carbohydrates

Havoc in the Hindgut

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Your horse is a home The digestive tract of your horse is home to millions of microorganisms that aid in the digestion of feedstuffs. The sheer size of the microbial population shows their importance to your horse’s health. Leading equine nutritionist David Frape once wrote “…the bacteria cells in the digestive tract of the horse number more than ten times all the tissues cells in the body.” Think about it: There are more microbes in the gut... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Energy Crisis

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As pastures fade from green to brown, horse owners all over will soon be feeding hay to meet their horses’ energy requirements. A diet composed primarily of forage and the recommended amount of a well-fortified concentrate is all most horses need to maintain their weight. But many horses—like old horses or hard keepers—need more than the basics to stay plump and healthy through winter. To prevent an energy crisis in these calorie-needy horses,... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Add Healthy Calories to Your Horses’ Diet

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Equi-Jewel was developed by Kentucky Performance Products to safely meet the energy needs of today’s horses. It reduces the risk of digestive upset and supports optimal muscle function, while providing the calories your horse needs to thrive. The fat found in rice bran is an extraordinary source of dietary energy. In fact, fat contains more than two times the energy that carbohydrates and proteins do, thereby fueling horses more efficiently. Fat is... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics | Videos

Nutritional tidbit: carbohydrates aren’t all bad

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The most important thing to keep in mind regarding "carbs" is that there are different types of carbohydrates and the type you are feeding matters. Slowly fermentable carbohydrates (the fiber found in fresh pasture and dried forages like hay) are very beneficial to your horse. In fact, they should be the foundation of his or her diet. Simple or rapidly fermentable carbohydrates (starches and sugars) can only be digested in limited amounts by the... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Health & Management | Tips and Topics

The Skinny on Fat

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Packed with energy Fat is an effective energy source for horses. Pound for pound, fats provide 2.25 times more energy than carbohydrates. In a natural state, horses consume only small amounts of fats, but they digest and absorb them well. Fats are broken down into fatty acids in the small intestine and stored as triglycerides in the adipose tissue of the body. Fat is utilized to fuel long-term, slow work. Some fat is necessary Fat is necessary for the... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Feeding Horses – Energy Sources Matter

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Dietary energy dictates body condition in healthy horses. Too little energy and the horse loses weight; too much energy and the horse gains weight. Typical diets of pasture, hay, and concentrate often do not supply sufficient dietary energy to horses that have increased calorie needs. Such horses include hardworking performance horses, lactating mares, and aged horses. The fat in rice bran contains more calories per mouthful than pasture, hay, or... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Laminitis: What’s Grain Overload Got to Do with It?

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What is laminitis? Laminitis occurs when the tissues that connect the coffin bone to the hoof wall, called the laminae, become inflamed and the blood supply is compromised. Laminitis varies in severity depending on the amount of damage inflicted on the laminae. Mild cases usually result in very little permanent damage to the laminae, while the more severe cases can result in founder, or the sinking of the coffin bone. There are several factors that can... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part III

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Is Fiber a Carbohydrate? In Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I, we reviewed simple carbohydrates and in Clarifying Carbohydtrates Part II we looked at rapidly fermentable carbohydrates. This Nutritional Minute describes slowly fermentable carbohydrates (fiber) and discusses the concerns associated with all carbohydrates in the equine diet. Slowly Fermentable Carbohydrates Slowly fermentable carbohydrates, or fiber as they are commonly called, are... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part II

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part II There are many types of carbohydrates in equine diets, including simple carbohydrates, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and complex, slowly fermentable carbohydrates. Your horse digests each type of carbohydrate differently. Some types of carbs are better for your horse than others. Click here for Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I for information on simple carbs. This time we will reviewing rapidly fermentable... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I There are three different types of carbohydrates utilized by horses: simple sugars and starches, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and structural carbohydrates. This part of our series will deal with simple sugars and starches. What are carbohydrates and why are they important? Carbohydrates are substances made up of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). Various forms of carbohydrates are made through... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

High-energy advantages

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Simply put, horses need energy. Energy is traditionally supplied by cereal grains such as oats, corn, and barley. These feedstuffs deliver energy as carbohydrates or starch. But what if you want to supply more energy to your horse without increasing his feed intake? Feeding a fat supplement is an excellent way to achieve this. Fat is added to the diet because it is an excellent energy source. It contains almost 2.25 times as much energy as an... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Myths Concerning Feeding Fat to Endurance Horses

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MYTH: Fat is an unsuitable ingredient in the diets of endurance horses. FACT: Fat is not only a perfectly acceptable component in the diets of all performance horses, it sometimes proves to be a necessary ingredient. Due to the intense work that endurance horses perform, many are unable to maintain optimal body condition when fed forages (pasture and hay) and traditional concentrates (textured or pelleted sweet feed). Because fats contain more than two... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

The Trouble with Fructans

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What is a fructan? Fructan is a type of sugar found in cool-season grasses. Instead of being digested in the foregut, fructan passes into the horse’s hindgut, where it ferments and causes the production of lactic acid. If too many fructans are consumed at one time, high levels of lactic acid can accumulate and cause the pH of the hindgut to drop. Even small changes in pH can negatively affect the delicate microflora that live in the hindgut and aid in... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

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