Entries in Protein (2)

Monday
Nov212011

FOR THE GOOD OF THE HORSE!

Vuma Horse Feed

"Ensuring you are getting the best from your bag?"

Vuma Horse Feeds has always believed in providing nutrient dense, whole grain rations with processed maize for maximum digestibility. The whole grains include oats, sunflower and barley.

Apart from providing starch and some protein, as well as fat (in the case of sunflower), the different whole grains provide a certain amount of roughage while also fulfilling some of the searching behaviour of horses by allowing them to pick through the different grains.

Coarse muesli mixes not only have a lower density than pellets but they are harder to pick up and the horse cannot grip so much in one mouthful. More roughage and different shaped grains, allow for slower eating.

Quantity or Quality

Protein

The quality or amino acid composition of the protein in the diet is very important. Of the 22 amino acids required by horses, 10 must be supplied in the diet and are thus called essential amino acids.

Muscle development; the ability to repair and rebuild muscles after work and protein losses in sweat create a need for high quality, highly digestible protein.

It is generally accepted that lysine is the first-limiting amino acid, followed by methionine and perhaps threonine. Thus, a diet containing sufficient total protein but which is low in lysine will make the balance of the protein unavailable for effective utilization.

Vitamins and Minerals

Quality of the individual nutrients included in the vitamin and mineral pack of each ration is important, as is the assurance that the pack is free of undesirable substances, such as ionophores, which are commonly used in ruminant and poultry rations but are deadly to horses. Knowing that your product is made in a horse friendly mill ensures your peace of mind.

Balance is all important and correct vitamin and mineral levels are crucial! Traditional inorganic minerals are commonly used; however there are organic versions of certain of these minerals, which have higher absorption efficiency. Although more expensive, there is a trade-off between the cost of these organic forms and the benefit of increased absorption. Vitamins are also an expensive part of the ration, but the benefits of good levels of vitamin A, vitamin E and biotin are irrefutable in rations, and there is evidence to suggest that vitamin C is useful in laying a good foundation for bone development.

The vitamin and mineral packs in commercial feeds are really the difference between a good feed and a great one.

A nutrient dense feed range like Vuma ensures that your horse gets everything it needs in the bag!

Congratulations to all the Champions from the Feed of Champions!

vuma horsefeed africa

www.vumafeed.co.za

AFRICA'S FINEST HORSEFEEDS

For more information contact :
Catherine Hartley : 083 640 1155
Email: catherine@vumafeed.co.za

Monday
Apr112011

WINTER WARMERS. CHASING THE CHILLS AWAY!

Horses running in Winter Snow

Chasing the chills away...
(Photo : Tarryn Liebenberg)

"Keep your horse warm from the inside..."

With the sudden cool spell that we have had, it is a reminder that winter is on the way and that we should be well prepared! I have noticed that some of my horses are expecting a very chilly winter and they are already well prepared, with woolly coats starting, even though they are blanketed at night!

Unfortunately the frosts can't come soon enough with the terrible horse sickness that has been around and we can only hope that it will not be a problem for much longer.

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to stock up on your winter supply of hay. As the days get shorter and cooler so the growth of our grass slows and natural grazing gets less and less. Pasture growth slows down considerably in the cold weather and hay becomes more essential to fill the gap, it also helps to keep horses warm.

The overall health of the horse relies quite heavily on the health of the hind gut microbial population. An additional benefit is the mechanics of breakdown of hay which is almost entirely accomplished by the hind gut microbes, and because the process is relatively energy efficient, a large amount of heat is produced. This effectively serves to keep the horse warm from the inside, so that couple of extra kilos of hay fed on extremely cold nights is the best heat source you can provide your horse. Thus it is essential to allow unlimited access to good quality hay over the cold months.

Hay quality is as important as forage quantity. Hay should have a crude protein content of 7% or higher on an as-fed basis. Hay with less protein tends to be over mature and have too much indigestible fibre, as plants digestibility and nutrient content decline the more mature they are.

Cheaper hay is often unfertilised and the nutrient content is very poor, so it is better and cheaper to feed higher quality hay.

Lucerne has from 14 - 18% protein, good Teff around 12% protein and Eragrostis around 7 - 9% protein.

When buying hay, be sure to look for green, leafy, fresh-smelling hay without mould, weeds, dust or discoloration.

Horses should receive 1.5 - 2% of their body weight in hay (or forage) per day. For the average 450 - 500kg horse with moderate exercise that is about 7 - 10kg's of hay per day. This equates to about 300kg's of hay per horse per month - a daunting reality; but one that requires forward planning to ensure that you don't run out towards the end of winter, as supplies decrease.

A budget saving tip is to buy in bulk which is always cheaper than buying in smaller quantities. If you don't have the room for storing a huge volume of hay, consider sharing a load with a neighbour.

One final point; avoid over or under feeding your horse by always weighing your hay (and grain!). Feeding by eye or scoop is not accurate and wastes money and feed.

Since the feed value of some hay can be low, it is worth supplementing concentrates with a high-energy product like oil. Oil is highly digestible in the small intestine and as such is a good source of "cool" energy.  Using oil will help to minimize behavioiural problems associated with high carbohydrate diets and it provides nearly two-and-a-half times the energy of the equivalent weight carbohydrate.

VO3 Max is a blend of high quality oils incorporating all the benefits of the omega 3 oils as well as added garlic and vitamin E, which is highly suitable as a winter energy supplement. Remember the benefits of omega 3 oils include decreased blood lipid concentrations, increased membrane elasticity, increased insulin sensitivity and regulated inflammatory response. This could be particularly helpful in easing inflammation conditions that seem worsened by cold weather, such as arthritis.

Click here to read more about VO3 Max...

vuma horsefeed africa

www.vumafeed.co.za

AFRICA'S FINEST HORSEFEEDS

For more information contact :
Catherine Hartley : 083 640 1155
Email: catherine@vumafeed.co.za

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