Niblock, Shelagh Articles

horse vitamin e equine nutrition Shelagh Niblock, PAS sources vitamin E equine diet vitamin e supplements for horses, how much vitamin e does my horse need

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is an essential nutrient in equine diets. Vitamin E functions largely as a biological antioxidant in the equine body, protecting tissues from the oxidative effects of free radicals. Free radicals are a natural outcome of cell metabolism but they can become excessive during conditions of hard work or injury.

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During the switch to a 100 percent hay diet in the fall of the year is when many horse owners first notice that some of their horses are getting loose manure. The situation can quickly evolve into a management mess where one or more horses are so loose they can spray fecal material on the walls of the stall when they pass manure. Winter grooming becomes a major challenge for those who care for these horses as they struggle to keep tails, hocks, fetlocks, and equine clothing clean and free of encrusted manure.

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The old adage “No Hoof, No Horse” can be a painful reality for owners who struggle with chronic hoof health issues in their horse. The four hooves of a 500-kilogram horse are expected to carry large amounts of body weight. When the compression force of work such as galloping is factored in, each of those four feet may be carrying as much as 3,000 pounds of force.

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Buying hay for your horse can be a challenge whether you buy it a few bales at a time or purchase a year’s supply when it becomes available in the summer. Supply, price, and quality have always been important parameters to consider when buying hay for horses, but now, more than ever before, horse owners are becoming aware of the importance of the nutritional components of the hay they feed.

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For the horse owner, the onset of fall weather can signal the start of the search for storable forage before winter begins. Considerations such as forage type and storage form, nutritional content, palatability, and cost all become important.

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Everybody loves to see a donkey! With their large fuzzy ears and soulful eyes, they naturally tug at the heartstrings of horse lovers everywhere. Donkeys were first domesticated in Africa around 3000 BC. They evolved in desert areas and, consequently, developed as browsers that can adapt to poor quality feed and irregular water supplies. Their easygoing nature and hardiness made them ideal as beasts of burden in the hotter, drier parts of the world. Coming in a variety of sizes, donkeys and their hybrid offspring, mules and hinnies, range anywhere from Miniature donkeys of less than 35 inches in height all the way up to Mammoth Jack donkeys that can exceed 15 hands.

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Receiving a diagnosis of the condition behind your horse’s health or performance problem is usually a relief, but the satisfaction of getting the diagnosis can be quickly replaced by fear and uncertainty regarding what to do about it. Questions around both the long-term prospects for your horse and the costs involved to support the horse with such a condition can be daunting. Owners of horses diagnosed with special nutritional needs often feel bewildered and frustrated as they attempt to put together an appropriate management protocol.

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Much more than just floating teeth! Do you remember to get an annual dental exam for your horse? A dental check by your veterinarian involves floating, the process of filing a horse’s teeth to correct irregularities in the occlusal (biting) surfaces, as well as inspecting the teeth for any indication of a variety of other potential problems. In addition to examining the teeth for abnormalities that might cause chewing and/or bitting issues, your vet will also be looking for signs of fractured or loose teeth, as well as signs of ulceration on the cheek mucosa, the tongue, or the gums (gingiva).

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Horse owners have been wetting or soaking hay as a feed management practice for many years. Soaking hay for horses can be invaluable when feeding a hay that is a little dusty as a result of soil contamination or where it was stored in the barn. Horses that have allergies and are sensitive to the natural dust and particles in hay can benefit significantly from wetting or soaking hay.

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Are you providing enough? Today’s horse owners are no doubt aware of the importance of vitamins in the diets of their horses, but many may not be aware of the role vitamins play in equine nutrition. Vitamins in their fresh natural form are organic substances found in grains and forages. They are important as cofactors, or facilitators, for different metabolic function, and deficiencies of them can cause disease conditions. Vitamins, unlike many of the nutrients we feed our horses, cannot be broken down for energy, and they provide no other nutrients to the horse.

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Managing Nutrition for Safe Growth in Young Horses - For any horse owner, the birth of a foal is always an eagerly awaited event. That baby, the product of the carefully planned mating of two superior parents, can elicit a range of emotions for the owner, including excitement and awe, but often anxiety and worry as well. One of the concerns the owner of a newborn foal may have involves the risk of the foal developing developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), which is a name applied to a group of conditions that can affect the growing foal, including physitis, acquired angular limb deformities, flexural deformities, cervical vertebral malformations, acquired vertebral deformities, and finally, osteochondrosis (OC).

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Part of the solution for a commitment to equine welfare in Canada - The philosophy of our modern day society is often described as impermanence. Instant gratification through acquisition of “things” is a common theme in life for many and accompanying this is the reality that things which are no longer useful are readily disposed of.

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Why choosing hay for fibre content can be important - Horse owners are becoming very familiar with maneuvering their way through a lab report describing the nutrient content of hay. Terms such as dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), water soluble carbohydrates (WSC), and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) are routinely assessed by horse owners looking to buy a hay that works for their barn.

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Canadian breeders producing quality foals - North American horse owners may not be aware that Canada is the home of Linwood Ranch, an equine breeding facility that has generated peer reviewed research in recent years on subjects such as equine behaviour, equine welfare, stall design, and the requirements for lying down time for healthy horses. Linwood Ranch is a PMU or “pregnant mare urine” ranch in Manitoba, and is also where active research is conducted on many equine welfare issues affecting all of our horses.

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What does it mean for Canadian horse owners? Are you aware that a Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Equines (CPCHE) was published in Canada in 2013? Did you know that Equestrian Canada, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), and the Canadian Feed Inspection Agency were among the many partners involved in the development of the CPCHE under the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), and that they remain part of the team that supports the industry-recognized recommendations and requirements established within the Code for good equine husbandry? Let’s look at what exactly this equine Code entails.

Your Horse's Winter Energy Needs, forages is the perfect energy source for Your horse, optimize your winter feeding regime, sources of equine energy, Shelagh Niblock, BSc.Ag., PAS

When the days start getting shorter, horse owners know that winter is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about winter feeding regimes. Feeding horses in virtually all parts of Canada during the winter months involves a need for increased energy intake because of cold temperatures and inclement weather. The amount of additional energy required by your horse will be even greater in extremely cold climates.

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How many of us remember the days when the only way to find out the facts on a subject was to go to the library and look it up? Answers to questions we had about the care or feeding of our horses might have been found in one of the many reference books we all owned. Or, maybe we would find the information we were looking for by perusing the many equine magazines we kept “just in case.”

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Why Are Feeding Guidelines So Important? You may have heard of the National Research Council (NRC) and the Nutrient Requirements of Horses - but what are they and why do they matter?

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The past century has seen big changes in the role of horses in our society. Prior to World War I, horses were an essential part of our lives and were, quite literally, the “horse power” that turned the wheels of our economy.