Forage is chock full of fiber, a dietary component that is subjected to microbial fermentation in the cecum and colon of the horse. This fermentative process produces volatile fatty acids, important sources of energy for horses fed high-forage diets. Fiber can supply a horse with 30-70% of its digestible energy requirements.
Feeding horses properly is not difficult. Reliance upon an educated horseman, a veterinarian, or an equine nutritionist is paramount if a feeding management question arises. This is particularly true when confronted with an old wives' tale.
While some old-fashioned feeding practices remain pertinent in this day and age, others have fallen by the wayside. Over the last several decades, research has debunked some commonly held beliefs concerning the nutritional management of horses.
Understanding the methods used to process feeds and knowing why they are used will make the idea of feeding processed feedstuffs more savory.
<p> Can feed tags be used to compare different horse feeds?</p>
<p> I have a friend who has complained that his horse eats the shavings in his stall when he feeds pellets. He thinks it is due to a lack of fiber in the pellets. Is this true?</p>
<p> What are the nutritional differences between legume hay (alfalfa) and grass hay?</p>
<p> Should horses be fed the same weight in pellets or cubes as in loose hay?</p>
Rice bran is a highly digestible by-product of the rice milling industry. It should be heat and pressure stabilized prior to feeding to prevent rancidity and digestive upset. The primary feature of stabilized rice bran is its high (20%) fat content.
Vitamin E is a non-toxic, fat soluble vitamin which has an important role in many physiological functions such as reproduction, immune response and nerve and muscle function. It also has overlapping yet independent roles with selenium, an essential trace mineral.
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