It's 3% dry matter, if you read it carefully. He even goes on to say feedstuffs and hay are not dry matter but consist of ~10% water. It is possible for a horse to eat 40 pounds if hay a day. I used to have 4 horses on an 800 # round bale, it would be gone in ~ 6 days. Which is something like 30 + pounds a day or something like that.
OK, you can believe whatever you want to believe. I'm neither delusional nor prone to hyperbole. Carry on with your own bizarre horse-keeping world. Mine will continue to eat hay and lots of it.
Assuming a palatable source of feed, an expected range of dry matter intake relates to approximately 22 to 33 pounds of a mixed grain-hay or total hay diet for a 1,000 pound horse. Maximum voluntary daily dry matter intake may range below or above these expectations as diet palatability, production state of the horse, environmental influences and individual horse variation will influence voluntary intake greatly
OP, 3 per cent is 40 lbs a day if you have a 1300 lb horse. My average build 16 hand Hannoverian/TB weighs about 1200 lbs (weighed on the scales at NC State) and so by your calculation could consume 36 pounds of hay a day, which is a typical bale of coastal Bermudagrass.
I do think a lot of people feed just TOO MUCH of these feeds. Ration balancers, commercial grains . . . even my hard-keeping ones (I don't own any, but do rehab and broodmare board from time to time) virtually NEVER get the amount recommended on the bag, or they would soon be FAT.
My rule of thumb with RBs, commercial feeds, etc. is (with a large bit of input from the owner as to what the horse has BEEN eating) to start with approximately half of the bag/label recommendation and to go from there. Skinny ones still get less; at first I make up for the calories with more hay and more fat, and only if absolutely forced will I up the concentrates. The only one I've EVER had who got the "recommended amount" was a 17h trakhener mare who was REALLY skinny and in her late 1st trimester when I got her. She ate me out of house and home! Delivered a monster filly, too, who was a knockout.
I do wonder if horses wigging out, developing weird fat deposits, appearing "bloated", and having bad smelling urine are just being massively calorically overfed. Some of my patients call it "bloating", too, when what they have is . . . a bad case of obesity.
THIS, totally! It's a lot harder weaning new boarders' OWNERS off all that stuff when they come here than it is for their horses. It's even harder to convince them that a 4.5 to 5.0 IS a "healthy weight."
I feed a 900 pound mare free choice hay in hay nets. The 2 nets I have will hold a 35 pound bale of Timothy/Orchard Grass mix. The mare will eat them nets with no waste in a days time. Give or take a few hours depending on the night temps. She holds a steady weight.
As for the the daily intake, horses cannot physically consume over 3% of their total body weight per day, so you either have horses with some amazing metabolisms or a part of what you're providing is being wasted.
This is what the OP said. It's her math that's the problem.
Ime (with hard-keeping TBs) forage is the BEST way to put and keep weight on a horse.
Not to mention the whole "dry matter" thing. Horses grazing full time on actual grass probably consume a whole lot more than 3% BW of GRASS (by weight). At 50-60% moisture, they'd be practically starving on 35 pounds of grass.
Going by the 3% rule, a horse weighing 1200 lbs will eat about 35 lbs of dry matter. Science fact, not just something I read somewhere.
I think the OP got confused and as Pennywell Bay pointed out, left out the dry matter part of the equation (even though it's a small amount in hay), considering what she typed above. it's actually pretty much in agreement with what everyone else has posted. lol
Direct quotes from the linked article:
"Maximum voluntary daily dry matter intake of rations will normally fall within the range of two to three percent of body weight. Estimates are provided on a dry matter basis instead of as fed so the variation of the water content of feedstuffs can be removed. For example, grains and hays are expected to contain about 10 percent moisture on an as fed basis. Early growth, small grain pasture can be expected to contain more than 60 percent water on an as fed basis. Dry matter will influence the level of voluntary intake much more than water intake."
"an expected range of dry matter intake relates to approximately 22 to 33 pounds of a mixed grain-hay or total hay diet for a 1,000 pound horse".
Most commercial feeds use soy meal; they take the lecithin out as it is a valuable commodity. Raw soybean also contain two toxic enzymes: urease and lipoxdose. I'm not going to mention what feed I use as I've been beat-up enough about it...but my guys are all shiny and healthy, inside and out. Anyway, some fodder for thought (*snicker*)
"For God hates utterly
The bray of bragging tongues."
Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders
Mostly my concern with soy, besides the obvious allergy factors, is that it is a GMO. Cotton, corn and canola are other foods specifically GMO. Unless it is labelled as organic, then it is GMO. I highly doubt feed producers are going to buy the more expensive organic to make horse feed. GMO is moving in on alfalfa, sugar beet and potato too.