fiber

Nutritional Considerations for Horses in Drought Conditions

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Careful management of your horse year-round will help ensure that he remains healthy during drought conditions. In the short-term future, the first and perhaps most elementary and immediate point to consider is nutrition. As the drought in Kentucky and surrounding states rages on, pastures may be brown and their bounty less than nutritious. If you rely heavily on pastures to provide calories for your horse, he may not be receiving sufficient energy... Read More »

Category : Essential Vitamins | Fat & Fiber | Health & Management | Tips and Topics | Valuable Nutrients

Picking hay for sugar/starch sensitive horses

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All horses need fiber in their diet and some of it must be the form of long hay. Horses challenged by metabolic syndrome should be offered hays that are low in non-structural carbohydrates or NSC. This class of carbohydrates includes starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan. Normal horses can tolerate NSC levels of 20% or higher. It is recommended that horses with metabolic syndrome consume hay with NSC levels of around 10% to 12%. In order to know... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Hot and dry temps got your pasture down?

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Hot and dry temps got your pasture down? The record heat and lack of rain has turned many pastures brown and weedy as grasses go dormant and weeds continue to grow. This can spell trouble for your horses and your pasture. Understanding how extreme temperatures affect your pasture and using a few common sense management tools can help keep your horse safe and your pasture alive. How grasses and weeds react to stress: As a defense mechanism to stress,... Read More »

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

Managing Your Horse’s Bugs

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Bugs? What bugs? Horses are hindgut fermenters. In other words, the hindgut portion of your horse’s digestive tract contains millions of beneficial bacteria and yeast, often referred to as microbes or “bugs.” These bugs have the ability to break down otherwise indigestible fiber into digestible compounds through a process called symbiotic microbial fermentation. Both the horse and the bugs benefit from this process. By joining forces, the bugs and... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | 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

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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