The past week has turned many of our lives upside down in one way or another. The same thing has occurred for many horses around the Country that were in full work, preparing to race, or racing and now find themselves out for a spell.
For horses that have had an abrupt end to training it is important to reduce their feed intake in response to their reduction in calorie expenditure. In most racehorse diets this will involve moving them to a lower energy feed. However, if there is plenty of higher energy race mix left in the feed room this can be used at a reduced intake to avoid wastage.
The most suitable feeding regime to transition these spelling racehorses to will depend on their ‘type’ and what pasture and forage sources are available to them.
Pasture and hay/haylage should form the basis of the ration. Therefore it is important to ensure they are receiving their minimum requirement of forage which is 1% of their body weight in hay/chaff or pasture daily on a dry matter basis. If pasture is limited and hay and haylage scarce the additional forage can be added to the hardfeed to supplement these levels and meet fibre requirements, to ensure optimum digestive health. The products from Fibre Fresh and Equifibre provide a great choice of ensiled feeds that will contribute valuable fibre, quality proteins and are dust free.
The hardkeepers that are being turned out may do very well on a high fibre, low starch feed with some additional fat. Many of these horses are more highly strung and it is therefore advisable to avoid high grain rations that provide them with ‘energy’ that exacerbates fence walking and unsettled ‘busy’ activity. Products like Dunstan Breed and Grow/Fibre Grow is ideal - high in fibre, low starch, and a fully balanced feed. Dunstan Breed and Grow/Fibre Grow contain a live yeast culture to aid digestion and these feeds are well recognised for their ability to condition a horse while avoiding highly strung behaviour. The addition of some vegetable oil (Dunstan Trifecta Oil) to the ration will further boost calorie contrition from a ‘calorie dense, cool energy’ source.
For Spellers that are not so ‘high maintenance’ there are some textured feed options available that have a more traditional grain inclusion (excluding Oats) such as Dunstan Spelling Mix and Dunstan Feed-Up. Both these lightly molassed textured feeds provide the majority of their grain in an extruded form, therefore enhancing its digestibility for both better feed utilisation and improved digestive health. For the younger speller Dunstan Feed-Up is a great choice. Formulated for the younger horse, it has a higher protein level and is slightly more calorie-dense taking into account the energy demands of both growth and conditioning. Dunstan Spelling Mix is ideal for the older racehorse. It is fully balanced with calories coming from fibres, fats and cereal grains.
For horses that will be turned out with abundant pasture and will not struggle to maintain condition a semi-concentrate would be an ideal feed supplement. This type of product provides a full profile of nutrients in a lower intake of feed compared to a traditional full feed. Within the Dunstan range Dunstan Fibre Balancer or Dunstan Grass Balancer are semi-concentrates. When fed at approximately 1.5kg daily they provide a full profile of vitamins and minerals, without the higher feed rates of a full feed required to achieve the same nutrient contribution
All the Dunstan feeds are fully balanced and utilise organic minerals and Natural Vitamin E.
If you have any queries on the most suitable Dunstan Feeds for your Team, please contact Gretel on 021 557 316 or David Smith on 0274 931 580.
Alternatively contact the Dunstan Freephone on 0800 438 678.