Larger, Harder Pelleted Feeds Might Improve Horses’ Digestive Health
If you feed pellets, your horse might be consuming these concentrated grains faster than he should for optimal health. A new form of pellet that’s larger and harder might be a better choice, said a team of German researchers, especially for performance horses.
By prolonging feeding time and stimulating more saliva production, large pellets of concentrated feeds could help mealtimes last longer while providing better protection from gastric ulcers, said Mandy Bochnia, DrMedVet, researcher at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg’s Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences Animal Nutrition Group, in Halle/Saale.
In her study, Bochnia measured chewing patterns and compared the time it took six Warmblood mares to consume a 1-kilogram (about 2-pound) meal of standard commercial-sized pellets versus 1 kilogram of pellets that were approximately three times larger. Both pelleted feeds were produced from the same batch of mixed grains, seeds, and forage (oats, wheat, corn, barley, locust bean gum, alfalfa, sugar beet molasses, linseed meal, sunflower seed, and various other components). The horses also received the same amount of hay throughout the day
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