Winter is certainly not a horse owner’s favourite time of the year. Along with the cold, dark and mud, many horses struggle to maintain condition, making it difficult to have them looking their best when the season gets underway.
There are lots of great horse feed options available but it can sometimes be difficult to decide which one would best suit your horses and their current feed and management programme.
If you are wondering about ways to fine tune your horse’s feed ration this winter we have some tips from Dunstan for you!
Feeding horses for fibre
With pasture growth slowed in winter and horses turning grassy paddocks to mud, some owners may find their horses struggling to consume the appropriate amount of fibre for optimum digestive health.
Providing good quality hay to make up the shortfall in pasture and to provide some much needed dry matter is very important. Hay will also help keep horses warm due to the extra heat generated during its digestion.
Further fibre can be added to your horse feed rations by incorporating a Dunstan Beet:
- Dunstan Betabeet Flakes or
- Dunstan Sugarbeet Flakes.
As Dunstan Beets are super-fibres, they have more calories per kg than traditional fibre sources. Not only do they provide more calories than many other fibre sources for weight gain, they also add additional fibre to the ration to assist your horse with maintaining digestive health.
Dunstan provides two beet options for horse owners, to allow them to choose the beet product which best suits the requirements of their individual equines.
Give your horse more calories – without more feed
Unfortunately some owners are only able to feed their horses once a day and this can make it difficult to get additional condition on their horses in winter. Sometimes it is not appropriate to just make the feeds larger, as due to the small size of the horse’s stomach, it is recommended that no more than 2.5kg of concentrate be fed in a single meal.
However, adding some oil to the ration will increase the calorie intake without the horse having to consume more feed, which is a great option.
Adding a ‘Little Something’ to your horse’s winter feed
If you are just wanting to add a ‘little something’ to your existing ration to increase the overall calorie level of the diet, Dunstan has two great options which will help with winter horse nutrition:
- Dunstan Extruded Rice, and
- Dunstan Muscle n’ Shine.
Vitamins and minerals are not added to Dunstan Extruded Rice, so it can be incorporated into your horse’s existing winter feed ration to provide further calories without doubling up on vitamin and mineral contribution. Add Dunstan Extruded Rice to your horse’s existing feed ration at 500grams to 1.5kg daily.
Alternatively, Dunstan Muscle n Shine can be included at 250grams to 1kg daily. Dunstan Muscle ‘n Shine does include added vitamins and minerals, so will help to ‘top-up’ requirements if there is a slight shortfall in the current ration.
Get personalised advice on horse feed & nutrition
Horsesports stocks a full range of Dunstan horse feeds. We can help you with practical knowledgeable advice according to what your horse’s nutritional needs and work requirements are. If you are struggling with the winter feeding woes and would like some assistance with deciding the best feeding options for your horse, please contact Horsesports on 09 2696518.
For specialist advice on horse feed you can go direct to Dunstan:
- Ph 0800 438 678
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- or download the Dunstan Equine Nutrition Handbook.