From the age of 16 to 20 the digestion of the horse changes: The digestive system deals less efficiently with nutrients. On top of that the teeth of many older horses detoriate. What is the best way of feeding these animals?
Because of the less efficient way of utilising nutrients in older horses, the advice is to give hard feed with more energy and easy to digest ingredients. We advice the use of Pavo Podo® Grow for older horses. This product contains light digestible energy, high quality protein and extra vitamins and minerals. When the teeth are becoming a problem, the cubes can be soaked in water to make it a mash. If needed, you can add a scoop of Pavo Slobber-Mash to inprove the taste. In any case, provide as much roughage as possible!
Horses who have difficulties with eating grass, hay or haylage because of bad teeth, do need enough fibres beside the hard feed. Following several alternatives:
- Do not feed hay or haylage that is tough or has a lot of long stems. It is better to use soft hay and turn out as much as possible.
- Soak the hay, so it is easier to chew.
- Feed additional Lucerne as roughage. That is easier to eat and could be mixed with Pavo Slobber-Mash or Pavo Herbasan.
- Feed well soaked sugar beet, which is an excellent source of fibre.
- Pre packed dried grass; this has to be soaked before feeding because it could cause blockages in the guts.
- Feeding tips
- Have the teeth checked at very regular intervals.
- You can soak cubes with (hot) water.
- Divide the feed over as many small portions as possible during the day.
- You can give an older horse with bad teeth extra vegetable oil, to get additional energy besides the hard feed: increase the amount slowly over 2-3 weeks up to 60 to 120 ml per day.
- The older horse needs extra Calcium, Phosphorus, vitamin C, Vitamin B and yeast. When extra oil is given then the need for vitamin E is higher. In that case, the feed supplement Pavo HealthBoost is perfect.