Horses of all ages be it foals, thriving adults or aged seniors, need a healthy food diet containing , hay, grains, vegetables, fruits and seeds besides lots of water so as to facilitate easy digestion.
Most veterinarians recommend special feed fortified with supplements that may help improve insulin resistance. The addition of antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins and various minerals like biotin help maintain required strength and growth of hooves as well as keep the horses’ coat soft smooth and silky.
What ingredients are must in horse diet?
For the good health, proper performance, and longevity; the basic ingredients of a balanced horse diet include:
- Water- the most important component of horse diet. Needs water frequently especially after every hay consumption. A water deficient horse may have decreased feed intake, lack of physical activity with signs of dehydration such as dry mucous membranes in the mouth and dry feces.
- Protein- is essential for muscle development during growth or exercise being muscle building blocks in the form of amino acids. Alfalfa is that provides the required protein as amino acids a prominent ingredient Protein deficiency is evident from a rough or coarse hair coat, weight loss, reduced growth. May also reduce milk production and the horses’ performance.
- Carbohydrates – are the main energy source added in most feeds. Soluble carbohydrates like corn, barley and oats are broken down as glucose and absorbed in intestine. Insoluble carbohydrates like fiber, fermented by microbes in the large intestine to release energy as fatty acids
- Fats – is a source of energy for horses. Lack of fats in diet may lead to weight loss, decreased physical activity and growth rate.
- Vitamins – A rational horse diet must be water soluble i.e., Vitamin C and B-Complex and fat-soluble vitamins i.e., Vitamin A, D, E and K which can be found in green, leafy forages. Vitamin D is obtained from sunlight. Legumes are the better source of protein, calcium, and energy than grasses. Hay forage is harvested, dried and baled before feeding to the horses. An addition of biotin can help the horse maintain shiny, smooth and silky coat as well.
- Minerals – like zinc, calcium and phosphorus, copper, potassium, magnesium, iron and iodine are of immense value in the horse diet.
Besides above, in order to maintain electrolyte balance among horses, some loose salt must also be added in their feed.
Supplementation of feed
Most equine owners know very well the value and necessity of forage i.e., pasture and hay as they supply fiber that undergoes microbial fermentation in the hind gut to produce volatile fatty acid. But fiber can meet the energy requirement to a limited extent only.
With the arrival of super feedstuff referred as super fibers, horse can achieve much higher energy levels than typical forages. Super fibers achieve similar energy levels as achieved with grains like barley or oats and are considered safe as they do not cause grain overload and release energy slowly.
When you need to use super fiber feedstuff look for fiberbeet or speedibeet from Barastoc
Super feed stuff includes Fiber-beet which is hard feed and is used as a super forage, whereas Speedi-Beet is ideal for replacing a portion of the hard feed.
Basically Speedi-Beet is a non-molasses sugar beet pulp cooked to produce flakes that need much lesser soaking time than traditional sugar beet shreds or pellets.
For best quality fibre-beet or speedi-beet, contact Barastoc– the leaders among horse feed manufacturers and suppliers.