With the evolution of knowledge about the digestive physiology of horses, some procedures adopted by "traditional" nutritional management have to be modified with the primary objective of maintaining digestive health.
The first step refers to the resumption of basic concepts regarding the evolution of the equine species in relation to the need for constant food intake and freedom to move.The horse, as a nomadic herbivore and predated at its source, to maintain stable digestive functions must chew for at least 18 hours, walk 6 miles a day. This represents a major modification in management used by most owners who often keep horses confined and receiving food in a few moments during the day.It also includes those who usually, during the time of offering the feed, do not provide the bulky food for fear of impairment in harnessing the nutrients of the feed.Grass, hay, that is, the voluminous fraction of the diet, must be offered to the horse on a constant basis, without the need for any control or reduction of consumption, always remembering that this is the most important part of the diet and must have the highest possible quality.
The second point refers to the formulation of the feed. Traditionally, a large amount of starch is used as the main energy source, mainly from corn, oats and sorghum. Clinical occurrences and more recent research have shown an important occurrence of metabolic syndromes in horses, associated with the consumption of diets with high levels of starch, leading to performance reduction, behavioral changes, digestive problems and even laminitis.To minimize the occurrence of these problems, the most modern formulations have used as main energy sources, vegetable oil and so-called superfibers, which are sources of hemicellulose (soybean hull) and pectin (beet pulp), with excellent energy and virtually no risk to the digestive and organic health of horses as a substitute for corn and oat starch.
In this sense, the quality of the protein, another factor to be taken into account, has been presented in the most modern formulations. Not only quantity, but quality in amino acids is fundamental to ensure, firstly the proper use of nutrients from the diet, but also the functionality of all organic reactions. The horse's body relies on high quality protein to maintain performance and quality of life. Also important that it should have a limit in the protein content in the diet, an excess of protein in the feed can bring problems for the animal.
Minerals play important roles in the balance of body tissue fluids and in the circulation of oxygen in the bloodstream. Most of the tropical grasses used in horse feeding in Brazil have minimal amounts of minerals, so the use of high quality mineral sources with higher absorption and balanced can make a big difference in the results. The use of organic minerals, of greater absorption is a necessary reality in the production of high quality rations.
With similar goals, due to the use of ration in the diet of the horses, some alterations can occur in the digestive environment, causing damage to health. To reduce these effects, the inclusion of pre and probiotics is required in the most modern formulation. These substances can prevent the absorption of toxins present in the food and decrease the growth of undesirable bacteria in the digestive tract of horses that eat ration.
To conclude, the evolution of the processing of the rations used for adequate and modern feeding of the horses, has made possible the adoption of nutritional programs much more efficient. The rations with better digestive result, with less negative effects on the digestive health of horses, are extruded, processing that guarantees improvement in nutrient digestibility. The best digestive utilization of the nutrients allows the reduction of feed consumption, with maintenance of performance.
The use of modern diet formulation and management technologies can provide a better living condition and consequent better performance for horses of all categories, both in breeding and sport and leisure.
Currently, the benefits of live yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
are recognized worldwide, supported by research results from institutions of international renown. It is known that these yeasts (Pro-SACC)
are used to stimulate digestive enzymes and try to establish a desirable balance of intestinal microorganisms.
Mode of action:
- Decrease in count of pathogenic bacteria generated by the production of antibacterial components, competition for nutrients and competition for binding sites;
- Alteration of the microbial metabolism, by the increase or decrease of the enzymatic activity;
- Provides greater immunity by raising the level of antibodies or macrophage activity.
Supplementation with Pro-SACC
increases the concentration of viable live cells in the cecum and colon when worked with the minimum supplementation of 100 billion CFU / day. Supplementation modifies the pH and concentrations of lactic acid and ammonia.
Analyzing the influence of S. cerevisae culture on the digestibility and feed passage rate in horses fed with concentrate and volumine in equal proportions, studies conclude that yeast supplementation improves digestibility and consequently feed conversion.
Thus, supplementation of equines results in a better body condition, optimizing both productive and reproductive processes, and reduction of metabolic disorders such as colic and laminitis.
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