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Feeding Horses by Weight vs Volume

Two different scoops used to feed horses

We are often asked if 'a scoop of oats' is appropriate for a particular horse. A scoop does not tell us how much you are feeding as volume varies by scoop size. Here Dr. Worth explains why feeding by weight is so important:

Weight refers to the force with which an object is pulled due to the Earth's gravity. It is usually measured in units of mass, such as grams or pounds.

Volume refers to the amount of space occupied by an object. It is usually measured in cubic units, such as cubic meters or in 'horse girl' units like a scoop or coffee can.

Weight measures how heavy an object is while volume measures how much space the object takes up. These are different properties of an object and are not interchangeable with one another.

Consider two different types of horse feed: a bag of sweet feed and a bag of alfalfa cubes. The weight of the bags of the sweet feed and cubes could be the same- 50 pounds each. However, the volume of the two bags will be different. The cubes might take up much more volume, filling up a larger space, while the sweet feed will be more dense and take up less space. So, even though the bags have the same weight, the volume of the contents inside could be different.

When feeding horses, it's important to consider both the weight and volume of the feed, as different types of feed can have different densities and take up different amounts of space in the horse's stomach.


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