Do I Need to Feed Supplements as Well as a Complete and Balanced Feed?

Do I Need to Feed Supplements as Well as a Complete and Balanced Feed?

What’s in a Premix?

A ‘premix’ is the vitamins, minerals and micro-additives that are added to a combination of grains, fibres, fat and protein sources that make up a ‘complete and balanced feed’.

Grains, fibre, fat and protein sources are the primary ingredients of any horse feed. Their inclusion rates and weightings will vary depending on the intended use of the feed however, they will form the primary calorie source.

On their own, grains, fibres, fat and protein sources have very low levels of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals and therefore will not provide a balanced ration to the horse on their own.

So, without the addition of a “premix”, horses will not receive an adequate intake of key vitamins and minerals to meet their daily requirements. This is particularly important for pregnant mares, young growing horses, equine athletes and those horses that have restricted pasture intake.

The ‘premix’ added to the combination of grains, fibres, fat and protein sources will fill in the ‘shortfalls’ of vitamins and minerals.

The ‘premix’ that is added to the Dunstan feed will depend on the type of horse the feed is intended to be fed too.

Feeds targeted at performance horses may have elevated levels of Vitamin E and include supplements like Chromium.

Feeds formulated for horses prone to laminitis will also have elevated levels of nutrients prevalent in pasture, to make up for restricted pasture access, as well as increased inclusion of Biotin to assist with hoof growth.

It is important however to ensure that the ‘complete feed’ is fed at the minimum intake that it is formulated and recommended to, therefore providing the benefit of the ‘premix’.
A higher concentration of premix is included in more concentrated feed stuffs, resulting in a lower intake of feed required to be fed to provide the necessary vitamins and minerals.

When feeding the recommended intake of a premixed feed or concentrate under ‘normal circumstances’, and in conjunction with meeting the horses daily forage requirements ,further general vitamin and mineral supplementation should not be required other than salt. Salt intake will vary depending on the individual’s daily sweat loss.



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