Pelleting: Why Do We Need to ‘Process’ Horse Feed?
Horse feed is processed to ensure the horse gets the maximum nutritional benefits from the grains they consume. Horses are designed to graze all day so their gastrointestinal tract is capable of processing a continuous stream of high fiber forage. It is not good, however, at handling low-fiber, high carb meals or grain in its natural state.
A horse’s small intestine digests starch, but can only handle small amounts at a time. Grain is mainly made up of starch and sugar. When too much starch is consumed, the small intestine cannot handle it and it goes into the hindgut. This can cause serious trouble for the horse.
The hindgut is designed to digest fiber, but if it is full of undigested starch this can cause digestive upset. When this happens many health issues can arise such as; excess gas buildup, colonic acidosis, diarrhea, colic, and laminitis or lactate accumulation.
To prevent a horse from consuming the wrong amount of starch they need to be fed a processed grain. Basic forms of grain processing include rolling, cracking, crimping and dehulling. This way the starch inside is easier to get at and easier to digest. Older horses or horses with worn teeth benefit a lot from these processes. However, using this method means that the grain will no longer retain its outer protection and will mold more quickly.
Pelleting is a sure way to know your horse is getting the right amount of nutrients in their feed. Sacate Pellet Mills uses the highest quality ingredients to produce a pellet that is nutritionally balanced and able to be more efficiently rationed. When you use pelleting as a means of feeding your horse you know your horse is receiving the right amount of nutrients to meet their dietary needs.
Pellets are a safer, more economical method of feeding processed grains. They are measured feedings too, which helps reduce waste. They also eliminate the dust associated with other grain style feedings. Another advantage of pelleting is that it reduces the potential for heaves caused by unbalanced diet in horses.
Pelleting is an easier method of storing your horse’s feed and much less bulky to handle. Pellets can eliminate the need to purchase several different commodities, and one ration of half grain and half hay can easily be replaced with a single type of pellet.