your horses receive the right amount of nutrition every time.

Purina Animal Nutrition understands the significance of precise feed weighing and is committed to supporting horse owners in achieving accurate feeding practices. With their scientifically formulated feeds, detailed feeding instructions, and additional resources, Purina provides the tools and knowledge needed to optimize horse nutrition.

Remember, proper feed measurement is the key to maintaining your horse’s health. By embracing accurate weighing techniques and partnering with Purina Animal Nutrition, you can ensure that your horses receive the best possible care and nutrition, helping them thrive in all aspects of their lives.