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Posted on Sep 4, 2019 in Articles, Health & nutrition

Late Summer Feeding from Keyflow Feeds

Late Summer Feeding from Keyflow Feeds

 

There is definitely a nip in the evening air and the nights are noticeably drawing in, it is an important time to consider an Autumn feeding regime for your horse or pony, particularly for good doers, those in any level of work and those in competition work, as there will be seasonal variation in forage quality, including grazing and this years hay or haylage. 

Grazing continues to be a risk factor for good doers and laminitics, cold nights leading to lower temperatures can change the sugar content and fructan level in the grass, coupled with warmer days with temperatures even into their 30’s in some parts of the UK. Greater rain fall leads to seasonal grass growth in places that can contribute towards laminitis and pose a risk to good doers, remember your horse or pony does not need to be overweight to be at risk of laminitis, especially those with metabolic conditions. The risk of autumn grass can be as great and can often go unnoticed. In addition to forage now is a perfect time of the year to consider the vitamin, mineral and essential amino acid and protein component of your horses diet, forage should be balanced with a high quality balancer all year round. Keyflow have a number of options including Keyflow Perfect Balance®, Keyflow Nurture Pro® and Keyflow Golden Oldies®, please head to our website or get in contact if you would like to know more.

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This years forage is finally in, there will be variation in quality and nutritional value of hay and haylage depending on the type of grasses it contains, and the time of year it was cut and made. We were lucky enough to have a warm, dry Spring so early cut hay or haylage should be plentiful. Early cut forage tends to be higher in non-structural carbohydrates, these are the sugars the grass relies on for growth. The grass cut during the early part and the middle stage of the growth season is naturally higher in sugar and even once cut, dried and baled will hold a higher nutritional value and a higher sugar content when fed, Second cut forage where grass has regrown from an early cut in the spring and is then made again in late summer or early autumn, generally has an average level of sugar and an average level of non-structural carbohydrates. Both of these types of hay will likely have a lower structural carbohydrate content, this is the woody part of the plant, and the younger, immature plant is generally lower in lignified content than its later cut counterpart. The very best hay or haylage you can find for good doers is a meadow grass mix which is cut late on in the summer for the first time, this plant will have a higher level of structural carbohydrates therefore will take longer for the horse or pony to chew and longer for the hind gut to digest. As this plant is coming to the end of its growth phase the level of sugar in this grass is likely to be lower. Keyflow can offer some availability for forage analysis as can many feed companies if you would like to understand more about the content of your hay. In addition to the sugar content it is important to consider the protein level. Different types of grass contain different levels of protein, with something such as Italian Ryegrass having a higher level of protein compared to many meadow grasses. Remember when restricting forage from good doers it still needs to be fed at 1.5-2% of their bodyweight, and it is important to slow down feeding time by using small hole haynets. Also consider soaking hay for a minimum of 6 hours which has been shown to reduce soluble sugar content.

If you would like a Keyflow feeding regime please get in touch.

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The Keyflow Advice & Support Team 

Create a free nutritional support ticket by emailing advice@keyflowfeeds.com
ph 01672 51 9000
keyflowfeeds.com

Authorized representative: Cam Price, Email address: advice@keyflowfeeds.com, Phone Number: 01672 519000, Postal address: Unit 1 Warren Farm Savernake Marlborough SN83UU UK, VATIN: GB129213628

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