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Feeding advice


The nutritional needs of a horse depend on their daily calorie consumption. That's why lactating mares; young horses, sport horses etc. will have different feeding needs. In these pages we'll procure you with some advice for every type of horse. 

In these pages we'll procure you with some advice for every type of horse.

Foals

How do I feed my foal?


A foal is born without an adequate defense against diseases. The intake of the colostrum kick starts the foals immune system and ensures the first protection against germs of any kind. The colostrum contains antibodies from the mare, so in case the mare looses too much of it before the foal is born, it's preferable to try to collect the colostrum. When the foal is born it can be fed from the bottle. Without it, the foal will be much more vulnerable to diseases.
For the foals development, it's vital to start eating concentrate as soon as possible. The digestibility of the food is a key factor. Lannoo has the very tasteful Lannoo Breeding that can be fed to the mare and from which the foal can start eating together with the mare. Another option is to feed the young couple in separate containers. In that case Lannoo Breeding Start is advised, a concentrate with very little granule to facilitate the intake for the foal.
After weaning, it becomes even more crucial to procure the foal with sufficient concentrate. 
A common problem in weaned foals is weight loss, To prevent this, the feed needs to be very tasteful, contain dairy elements, soy (rich in amino acids) and needs to be easily digestible. We address the digestibility by using flocklined cereals. The ideal solution to avoid problems related to weaning is Lannoo Breeding Start. It will help develop the digestive system of the foal, support the foal while growing and prevent weaning diarrhea. It will give the foal a head start, which it is likely to keep later on. 
Usually it is advised to deworm the foal for the first time at the age of two months. Furthermore they need feed with high energy levels and enough proteins to enable growth (Lannoo Breeding Junior). Be sure to keep in mind not to let the youngsters get too fat. This will result in extra pressure and work load for the semi developed bones and joints.

Breeding mares

Every horse has a different need in calories for its basic maintenance. With basic maintenance we imply what is necessary to maintain essential body functions such as digestion, food intake, standing and moving. These depend on the race of the horse, the sexe and its temperament. Stallions usually have 10-20 % higher maintenance needs compared to mares or geldings.

Maintenance needs according to body weight of the horse.

body weight (kg) VEP VRE
100 kg

1230

95
200 kg
2070
160
300 kg
2810
215
400 kg
3490
270
500 kg
4120
320
600 kg
4730
360
700 kg
5300
400
800 kg
5870
450
In order to assess the nutritional needs of the horse correctly, the owner needs to calculate the body weight as accurately as possible. The most common formulas to do so require the height (H) and the chest circumference (CC) of the horse.
Breeding mares: weight = 5,2 x CC + 2,6 x H – 855 (+- 25 kg)
Young horses: weight = 4,5 x CC– 370 (+- 23 kg)
Riding horses: weight = 4,3 x CC + 3,0 x H – 785 (+- 26 kg)
Heavy horses: weight = 7,0 x CC – 800 (+- 27 kg)


Example: a riding horse, mare, 7 years old, with a chest circumference of 180 cm and a height of 168 cm :
weight= 4,3 x 180 + 3,0 x 168 – 785 = 493 kg



There is another, easier way of estimating the body weight;
weight (in kg) = (CC in cm)² x (body length in cm) 11,900

The length is measured from the chest bone to the buttock

Eg: CC 168 cm – length 212 cm

(168)² x 212 / 11,9 = 502 kg (approx)


Pregnancy bonus
In the last 4 months of the pregnancy the mare needs additional and adequate concentrate. A large part of the energy the mare absorbs via the food is passed on to the foal during this stage of the pregnancy. The amount of extra concentrate needed is explained in the graph, and depends on the weight of the mare.
  8 mnth pregnant 9 mnth pregnant 10 mnth pregnant 11 mnth pregnant
100 kg

50

105
140
200
200 kg
105
210
285
405
300 kg
155
310
425
605
400 kg
210
415
570
805
500 kg
260
520
710
1005
600 kg
315
625
855
1210
700 kg
365
725
995
1410
800 kg
420
830
1140
1610
Lactation bonus
This graph shows the additional concentrate a lactating mare needs according to her weight and the age of the foal. A major part of a mares enery intake goes straight to the foal, so this has to be countered by adjusted feeding.
  1st month 2d+3d month 4th+5th month
100 kg
960
970
790
200 kg
1920
1940
1580
300 kg
2400
2500
1980
400 kg
3200
3320
2640
500 kg
4000
4170
3300
600 kg
4800
5000
3960
700 kg
5600
5830
4620
800 kg
6400
6660
5280
This bonus is needed because the mare produces more milk in the first couple of months, but milk production decreases later on. On average a lactating mare produces 12,5 kg of milk per day in the first mont, around 15kg in the second and third month, and 12,5 kg again in the 4th and 5th month. The composition also differs over the months.

Graph: Need in VEP and VRE per animal per day

weight
maintenace
Pregnant mare
lactating mare
Month 9
Month 10
Month 11
Month 2/3
Month 4/5
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
200
2070 160 210 50 285 65 405 100 1940 310 1580 240
300
2810 215 310 75 425 100 605 150 2500 395 1980 300
400
3490 270 415 100 570 130 805 200 3320 530 2640 400
500
4120 315 520 125 710 165 1005 250 4170 660 3300 500
600
4730 365 625 155 855 195 1210 300 5000 790 3960 600
700
5310 410 725 180 995 230 1410 350 5830 925 4620 700
800
5870 450 830 205 1140 260 1610 400 6660 1055 5280 800
Ration estimation: example


a breeding mare lactating in her third month, bodyweight is 570 kg

Need: VEP maintenance: 4120 + (4730-4120) x 0,7 = 4547
Lactating bonus: 4170 + (5000-4170) x 0,7 = 4751
Total = 9298 VEP VRE maintenance: 320 + (360 – 320) x 0,7 = 348

Lactating bonus: 660 + (790 – 660) x 0,7 = 751

Total = 1099 VRE


Ration: grass (130 VEP; 24 VRE) and Lannoo Breeding (850 VEP; 95 VRE)
33 kg grass: 4290 VEP; 792 VRE
6 kg concentrate : 5100 VEP; 570 VRE
Total: 9390 VEP; 1362 VRE


Total amount of kg DS a horse can process per day 2,2 x bodyweight/ 100 = 12,5 kg


33 kg grass x 16 % DS = 5,28 kg

6 kg concentrate x 88 % DS = 5, 28 kg Total = 10,56 kg


Conclusion: A breeding mare goes through 3 stadia per year (normal, end of pregnancy and lactating). 
From the weaning of the foal until 3-4 months before the birth of the next one, only the basic maintenance needs have to be met. This depends on the body weight of the mare. To cover these needs a daily doses of roughage and Lannoo Basic or Active should be sufficient. The difference between those two mixtures are as follows; Lannoo Active more energy and vitamins than Lannoo Basic, in order to cover the nutritional needs of the horse with less kg of concentrate.


In the last couple of months of pregnancy (4 months on average) the mares starts using a lot of energy to develop the foetus, and some more to get the milk production going. It 's obvious that this energy needs to be compensated by more protein and energy in the forage. Calcium, first-rate proteins, phosphor and vitamin A and D3 are the most indispensable elements in the diet of a pregnant mare in her last months. Another vital element in the mares health at this stage is a visit by the dentist. The teeth need to be in optima forma to process such high quantities of feed in the most adequate way. Deworming and vaccinating is equally important, as the antibodies the mare produces will be passed on through the colostrum and protect the foal against diseases in its early life. It's also preferable to keep the mare in the same place during the last month of pregnancy, as the antibodies are specific to the environment the mare and foal live in.


In order to ensure that your mare ingests enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals it is advised to complement the daily ratio of roughage with Lannoo Breeding.


Right after birth, one of the first preoccupations should be the good discharge of the placenta. Any piece of placenta that is left behind in the womb could entail laminitis. A major part of the lactating mares energy goes to the production of milk. The most important task the concentrate should fulfill is to replenish the minerals, vitamins and proteins the mare gives away to her foal. A key factor in this problem is the quality of the protein in the feed and sufficient dosage of calcium, phosphor and vitamins A and D3. The composition and the quality of the mother milk depend largely on the feed the mare ingests. In order to ensure milk of good quality, sufficient concentrate is a key element of the diet. On top of that, 4 kg of hay are a minimum. Usually, at this stage the mare will also be covered again. A certain surplus of B-carotene and vitamin A can benefit the fertility. The same goes for the condition of the mare: she should be in good physical health, but one should avoid an overly fat mare, as it decreases fertility. All these factors are taken into account in Lannoo Breeding concentrate, which makes it the ideal mix for a breeding mare in that time of the year.


Young horses

To make an estimation of the weight of your horse at any stage of its development this graph can be very helpful. The weight of the youngster at a certain age is displayed in function of its full grown weight.

grown
3mth
6mth
9mth
12mth
15mth
18mth
21mth
24mth
27mth
30mth
33mth
36mth
100
10
30
47
67
75
82
86
89
92
94
96
97
200
20
60
94
134
150
164
171
178
183
188
191
194
300
30
90
141
201
225
246
257
267
275
282
287
291
400
40
120
188
268
300
328
342
356
366
376
382
388
500
50
150
235
335
375
410
428
445
458
470
478
485
600
60
180
282
402
450
492
513
534
549
564
573
582
700
70
210
329
469
525
574
599
623
641
658
669
679
800
80
240
376
539
600
656
684
712
732
752
764
776

Table: needs in VEP and VE with young horses, per day.

In this graph you can read what needs a young horse has in terms of energy, digestible proteins, at a certain age and in function of the full grown weight.

3mth
6mth
12mth
24mth
36mth
weight
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
200
1650
275
1950
235
2100
195
2200
170
2250
170
400
300
525
3450
435
3700
350
3750
295
3850
285
600
4250
770
4850
625
5100
495
5100
405
5200
390
800
5450
1010
6150
810
6450
635
6400
510
6500
485

What young horses need as corner stones of a healthy growth are mainly proteins of good quality. These proteins provide essential amino acids. Some of those amino acids, the horse can produce on its own, but not the essential amino acids. These need to be ingested via the feed. We can find them in certain resources such as soy, milk powder, flax seed, …Of course these are the building blocks upon which Lannoo Breeding Junior are constructed. On top of that, this concentrate contains all the essential minerals and vitamins a growing horse so badly needs. Good feed is one thing, but in order to make a beautiful foal grow into a healthy horse, youngsters need space and movement. It’s crucial for them to be outside and moving for as much time as possible. 


Recreation

A horse in training, obviously burns more energy than a recreational horse, with no work load as such. Logically, this used energy needs to be replenished through the feed.

In this table you will find the bonus a sport horse needs to be fed in addition to its maintenance needs. The comparison is measured in working days and working hours.

 
Weight of horse and rider
Horse 400 kg, rider 60 kg
Horse 600 kg, rider 80 kg
VEP
VRE
VEP
VRE
Bonus per working day
180
15
240
20
walk
410
30
610
45
Light work
760
60
1120
85
Normal work
1220
95
1810
140
Heavy work
1580
120
2340
180
Very heavy work
3780
290
5580
430

Of course the numbers in this table are estimates and averages. In abnormal weather conditions or a horse that is far from being in shape… it is easy to understand these figures need to be adjusted. In those cases the common sense of the horse keeper needs to be addressed and rations lowered or raised, according to circumstances. Example:

A sport horse (recreational) that performs normal work (1/2h per day) with a body weight of 600 kg

Need: VEP maintenance: 4730 VEP

Work bonus: ¼ light, ½ normal ¼ light: 732,5 VEP

Total = 5462,5 VEP

VRE Maintenance: 360

Work bonus: 56,25

Total = 416,25 VRE

Ration: silage 1st ct (335 VEP; 48 VRE) and Lannoo Active Plus (810 VEP; 75 VRE)


7 kg silage: 2345 VEP; 336 VRE

3,9 kg concentrate: 3159 VEP; 292,5 VRE

Total: 5504VEP; 628,5 VRE


In this example a clear surplus of proteins is to be found. A surplus that can be resolved by replacing the silage with hay (hay contains less proteins than silage), or making the silage or hay so that it has lower levels of protein. If Lannoo Active plus were to be changed with Lannoo Basic Plus, the horses needs are also met, but with more kg of concentrate. The same comparison goes for Lannoo Sport, but the other way around. 


Sport

The calculations for sport horses and recreation horses are roughly the same. Maintenance needs are to be met first, and per work load, an extra work bonus is to be fed. This bonus will be bigger for sport horses not only because of the duration of the work load, but also due to its increased intensity.
Sport horses have higher needs in energy, but the horse keeper needs to keep in mind not to oversupply in proteins. Oats and wheat tend to have a “heating effect”, which means the horse could be fresher and more reactive towards outside factors. A factor to take in account is the fact that extra work load does not only increases energy needs but can also increase energy itself, and stress.

Example
A sport horse working hard (1,2 and 3 h per day), body weight = 600 kg

Need VEP:
  • Maintenance: 4730 VEP
  • Work bonus ( ¼ light, ¼ normal, ½ heavy):
    1. 2010 VEP
    2. 4020 VEP
    3. 6030 VEP
  • Total: 1) 6740 VEP
  • Total: 2) 8750 VEP
  • Total: 3) 10760 VEP
Need VRE:
  • Maintenance: 360
  • Work bonus:
    1. 136,25
    2. 272,5
    3. 408,75
  • Total: 1) 496,25 VRE
  • Total: 2) 632,5 VRE
  • Total: 3) 768,75 VRE
Ration: Good quality hay (547 VEP; 89 VRE) and Active Plus (810 VEP; 75 VRE)

8 kg hay: 4376 VEP; 712 VRE

1) 3 kg Active Plus: 2430 VEP; 225 VRE

2) 5,5 kg Active Plus: 4455 VEP; 412,5 VRE

3) 8 kg Active Plus: 6480 VEP; 600 VRE


Total:
1) 6806 VEP; 937 VRE

2) 8831 VEP; 1124,5 VRE

3) 10856 VEP; 1312 VRE (DS = 6,64 kg + 6,96 = 13,60 kg)


Two problems arise in this example. On the one hand the protein surplus rises as the work load progresses and the amount of concentrate rises. On the other hand, the horse in the last example, with the heavier work load has to ingest quite a lot of feed and is likely to be less hungry, and subsequently be prone to become a ‘difficult eater’. A 600 kg horse can digest around 2;2 x 6 kg = 13,2 kg. 

For both problems, there is an obvious solution. Instead of the recreational mixture, a more concentrated mixture is advised. A mixture with about the same VRE as the Active Plus, but with more energy per kg. In this way less kilos need to be fed (problem 2 solved) and subsequently less protein, as the protein level per kg stays the same). Lannoo Sport is developed explicitly with these goals in mind. However, this concentrate contains high levels of oats (35%) which is discouraged for hot and nervous horses. Especially for these horses Lannoo conceived the Sport Endurance; a mixture with lots of energy, but no oats.
Another mixture is developed to be fed in addition to silage.The Low Protein Mix. As the silage is high in protein, this mixture only has a 10% level to counter a protein surplus but still produces enough energy for sporting horses. 
For even heavier training, we have a special concentrate, Lannoo Sport Plus. A product which tries to counter all problems mentioned above, but still produces enough energy for the horse.
In conclusion, we also have some specialized products in our range for particular purposes.
The Sport Corrector is a concentrate that needs to be fed alongside 50% of cereals, in order to have an effect similar to the Sport Plus Mixture.
High Digest is a concentrate that’s very easily digestible for horses with a increased risk for liver issues. 
For horses with a particularly high work load, or after intense episodes in the training schedule, Lannoo offers a little extra to help them recuperate, Mash Herbs. The Mash Herbs product is especially digestible, and is composed of some laxative components such as toasted flax seed and bran, in addition to electrolytes and a mixture of herbs to improve appetite, respiration and blood circulation. 


Older horses

The main issue with older horses are the teeth. Because of degradation of the teeth, the food isn’t mashed as it should be, and as a consequence, isn’t digested properly. As seen above, the Mash Herbs could serve as a solution to some of these problems. It’s prepared with warm water, which facilitates the ingestion and the digestibility.
Lannoo Fibermix is another product that could help these horses. It’s a mixture composed of a lot of natural resources that are rich in cellulose and raw fibers. This product also contains additives that help digest proteins, starch, raw fibers and sugar to ensure an optimal gut macrobiota and bowel functioning. Fibermix is a supplement that’s designed to be mixed with the regular concentrate, in relatively small doses (0,5 kg).