Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Sallighted, Feb 19, 2011.
A horses digestive tract is designed to work efficiently when 75% full. The easiest and safest way to achieve this amount of bulk is to feed roughage (pasture, hay, chaff).
To eliminate excessive heat build up in the gut, it is practical to have less bulk of grains/pellets etc. The easiest way to do this is feed feeds which are higher in protein/DJ energy etc when feed at lower quantities.
Let's break down the facts of the horse in it's natural environment. Horses by their very design and nature are a grazing animal thus their gut is at the ideal capacity for it to all work correctly. In nature horses are exposed to grasses containing wild oats/lupins etc. They do not have access to vitamin suppliments.
As us humans have advanced in technology we have "formulated" feeds that are complete. To me mother nature had it down pact so why do we need to change. Because that is what humans do. Sometimes we do not know better. Feed companies spend thousands on "research" and then put a spin on it for their own benefit. You must feed this or that.
We are very pleased with the fabulous results we achieve feeding a very basic and minimal feeding program. But that is us. if you choose to feed this that and whatever else is the fad, then add all the vitamins and garlic/rosehip etc etc. Go right ahead and waste your hard earned cash peoples. But not this little young duck.
Totally agree with you.
Fibre creates the most waste heat in the hindgut during digestion ie hays, and pasture, out of the grains; its oats(due to their high fibre content) then barley then maize.
Horses may have grazed wild oats and lupins however those oats and lupins would not have the protein or starch content as cultivated domestic species do.
Horses have very little capacity to digest starch and even less so to convert excess protein to energy.
Horses grazed over wide areas consuming different grasses form different localities which would have enabled them to satisfy their vitamin and mineral needs.
And in times of environmental stress wild horses also suffered deficiencies
This is true and sensible. I would think the oats and lupins have not been dried/dehydrated for storage though, in the wild, thus needing soaking or some sort of process (for oats etc) if not to be soaked or cooked prior to feeding to make the food as digestable as when eaten fresh...just like when humans dry corn then make corn flour or soak and cook it...
So, horses can range to vary diet for minerals and vitamins, eat more roughage with small amounts of grain, and have a consistant amount of food in their gut.
Mimicking this in feeding domesticated horses should have good results...
That's how I see it anyway
Horses Digestive system 101
Stomach accounts for 8% volume or 7.5-15L of the digestive tract at a length of 0.25m. Some protein is digested by acid. partial feed breakdown and soaking feed mass with gastric fluid and saliva.
Small Intestine accounts for 28% volume or 40-50L. Is 15-22m in length. is responsible for major fat and protein digestion, and 50-70% carbohydrates. Most vitamins and minerals and no fibre.
Large Intestine Caecum accounts for 17% volume or 25-30L. Is 0.9-1.2m in length. is responsible for fibre digestion, and 50% residual carbohydrates.
Large Colon accounts for 34% volume or 50-60L. Is 3-3.7m in length. is responsible for fibre digestion, water absorbtion and the remaining carbohydrates.
Small Colon accounts for 11% volume or 18-19L. Is 3-3.2m in length. is responsible fibre digestion, and water absorption.
Rectum accounts for 2% volume or 2-3L. Is 0.3m in length. is responsible for faecal storage and water absorption
Punctual, evenly spaced feeds of grain concentrates can increase digestibility of the grain by up to 40%. When feeding grain, maximum amount of grain provided per feed should not exceed 0.5% bodywaight, or about 500g/100kg, in each of the 2-3 feeds to prevent overload of carbohydrates and risk of hindgut acidosis.
Thus it is why horses graze 18hrs a day. nature knows best and humans interfere again. Noticed how most stabled horses develope problems compared to paddocked horses
I have watched this particular thread with great interest and at times I must confess great amusement. (Loved the "you make me laugh" calls. It was like virtual mud wrestling!!. Cracking stuff)**)
Having been married for 20 years with daughters I have 'slowly' learnt not to get in the middle of a clash of female beliefs and so I have remained silent.
However, whilst not wanting to get into an argument based on interpretations of nutritional information, I do believe that the occasional 'cheap shot' levelled at feed or nutrition companies from people who's knowledge of the internal workings of a company such as hygain is in fact nil causes some of their well made points to be tarnished.
If you don't like Hygain or Mitavite or whatever because you find your horse doesnt thrive on it or because you dont like a particular formula then fine but dont then roll out the nonsense that we are somehow hoodwinking the masses into purchasing goods that are in fact of no benefit to their horses so as we get rich! Thats just weak cr$p!!
In my discussions with customers and groups I 'always' point to our bags and make it clear that mother nature never really meant for us to feed these things in the first place and that as such it is fibre intake which remains the most important aspect of nutrition whether it is a pony club animal or a racehorse.
However I also point out that nature probably didnt envisage or plan for us restricting their roaming to small land parcels, often in areas where the horse wouldnt have naturally evolved, nor did old Mum Nat envisage that we would ask them to pull chariots, work in fields or in fact try to run a mile in 1.34 with a diminutive fella or lass up top waving a whip in its eye sight! And before anyone targets racing for some criticism I also doubt that the idea of spinning a horse in circles, screeching to a halt or performing an equine ballet whilst wearing $1500 worth of riding apparel or beaver hats was utmost in natures mind either. All genuinely magnificent tributes to the skill of mankind in working with these amazing creatures but far from the fright/flight manner in which they evolved.
So, in understanding the various challenges, researchers, many of them extremely dedicated to this species have spent lifetimes analysing all aspects of our effect on the horse and have sometimes discovered certain limitations in our traditional methods of feeding etc. We have also come to understand grains better - things like trypsin inhibitors and the like so eloquently referred to by Runnin4Cash. (Before leaping from the ropes to drop a vicious elbow on Colinban) We now know how to improve the small intestine digestibility of grains (eg Micronizing) and we now know the benefits of adding certain nutrients (eg Vitamin E or Yea Sacc or whatever) to performance horses. All of this is done however whilst remembering that the digestive system of the horse has not necessarily kept time with our plans to specifically breed, show, work or race them.
In addition it is a reality that we are a species that thrives on competition. We want to be the best of our peers and we often want our horses to be the best around. Goodness knows I want my racehorse to collect the chocolates and even non racing breeders will advertise their stallions to encourage people to fork out the readies with the promise of breeding a better horse - no guarantee of course!! We, like any other company of any type, respond to this need to excel. We try to produce products that have demonstrated the theoretical and practical capacity to improve coat or condition or longevity or whatever because that is what people want. Of course a horse can survive on lower quality but we can also watch movies and sport and the news etc on a black and white TV - I'm tipping most of you have upgraded - possibly even to a plasma or LCD. Do we need it - No, but it is in our nature to seek out improvements. Often when faced with a horse owner who pines for the past and insists that technology doesnt offer anything to the feeding of horses I ask whether they seek out a dentist that applies the same methods, hardware and ingenuity as when they were kids. To suggest that technology, research and yes - capitalism hasnt offered the field of equine nutrition any concrete advances in the same way it has the medical or dental or automotive field is absurd.
The various scenario's that people throw up in these threads are precisely why we have so many different products. Our Balanced product for example is designed for those very cases where horses are thriving on pasture or home grown grains and just want a concentrated protein and nutrient source.
Anyway it just gives me the scours (cleaned that up nicely I thought) when people make accusations that land on a company like ours that is 100% Australian owned and which takes the raw agricultural goods of our farmers, processes them, enriches them in a unique manufactured product and then sells them to the world - in our case to over 18 countries and other manufacturers do the same. We work our backsides off, yes to the betterment of our own companies but also for the good of this country and we do it in an ethical and nutritionally sound manner that we can be truly and honestly proud of.
So to those who would think to spout off about why feed companies do this or that whilst only making assumptions that fit their particular argument or conspiracy theory I say stick to what you know and when you get around in your imported apparel or gear try not to tear down those of us who take pride in seeing the 'Made in Australia from Australian Grown Ingredients' label sitting in feed rooms around the world.
Right - I feel better. Time for another beer and this is how committed I am to the locals - Im currently in South Australia and actually drinking West End!! That, my friends, is true committment!!!
BLOODY WELL SAID MARTIN.
as an owner of a "Made in Australia from Australian Grown Ingredients" feed company also, I too have sat and watched the very underhanded and sly comments made to coliban and to feed manufacturing companies, but i lack the tact to reply
love ya work martin
Hooray!!! Hygain..... round of applause.
Well said my friend
Well said Hygain! And that is why I continue to buy your products for my horses **)
And LOL Smash, since when did you lack tact?
Couldn't agree more Hygain.......obviously RUNNIN4CASH thought that a bit of self promotion was in order, unfortunately it came via slagging down other products. This doesn't go down well......#(
Feeding regimes for individual studs and individual horses I believe will show up in progeny.....then in the show pen.
So, if a stud gets results and continues to own healthy happy mares, then I don't think thats doing the wrong thing by their horses - regardless of how much they spend doing it. I have witnessed over the years many owners who feed everything but Weetbix to their horses - I reckon 80% of it came out in their poop anyway!! The gut of horses can only utilise so much "goodies". Having looked through manure and then added it to my roses I can tell you I not only had great blooms but I had about 6 different grains and legumes growing in my rose garden (sooooo not good).
To assume that someone who gets excellent above average results and who does it economically is "being cheap"........is a ridiculous statement IMO.
I think it shows good business brains!!
I have to say that the feed Lena's horses recieve and the way they graze broadacre was one of the reason's I chose to invest money into buying progeny from her stud.
Coliban horses were in immaculate condition during the worst of the drought on her feeding regime. Proof in the pudding is it not.
Hygain I agree with you totally. Well said and I hope you enjoy that beer!! It is well earned.
Well HCF I get to see Lena's stock in real life tomorrow WOO HOO!!! I love running my hands over all that lupin fed muscle at her place hahahaha!! Can't wait!!
hehehe luky duck!! take a pic of the blue boy for me PLZ!!
are you picking up some babies??
No thier not ready yet. I am leaving them out there for as long as possible for a bit more growth retardation hahaha!!
I know I love Blue Boy he is HOT. I have to say big muscles Arnold Red Boy is my fav. The first time I ever met him he walked up to me and shoved his whole face into my chest, huffed on me and wanted a cuddle. I was sold forever, he is the biggest smoocher. It comes through in his babies, lovely temperment.
Lena has contacts with hay too I reckon. All of us down South were scrounging around for even second rate hay and Lena sources the most beautiful quality export hay in the middle of the desert!!
Mods are watching
Please stay on track with the OP's request on info for feeding her mare.
We (Go The Distance, her OH and I) went and took pics of our pregnant mares.
We are in drought, there is no feed in the paddocks, all horses are hand fed twice a day with soaked lupins (2 scoops), oaten chaff to fill the tall white buckets to the top, salt, equllibrium, calcium.
Look for yourself.
Comries Ghost, the perlino mare in foal to Three Solid Bars(Imp) for a guaranteed buckskin or palomino.
Call For Zippo(imp) in foal to A Major Leaguer(FS)
Coliban Metallic Bars in foal to Three Solid Bars for a palomino foal
more pics to follow.
Pictures Speak More Than a Thousand Words
My Destinys Sexy (Acres Destiny) in foal to Tru Blu Texan(imp)
TK Blondie in foal to Three Solid Bars(imp)
Rule Breakin' mare (empty) with a monstrous foal at foot, not quite 6 months old
I recon they are doing well on lupins and top quality oaten chaff (on limited intake)
What do you recon? Thank you for looking.
certainly looking good coliban,
wonder if RUNNIN4CASH would put photo's of her/his mares ????