AQHA Magazine September/October 2018 Sep_Oct_2018_1-52_proof_FINAL (1) - Page 38

for racehorses or broodmares probably won’t be suitable and vice versa. For spelling horses, one of the high chaff feeds may be suitable, fed at a level that provides sufficient en- ergy and bulk to make up for hay and pasture deficiencies. If in doubt as to how much is safe to feed, contact the manufacturer or an equine nutritionist for advice specific to your horse and situation. Fat supplements such as oil and stabilised rice bran such as KER Equi-Jewel can be very useful for drought feeding. The energy in fat is considered a ‘cool’ and ‘safe’ energy as it does not make horses go silly and can replace some of the grain. The energy is also three times more concentrated than from carbohy- drate sources such as oats, so a little goes a long way. Just 1-2 cups of oil, or 500g-1kg of KER Equi-Jewel add- ed to the hard feed ration will make a significant impact on those horses that are losing weight due to drought conditions. One great thing about fat is that, usually during drought, whilst grain prices begin to soar, the price of fats and oils remain fairly stable, making them a viable part of a cost-effective diet. Low starch grains such as lupins can be a valuable source of fibre and protein and can help to minimise the carbohydrate content of the diet. Up to 1.5kg per day of lupins is suitable for a 500kg horse but use only as required. Grains provide quick release energy and are an important part of the diet for horses at work, or those that are losing condition due to poor forage. One of the safest grain to feed is oats, as they have a relatively high fibre content, are easily digested and are very palatable. Barley and corn can also be used in a grain blend to assist weight maintenance but these grains should be heat processed to increase digestibility and feeding efficiency. Wheat is a very high energy grain, with a low fibre content and should be processed prior to feeding. Wheat should be fed in moderation due to the high gluten content which may cause the formation of a glutinous mass in the mouth or stomach, and the high starch/ low fibre content which may increase the risks of hind gut overflow and ensuing laminitis and/or colic. As with all diet changes, it is impor- tant to introduce new feeds slowly over 7-10 days. If you have a horse with special dietary needs, has met- abolic or other concurrent condi- tions, it is advisable to contact your veterinarian or equine nutritionist for further advice. Molasses and honey: These sim- ple sugars do provide energy to the horse but should be fed with great care. Overwhelming the system with sugar will have the same effect as overloading with grain or rich pas- ture, in that the hind gut will become compromised with ensuing in colic, laminitis and scouring a likely result. These sugars contain no fibre and so act as a quick energy rush which can cause a large spike in blood sugar which may be undesirable for behaviour. Molasses or honey should be mixed with a feed containing sufficient bulk and fibre if it is to be used as an energy supplement. It will increase palatability of feeds which may be very useful in drought where unconventional feeds are being used, but can ferment in particularly hot weather so needs to be stored cor- rectly. quality pasture is fed, these require- ments will be met, but in times of drought, where this is not possible there are a number of supplements that may be used to meet these re- quirements: Vitamin and mineral supplements: These will likely be required as dry hay and grains are deficient in these important physiological substrates. A broad spectrum multi vitamin prod- uct that contains macro and trace minerals such as KER Nutrequin or KER Gold Pellet will work well to fill in the gaps of a drought feeding program for horses that are spelling or in light to moderate work. Horses in heavy training will require a little more support and a supplement such as KER Perform or KER Gold Pellet should be used if a straight grain diet is being fed. KER Gold Pellet contains a yeast culture has been associated with improved fibre digestion and may help horses on tough stemmy forages and limited dry pick to get the most out of the forage that they have. Canola meal: Contains around 35% protein, with a good amount of lysine and can be used to replace soybean meal as a protein and fat supple- ment. The protein is less concen- trated in canola meal than in soy, so a greater volume must be fed to provide sufficient protein and lysine. A regular amount may be around 3-400g, but up to 600g may be required in a drought management program. Digestive health supplements: When pasture is limited and more energy concentrates/pre-mixed feeds are fed, horses can become more prone to digestive conditions such as gastric ulcers and hindgut acidosis. It is worth considering a supplement to help protect horses against these conditions as they can affect perfor- mance and be costly to remedy in the long run. Protein Supplements Some horses may require a protein supplement during times of drought where poor quality, low protein forage is used. The most important of these are pregnant and lactating mares, young growing horses and old horses. Good quality protein is vital for healthy development and growth of the foetus and young horse. Requirements for the essential ami- no acid lysine must be met to avoid developmental abnormalities. Signs of a protein deficiency include loss of muscle mass and tone and a ‘pot’ belly, especially in young horses. Generally, if lucerne hay and good 38 • The Australian Quarter Horse Magazine • September • October • 2018 Soy & full fat soy: Full fat soy con- tains around 38% protein, where soy beans contain around 40-48% protein. Soy is possibly the best source of vegetable protein, contain- ing almost all of the essential amino acids including lysine at appreciable levels. Extruded full fat soybean meal is a popular supplement for young growing horses the world over providing cool energy in the form of fat as well as plenty of good quality protein. Feeding rates of up to 600g per day may be required in drought periods. Lupins, beans and peas: Lupins contain 28-34% crude protein with a moderate lysine content. Beans and peas have similar protein levels and some have a similar lysine content but are often less palatable than lupins. Lupins can be fed at up to 2kg per day, and more where other protein sources are limited. Beans and peas are useful additions to a mix but may be ‘sorted’ out by picky eaters. Be careful with the types of peas used as some are toxic to hors- es. Beans, peas and lupins should undergo processing before feeding to allow maximum digestion. Sunflower seeds: These are very popular as a feed ingredient in Australia and contain around 20% protein, but the protein is relative- ly low in lysine. Sunflower seeds also contain some fat which adds a little energy to the diet. Usual feeding rates are around 200g, but in drought diets that are low in protein, up to 500g may be fed. Linseed meal: Contains around 35% protein, but with a poor lysine content. Linseed is a relatively poor quality as a protein source and can be expensive. Copra meal: Contains around 20% protein and some residual oil but has a very poor lysine content and the fat becomes rancid very quickly in hot and humid conditions thus reducing palatability. Copra should be soaked