Choosing the Right Animal Feed
Choosing the right animal feed is a big decision. Your equine (or any other animal, really) is depending on you to keep them happy, safe, and healthy. But how do you make sure you choose a feed that is going to meet all of their needs? Here are a few tips to help you make a decision you can feel confident about.
Know Your Animal’s Nutritional Needs
Whether you are feeding a horse, a mini horse, a donkey, or livestock, every animal has its own nutritional needs. There are the standard needs for that animal: how much protein or vitamins and minerals your horse should have each day, for instance. For most animals, this will be fine, but in some cases, yours might need more or less of something. For example, some horses need more protein to maintain their weight, such as if they’re older or if they’re pregnant, nursing, or in a heavy work program. Others may need a lower sugar content or a different kind of sugar due to Cushings disease, equine metabolic syndrome, or laminitis.
Verify Your Feed’s Nutritional Content
Once you know what an animal needs, you can look for a feed that will meet those needs as best as possible. A complete feed, such as our pelleted feeds, are ideal because you’ll always know exactly how much of everything you’re feeding. The guaranteed nutritional analysis means there’s no guesswork involved! If you feed hay or pasture, you can have samples tested to ensure you know the nutritional content of what they’re getting.
Supplement as Needed
Supplementation is important, especially if you have an animal that has special nutritional needs. It’s not uncommon for hay or pasture to fall short of meeting all of your animal’s nutritional needs, although it may come close. If your equine has special needs, it’s even less likely the hay or pasture will be sufficient. Once you have the test results in hand, contact your vet and see what supplements are needed. If you are considering a complete animal feed, you’ll likely only need to supplement for special circumstances, such as if you have a mare that is pregnant or nursing, if you have a horse in a tough work program, or if you are battling a condition such as Cushings, equine metabolic syndrome, or laminitis.
Keep Your Vet in the Loop
If you have any questions about a specific animal’s nutritional needs or how much to feed a day, you should always check in with your vet, who already knows your horse’s weight, condition, and history. For information about the nutritional content in our animal feed, or how pellets can help simplify your feeding routine, contact Sacate Pellet Mills today.