There are areas of your horse's diet whereby you may be able to reduce your feed bill without compromising gut health or optimal nutrition. Six common areas to focus on are:
1. Feed plenty of forage
2% of your horse body weight (10kg for a 500kg horse) is ideal.
Our horses are designed to thrive on a high forage diet and forage alone can meet the energy requirements of many horses.
Behind pasture, hay is likely the most economical component of a horse's diet.
2. Feed hay in slow feeders
This will minimize wastage and maximize the time your horse spends eating.
A constant supply of feed in the stomach helps to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers, therefore avoiding expensive gastric ulcer treatment.
3. Meet Vitamin & Mineral Requirements
If your horse maintains weight on forage alone, simply add Digestive VM at the recommended feeding rate to meet their vitamins and mineral requirements.
4. IF YOUR HORSE NEEDS TO GAIN WEIGHT
- Ensure you’re feeding plenty of high-quality forage first before adding or increasing a pre-packaged feed to add more energy to the diet. A good example is if you’re feeding grass hay only, introduce a small amount of lucerne hay into the diet (500g per 100kg bodyweight).
If you choose to add a pre-packaged feed that contains grain, the grain (with exception of oats) must be heat processed (extruded, micronized or steamrolled) to give starch the best chance of being digested in the small intestine where the horse can get the maximum benefit of energy it provides and in turn preventing starch overflow into the hindgut which can negatively affect the good bacteria.
5. GET EVERYTHING BALANCED
Use the FeedXL program to check you’re not over supplementing or doubling up on nutrients with multiple supplements.
6. Look after the gut
Use Digestive EQ to ensure your horse’s gut is working optimally and to ensure your horse is getting the most out of their feed.