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Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding

Przewalski's Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii)


Daily intake

  • Estimated daily water intake
    • 2.4-8.3 liters per day
    • Significant individual variation.
  • Estimated daily food intake
    • 5.5-7.0 kg of hay
  • Feeding requirements are similar to those of domestic horses
  • Water consumption lower than domestic horses

Diet composition

  • Present-day diet
    • Grasses and forbs (Kaczensky et al. 2017)
      • No evidence of seasonal shifts in diet
  • Historic (pre-1970s) diet
    • Broader than present-day diet (Kaczensky et al. 2017)
    • Mixed vegetation: browse and grasses (Kaczensky et al. 2017)
      • Kaczensky et al. (2017) attribute the seasonality in diet avoidance of human hunters
        • No longer hunted; attitudes toward this species have become positive since the 1990s



  • Able to use sharp hooves to dig holes in ground to access water

Digestive microbes

  • Intestinal microbiota studied by Li et al. (2019)
    • Varied by diet composition
      • High protein, mixed feed diet (managed care) vs. high fiber, low nutrition diet (reintroduced)
      • Other factors, such as age, body condition, or environmental factors, may have also influence diversity of microbes

Grazing on Greens

Przewalski's Horse grazing

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Boyd & Houpt (1994)
Scheibe et al. (1998)

SDZWA Library Links