Tips for Evaluating the Quality of Your Horse Feed

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You want to feed your horse the very best quality feed that’s available. These tips can help you to evaluate the quality of your horse feed so you know just what you’re giving to your horse.

Think About Brand Reputation

You will find that many of the major brands of horse feed develop reputations. While you never want to base your feed choice entirely on a brand’s reputation, considering the brand can help you to narrow your feed search. If a brand is reputed for producing quality horse feed and for rarely issuing recalls, then this is the first step in identifying a quality horse feed.

Analyze the List of Ingredients

The list of ingredients includes every ingredient that has gone into the feed’s creation. This is one factor which often separates feeds apart in quality. You will want to find a feed which includes quality ingredients with little to no fillers. For instance, one feed may list ingredients such as “corn and oats,” but another feed may include ingredients such as “hulls and middlings.” It’s difficult to gauge the amount of nutritional value and the quality of ingredients like hulls and middlings; if possible, you will want to look for a feed made from pure ingredients.

The ingredients list will also include the vitamins and minerals that have been added into the feed. When you’re feeding a complete feed, you shouldn’t have to supplement with vitamins and minerals. If you’re feeding a basic feed, like oats, then you may need to add in any vitamins and minerals that your horse may be lacking.

Assess the Guaranteed Analysis

The guaranteed analysis on a feed bag identifies the nutritional breakdown of the feed. When choosing a feed for your horse, you will need to assess how much protein, fat, sugar, starch, and fiber are appropriate for him. This is where a little bit of guesswork can come in – in general, horses in intense work need significant protein and fat levels to maintain their body weight and energy. But if you’re riding a horse who is a little on the hot side, then you may want a feed which is a little lower in protein, but which is higher in fat to make up for the reduced caloric intake for your horse.

Finding the right feed for your horse can take some time, but by assessing the brand, list of ingredients, and guaranteed analysis of the feed, you can evaluate the quality of any horse feed that you are considering.

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