What is Creopan for horses

Feeding concentrated feed for horses correctly

In horses, the selection and amount of feed play an important role in maintaining health. Nowadays, concentrated feed is often integrated into the horse's diet in order to give the animals more energy. However, depending on the horse's performance and age, the use of concentrated feed is not absolutely necessary in many cases. The additional concentrate requirement should therefore be carefully examined for each horse. Too much concentrated feed can cause serious health problems in horses such as stomach overload, obesity or laminitis. Learn how to calculate the best amount of concentrate for your horse.

What is concentrate

Concentrated feed for horses includes various concentrated feeds such as grains, compound feed and pellets. The carbohydrates in the grains serve as the horses Energy supplier. But also moist feed such as sugar beet or carrots, which contain large amounts of easily digestible fructose, can be counted as concentrates.

The composition of the individual concentrates varies depending on the manufacturer and product. The offers include mueslis, grain mixes and pellets. Often is additional differentiated between grain-containing and grain-free concentrate feed.

Oats as the most important concentrated feed

Oats are one of the most popular and widespread types of grain for concentrates in Europe. Because of their husks, oat kernels are usually thoroughly chewed by horses, are very easy to digest and do not need to be specially prepared before being fed.

It is also common in horse stables bruised oats fed to increase digestibility even further. However, healthy horses with normal teeth can grind and digest unprocessed oats without any problems.

Squeezing does not have any negative effects on digestion, but it does involve some hygienic risk. The crushed grains are more prone to moisture and the growth of mold. If possible, they should not be stored in advance, but should be fed immediately after being squeezed, or at least during the day.

Break open barley before feeding

Barley is a traditional grain for horse feeding, especially in oriental countries. Compared to oats, it contains more energy in the grain, but it cannot be digested and used quite as easily in the small intestine of the horse.

Before feeding, the grains should therefore be broken up mechanically (ground) so that digestion can proceed more easily. Large amounts of untreated barley can promote the development of laminitis in horses.

Use corn only to a limited extent as concentrated feed

Like barley, maize is crushed or crushed and ideally also heat-treated before feeding. The energy content of corn is also significantly higher than that of oats. A content of 30 percent corn kernels in the horse's concentrated feed should not be exceeded, otherwise the small intestine is overloaded and digestive problems and, above all, disturbances in the large intestine can occur.

Crushed corn and crushed barley are commercially available both as single grain and in compound feed or pellets. The acquisition of a suitable squeezing machine is more advisable for commercial horse keeping and large quantities of grain.

Be careful with rye and wheat

Rye and wheat are two of the most popular grains among humans. As a concentrated feed for horses, however, they are less suitable because they contain various adhesive proteins in their grain. In large quantities, these can lead to constipation, unhealthy fermentation processes and colic in the horse's stomach and intestines.

Rye and wheat are therefore usually only present in small proportions in commercial concentrated feed.

Grain-free concentrated feed for sensitive horses

Horses that are prone to laminitis or who have had problems with the condition in the past can benefit from one Concentrated feed without grain benefit. In this case, the energy basis is not cereals, but high-quality alfalfa hay.

Sometimes the following also serve as energy suppliers in concentrated feed:

  • Carob
  • Apple pomace (press residues from the production of apple juice)
  • Sweet lupine flakes
  • Pea flakes
  • Oils

By using alfalfa, a forage crop, the Crude fiber content of the feed is increased and the proportion of starch and easily digestible carbohydrates is reduced by not using grain. This ratio corresponds more closely to the horse's natural feed and promotes healthy digestion.

This concentrate is highly recommended for sensitive horses. However, in most cases feeding a horse with laminitis that is completely free of concentrated feed and exclusively roughage is the safest, healthiest and easiest way to take care of it.

Concentrated feed containing grain is often low in protein

Grain contains relatively little protein. Supplementing the concentrated feed with protein is usually only necessary when feeding pregnant mares, foals or high-performance horses to build muscle. Brewer's yeast, dried spent grains (the residues from beer production) or field peas are suitable for this.

Special mixtures from different feed manufacturers with corresponding feeding recommendations are available in stores. Many legume seeds - including most lupins, beans, and peas - are poorly digestible and palatable, or even poisonous to horses. They shouldn't be fed.

Supplement mineral feed and additives

Grain-based concentrate feed for horses is generally not only low in protein, but also low in calcium and minerals. The horse's concentrate ration can be usefully supplemented with commercially available salt or mineral licks or appropriate additional feed and is usually completely sufficient.

Alternatively, compound feed can also be purchased in stores which, in addition to concentrated feed, already contain all the necessary minerals and trace elements in a finished mixture, for example a muesli. An optimal supply of minerals not only supports the horse's digestion, but also has a positive effect on bone metabolism and changes caused by osteoarthritis.

Updated: May 19, 2017 - Author: Nicole Kreutzfeldt

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