Feed additives for horses: what and when to give
Feed additives for horses are substances that are included in the diet in very limited quantities to supplement it with nutrients.
When horse feed supplements are needed
First of all, you should decide on the purpose of using feed additives for horses. For example, if a horse is not gaining weight, first of all, it is worthwhile to understand whether it has enough food, whether everything is good with health, whether it is infected with helminths, etc. If the diet is not balanced in general, feed additives will not be beneficial.
But there are cases when feed additives for horses are very important:
- Most of the diet is simple feed (grain), which contain few minerals and vitamins. In this case, the addition of calcium and vitamin E.
- A horse may consume little solid feed for health reasons.
- Most of the ration is made up of hay and / or haylage, and the horse is unable to graze. In this case, a deficiency of vitamins A, D, E. is possible.
- Horses graze, but the pasture is depleted or the grass in the area contains insufficient nutrients.
- A horse does not eat enough forage.
Oil as a feed additive for horses
Vegetable oils are added to the horse's diet to increase the concentration of energy due to the fats contained in them or to improve the condition of the coat.
Vegetable oil is a good feed supplement for horses, but it has its own limitations.Oil is very high in calories, and if you give a lot to his horse, it will quickly gain weight. In addition, a large amount of oil disrupts the digestion of fiber
Scientists have conducted a study on how much oil a horse can eat per day is safe for health. It turned out that approximately 1.5 kg of oil per day is relatively safe for the horse, however, of course, this is the last figure. More often than not, giving the horse 100 g of vegetable oil per day is sufficient.
As a feed additive for horses, you can use soybean oil, linseed oil or sunflower oil (but only unrefined!)
If you have a sports horse, it is recommended to start giving her oil at least 1.5 months before the start of the start season. During this time, muscle fibers adapt to physical activity and begin to produce ATP aerobically.
Succulents (fruits and vegetables) as a feed additive for horses
Vegetables and fruits make the meal more palatable for the horse and increase the serving volume. Succulents contain a lot of sugar and water, which gives them juiciness. As a rule, they are given to make the horse eat better food.
Note that first you need to remove dirt from root crops - it contains pathogenic bacteria.
Fruits and vegetables are best cut across and along so that the horse does not suffocate.
Typically, horses are given the following fruits and vegetables:
Now it is customary to limit the amount of fruits and vegetables in the horse's diet, although some still feed 12 kg of succulents per day to their pets.
When compiling a diet, consider that 8 kg of apples or carrots are equivalent to 1.3 kg of oats or 1 kg of barley.
Horse Nutrition Supplements
Nutritional supplements for horses fall into 2 categories:
- Nutritional supplements for horses with a wide spectrum of action. They contain a large number of vitamins, minerals and minerals. Such nutritional supplements are given if the horse eats little solid feed or does not eat them at all.
- Special nutritional supplements for horses. These supplements are designed to solve a specific problem, for example, improve the condition of the hooves, maintain the balance of electrolytes or the work of the joints.
Digestion stimulants as a feed supplement for horses
Digestion stimulants, which are used as a feed additive for horses, are divided into 3 categories:
- Yeast. Yeast stimulates bacterial fermentation in the horse’s large intestine and, therefore, improves fiber absorption. In addition, yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins. Brewer's yeast, dry yeast and live yeast are used in feeding horses.
- Probiotics As a rule, probiotics for horses are preparations of bacterial cultures that contribute to the stabilization of microflora in the small intestine. It has not yet been fully studied exactly how probiotics act on horses, but it is assumed that they cause the growth of “beneficial” bacteria and destroy pathogenic (pathogenic) bacteria. In addition, due to the production of additional enzymes, they improve the breakdown of food.Probiotics containing 108 or 109 bacteria per gram should be given to the horse, and these bacteria must be able to withstand the high acidity of the stomach and the conditions of the small intestine.
- Prebiotics. Prebiotics are nutritional supplements for horses that are non-bacterial in origin and stimulate the growth of “beneficial” bacteria in the horse’s digestive tract. These are usually derivatives of complex carbohydrates.
Goodies are small pieces of delicious food that are usually fed from your hands as a reward. There are a large number of industrial treats for horses with different tastes, so that every owner can choose what his pet likes.