Quality forage combined with the right supplements are what your horse needs to achieve optimum health.
Keeping your horse healthy is every horse lover’s goal. Because of the degradation and depletion of soil nutrients, to accomplish the goal of a healthy equine, you will need to provide supplements in addition to their forage.
The right choice of supplements matters
When supplementing the equine diet, a common challenge is finding and using products that complement the forage currently being used. It’s true that grain-based complete feeds may be convenient for delivering additional protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. However, an alternative non-molasses lick block form of mineral supplementation, such as EquiLix® from SweetPro Feeds, enables forage digesters to consume the supplement in multiple meals or snacks throughout the day. This pattern of consumption optimizes cecum fermentation and nutrient utilization, as it is small quantities ingested multiple times throughout the day, resulting in a consistent flow of gut contents. This takes full advantage of all the nutritional components in the supplement as well as the nutrients in the forages being consumed.
Distillers’ grains aid fermentation in the gut
The key to effective supplementation is to use supplements that digest and then ferment in the cecum at a similar rate to the base diet. An excellent source of complementary energy and protein is dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS) and condensed distillers’ solubles (CDS). These low, non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) ingredients optimize the diet forage-fed horses have available.
Prebiotic fibers are also important
Another key factor in optimizing cecum fermentation is the inclusion of prebiotic fibers. Prebiotics feed the resident good fiber-digesting bacteria of the equine gut microbiome and support their populations. When bacterial populations are diverse, they are able to take greater advantage of nutrients in the ration.
Prebiotic fibers to look for in the equine diet include AXOS (arabino-xylo oligosaccharide), XOS (xylo oligosaccharide), MOS (mannan oligosaccharide) & Beta-glucan.
Compatibility creates the optimum internal environment
The more compatible energy and protein sources are to the equine fiber-based digestive system, the more nutrients and tools from forage the horse can utilize. And a properly nourished horse is a healthy, happy horse.