No Starch Overload: Ration Balancers Safe To Feed In One Meal

Horses are designed to eat almost continuously, so feeding multiple small meals throughout the day is ideal, as is offering near-constant access to forage. The equine stomach is relatively small, with a fairly short small intestine compared to other animals that have only one stomach. Proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals are all absorbed in the small intestine, as are simple carbohydrates, reports The Horse.

If feed doesn’t remain in the small intestine for an adequate amount of time, it won’t be broken down into absorbable components; if it is broken down, these components may not have enough time to be absorbed. Ration balancers were designed to make feeding horses simple and easy; one small portion contains all of the nutrients a horse needs to stay healthy without additional calories.

A range of guidelines have been published that indicate the maximum amount of grain and starch content a horse should eat in one meal. According to the National Research Council, starch should be limited to below 0.2 to 0.4 percent of a horse’s body weight, which is 2.2 to 4.4 pounds of starch in a single meal for an 1,100-pound horse.

Most ration balancers have low nonstructural carbohydrate content (NSC), which includes starch. They are generally fed at no more than 2 pounds per 1,100 pounds of equine body weight. This means that feeding the entire amount of recommended per-day ration balancer in one meal is not harmful to the horse as it does not contain too much starch.

Read more at The Horse.

The post No Starch Overload: Ration Balancers Safe To Feed In One Meal appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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