# • Feed with more pre­ci­sion

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Is your horse get­ting the cor­rect amount of grain? If you’re mea­sur­ing it only in “scoops” it’s im­pos­si­ble to know.

Most horse feeds are for­mu­lated to be fed by weight. You’ll see this right on the feed tag: An av­er­age-size horse in light work, for in­stance, might be listed as need­ing three pounds of that feed per day. Three pounds does not equal three scoops, how­ever. The weight of the feed held by a scoop will vary by the spe­cific feed, the de­sign of the scoop and even how tightly the feed is packed into it.

The so­lu­tion is to weigh the grain with a kitchen or postal scale. With a me­chan­i­cal scale, weigh the empty scoop, then fill it with grain and weigh it again. Sub­tract the scoop weight from the filled weight. Elec­tronic scales will do the math for you: Sim­ply “zero out” the weight of the scoop on the plat­form, then fill it to the de­sired weight.

For a healthy horse in good con­di­tion, you’ll need to weigh feed only once, then cal­cu­late the cor­re­spond­ing num­ber of scoops. You can then feed by scoops alone---as long as you con­tinue feed­ing the same feed. (Ex­treme tem­per­a­tures can soften or harden some feeds, af­fect­ing how tightly it packs into a scoop, so you may want to reweigh un­der those con­di­tions.)

A horse who is skinny, over­weight or has meta­bolic is­sues might ben­e­fit from pre­cisely weighed feed at each meal. You can stream­line the process by weigh­ing out a week’s worth of daily ra­tions and plac­ing them in zi­plock bags that can be poured out into the feed tub at meal­times.