Pea and bean straw may be placed in the same category It is true that they contain a large quantity of nitrogenous matter, and according to the analyses they would be estimated as possessing a high feeding value, but they contain a large quantity of woody fibre, which renders them indigestible, and, excepting in emergencies, they should be excluded from the diet of the horse.
FOOD PLANTS - II.
1. Clover [Trifolium pratense) 2. Grey Pea (Pisum arvens) 3. Vetch (Vicia sativa).
4. Horse Bean (Vicia faba). 5. Bean Pod closed. 6 Bean Pod open.
The following tables show the constituents of peas, lentils, vetches, and beans from the analyses made by different authorities: .
Nitrogenous matter ...
On account of the large quantity of nitrogenous matter which peas and beans contain, they are used for animals which are required to undergo severe exertion, and then they are only given in moderate quantities of 3 or 4 lb. daily. In selecting them, it is highly important to notice that they are perfectly sound, quite free from any trace of mould or unpleasant odour. It is not uncommonly the case that a hunter, after a long run, will have a handful or two of beans put into his food on his return to the stable, under the impression that this will help to restore his exhausted energies. It would be impossible to commit a greater dietetic blunder. Immediately after excessive or prolonged exertion, the digestive powers, in common with the other organic functions, are enfeebled and therefore incapable of appropriating food which is from its mechanical condition difficult of digestion. A very moderate diet of good gruel or a small quantity of crushed oats with chaff and bran, the gruel by preference, is all that the animal's system is capable of taking with advantage. Beans and peas will be useful later on, when the animal has recovered from its exhaustion.
Beans and peas, which would seldom be given until they are at least a year old and, therefore, make a very decided call upon the energy of the masticatory organs, are likely, to some extent at least, to escape even from the powerful grinders of the horse. They should consequently always be crushed and given mixed with the ordinary rations in the quantities previously mentioned.