Feeding The Veteran


By Sarah Butler BSC, (Hons) Equine Sports, Science and Nutrition

Feeding a balanced diet is particularly important when it comes to veterans. As horses get older their digestive system can be compromised and become inefficient at absorbing nutrients from the diet, therefore a balanced diet with enhanced levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients is required. Older horses can begin to loose condition easily, especially during the winter months, and keeping them looking well can often be a challenge. As horses get older their appetite can also decrease so feeding a high quality and trusted balancer, which is nutrient dense, will ensure they are getting everything needed in their diet without having to feed large quantities of hard feed. This is also a better way to feed horses as their digestive system is not designed to have large feeds. To ensure your veteran gets a balanced diet with all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients they require feed a Blue Chip feed balancer which all include the revolutionary ingredient; nucleotides.

Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA and RNA and are found naturally in the horse’s diet, however at low levels. All horses and ponies can benefit from the inclusion of nucleotides in the diet but they are especially beneficial to older horses that need extra nutritional support. Nucleotides increase the length of the intestinal villi in the gut, an increase in these villi can increase nutrient absorption, enabling the horse to get more out of their diet. Nucleotides also support the immune system by facilitating the immune cells, helping to fight viral and bacterial infections. Blue Chip are the only feed balancers in the UK to incorporate this remarkable product.

Blue Chip Pro is perfect for veteran horses that need to maintain or gain condition. Blue Chip Pro contains a probiotic yeast, which increases fibre digestion and allows your veteran to utilise the fibre in his diet more efficiently. The prebiotic in Blue Chip Pro will help to boost their immune system and remove pathogenic bacteria from the foregut. Pro also contains a comprehensive hoof supplement with biotin, lysine and zinc; a respiratory supplement that contains garlic, eucalyptus and menthol and an elevated levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to meet your veteran horse’s daily requirements. All Blue Chip balancers are whole—cereal and molasses free and contain a natural, fruit derived form of Vitamin E, which is a highly powerful antioxidant. The small pellets of Blue Chip balancers make it easier for older horses to eat and it can be fed by hand if necessary or could be made into a tempting mash by the addition of warm water. Pro contains high quality protein to provide the necessary amino acids, vital for maintaining muscle mass which can often be a problem for the older horse.

Horses can use up to 80% of their digestible energy keeping warm; keeping them well rugged up will save them wasting energy and essential calories in the cold weather.

Older horses requiring extra condition can be fed unmolassed sugar beet which is a highly digestible, good form of fibre. Oil is also very calorie dense and can help to improve weight and condition; feed linseed oil to ensure your veteran receives the correct balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils.

Some veterans hold their weight well or can be prone to laminitis, so consider feeding them a low starch, low sugar; low calorie feed balancer such as Blue Chip Lami—light. Lami—light contains the beneficial nucleotides, fruit derived form of Vitamin E and essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients your veteran requires whilst not encouraging any weight gain.

For more information on any of the Blue range visit www.bluechipfeed.com or for feeding advice call 0114 2666200.

For competitions, news and rider updates follow Blue Chip at www.facebook.com/Bluechipfeed

First Published December 2013 Equi-Ads

Author: Features Editor

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