The amount of forage your horse needs depends on the nutritional value of the forage fed and his condition. However nutrition aside, forage can also provide occupational therapy for your horse, keeping him chewing and stopping him getting bored; therefore it is important to remember that forage has several roles in our horse’s life and ideally you should maximise the amount of fibre your horse eats daily.
Most horses will need at least 2% of bodyweight as forage per day this includes grass, haylage and chops such as TopChop Alfalfa. In certain circumstances forage intake may need to be restricted, for example a horse that needs to lose weight may receive as little as 1-1.5% of their bodyweight as forage daily. However, it is very important that you speak to your Vet and Nutritionist before restricting your horse’s forage intake. Severe forage restriction can result in hyperlipidemia, a condition in which the body goes into starvation mode rereleasing large quantities of stored lipids into the bloodstream. Hyperlipidemia is a serious condition that is often life-threatening.
Many experts believe that up to 90% of hay made in the UK is not of sufficient hygienic quality to be fed to horses. Feeding mouldy or dusty hay can increase the risk of respiratory problems such as Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO, formerly known as COPD). Yeoman Haylage contains lower levels of harmful dust and mould spores. This makes it an ideal forage for performance horses, where full lung capacity is essential for peak performance, and for horses
prone to respiratory problems.
Feeding lower priced forage can be a false economy as it tends to have a lower nutritional value. This means that higher levels of calories must be provided in the bucket feed, eliminating any savings made. In many cases horses fed haylage will only need to receive low levels of a suitable hard feed (e.g. a TopSpec balancer).
Horses tend to find haylage tastier than hay. This means that it is perfect for horses that can be fussy eaters and as there is usually less waste this helps you to save money.
Yeoman Haylage is wrapped in small bales and therefore can be stored outside, perfect if you have limited storage space. Small bales of haylage are convenient and mess-free, perfect for taking on the lorry when you’re competing away from home!
We believe our Haylage is the best product and provides an excellent alternative to grass, and is much better for horses than meadow hay. In some circumstances horses can need supplements, especially high-performance horses. What supplements your horse may need is up to you and your advisors, however here is some further information from TopSpec, a specialist horse feeds and supplements provider who we have worked with for many years.
If more condition is required than a feed balancer alone will promote then you can add a high calorie chop (e.g. TopChop Alfalfa) and/ or a TopSpec blend (e.g. FibrePlus Cubes, Cool Condition Cubes or Performance Cubes) to your horses ration. TopSpec blends have been specifically formulated to be fed alongside TopSpec balancers and allows you to alter your horses calorie intake without changing their feed completely. This is important as research has shown that changes to the horses diet can significantly increase the risk of digestive disturbances including colic.
Need extra information or would like to leave us feedback? Then please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone, email or via the contact form. We are always very happy to help.