Feeding the Hard-Keeper Horse that has Ulcers

Ulcer-prone equines may take advantage of alfalfa, includes levels of calcium and magnesium that can be useful in buffering acid in the stomach.
Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

Exactly what should you feed a tough keeper that is likewise susceptible to ulcers?

Steeds vary a lot in exactly what level of nutrition is needed to keep preferred body condition and muscle mass. Steeds have actually not been picked or bred based on feed efficiency, feed conversion, or rate of gain, so there a great deal of variation in between horses.

A steed that is a hard keeper can require even more Calories every day to maintain body condition than a simple keeper doing the same work. One way to help this equine will be to feed high quality forage that has a high relative feed value that is connected with higher absorbable energy per pound. An excellent choice may be an alfalfa or alfalfa/grass mix that was cut at early maturity so it has great stems and lots of leaves. This hay could be fed free choice or at least 3 to 4 times daily at a rate of about 2 % body weight or above per day.

The hard keeper might likewise benefit from an industrial feed that is high fat (8-9 % or higher) and managed starch and sugar (so it can be fed at greater levels) with amino acid stronghold (lysine, methionine, and threonine) to assist maintain muscle mass. This feed can be fed a minimum of 2 times each day, and preferably 3 to four times each day so that the quantity being fed can be enhanced while managing danger of starch overload through smaller sized specific meals. The quantity can be increased with the preferred forage to produce weight gain, and afterwards adapted to preserve wanted weight.

A high-fat supplement that is 20+% fat can also be used as a top dressing.

This feeding strategy can likewise serve in minimizing the threat of having ulcers redevelop after an equine has actually been treated with proper veterinarian-prescribed medication. Free choice forage or pasture is a good alternative so the equine’s stand is not vacant for long periods of time. Alfalfa includes levels of calcium and magnesium that can be helpful in buffering acid in the belly.

High fat, controlled-starch feeds fed in small meals at regular periods might also be helpful in decreasing the danger of reoccurrence.

Reprinted with authorization from The Feed Room, by Nutrena.

About the Author

Roy A. Johnson, MS.
Roy A. Johnson, MS, is an equine technology manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition. In his duty, he is responsibile for the development of equine feeds for U.S. company, consisting of feeds for Nutrena, ACCO, Agway, and personal label brand names. A previous expert horse fitness instructor, farm manager, and steed judging coach, Johnson was an assistant teacher in the Agricultural Production Department at the University of Minnesota-Wasecae before signing up with Cargill. Johnson has actually likewise taken part in a successful Thoroughbred racing partnership.

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