If your veteran is starting to struggle to chew and digest the coarse fibres of hay it is important to supply another source of nutrients, especially during the winter months when grass is limited. Symptoms of teeth problems include laboured chewing, quidding where horses will often drop half chewed food and loss of appetite. If you have noticed that your veteran has any of these symptoms it is important to first get your Equine Dental Technician to examine the horse and to introduce fibre replacers into the diet.
ReadyFibre Mash from Rowen Barbary is made out of 100% high digestible fibre and is ideal to use as a fibre replacer to help maintain the fibre levels in the diet. Taking just 5 minutes to soak to form a soft textured mash it is very palatable for veterans who have previously had trouble chewing long stem fibre and it can be used as a complete fibre replacer in the diet. With a very low starch and sugar content and no cereals ReadyFibre Mash is a very versatile product that is suitable for feeding to horses that suffer from laminitis and Cushing’s.
When feeding fibre replacers it is recommend to split the feed into as many small meals a day as possible, 3 or 4 portions given at regular intervals through the day will help keep the digestive system healthy.
If your veteran requires weight gain it is recommended to feed approximately 2.5% of their bodyweight as food daily, and if possible allow the horse access to ad-lib fibre through the use of fibre replacers. By providing your horse with ad-lib fibre this will help maintain a healthy hindgut and body temperature in cold weather, as heat is produced through the digestion of feed. The greatest amount of heat is released when microbes in the hindgut digest high fibre feeds, which help keep the horse warm.
ReadyFibre Mash fed alongside the veteran horses standard concentrate diet will provide all the daily nutrients required without the need of hay.