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The Perfect Feed Mix for Horses - Which Feeds to Use?

Updated: Aug 10, 2023

The true advantage of feed formulation lies in the ability to match feed types to specific requirements for stables and farms, taking into consideration factors such as the intensity and duration of the horse’s workload, stage of growth and environmental factors.

Pictured: Protein mix concentrate

The goal is selection of appropriate feed types in specific ratios. Knowledge of how horses respond to each feed type is essential:

Common feed sources

Energy feeds:

- Oats – comparatively lower in energy than other grains but highly digestible;

- Corn – energy dense, high in starch, lower in fat and fibre;

- Barley – lower glycaemic response, regarded as more "conditioning".

Protein sources:

- Lupins – “cool” protein source, starch free;

- Tick beans – contains added starch (approx 40%);

- Protein supplements to meet amino acid requirements.

Fat sources:

- Vegetable oil blends – canola, corn, rice bran etc all with varying Omega 3:6 ratios;

- Added Omega 3 supplements (DHA/EPA sources);

- Sunflower seeds.

Other essential additives

Essential nutrients

- Minerals, trace minerals, and vitamins to meet “elevated” requirements

Additional non-essential additives

- Joint/gut health actives may be added

Selecting the appropriate feed type and inclusion rate in a racehorse or growing horse mix to complement the trainer's or farm requirements will positively influence horse condition, energy levels, muscle mass and overall health and performance.

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