Feed Bites

Empowering Equine Nutrition: Leveraging Technology and Transparency for Balanced Diets

Written by: Louise Calderwood   |   May 14, 2024

Equine, Equine Nutrition, Balanced Diets, Horse Digestive Systems

Millions of years ago, horses digestive systems evolved to continuously consume large amounts of fibrous forage while they moved from place to place at a steady pace. But in an era when few horse owners can mimic this natural diet and supporting behavior, and many horses require extra nutrients for their training regimen or aging bodies, the use of specialized fractions of whole grains is essential for owners who look to provide balanced diets that will maintain their horse’s health and productivity. As I heard at a recent conference, technology, functionality and transparency are key elements to consider when including these ingredients in equine diets. 

Starting with technology and functionality, these two components support each other in the use of wheat byproducts for horse diets. Progress in methods of grain testing, cleaning and refinement in milling techniques has improved wheat milling efficiency and flour quality in recent years.  

The ultra-fine grinding method of wheat flour and flour byproducts has led to the development of many kinds of flours, wheat brans and wheat middlings with unique properties and applications. Equine nutritionists carefully source middlings with attributes to best provide protein, fiber and other nutrients of the most benefit to horses. Developments in technology have supported the functionality of wheat middlings for horses. 

The precise use of wholesome and nutritious portions of whole grains carefully selected to meet the specific nutrient needs benefits horse health. Recent advances in milling science have supported the creation of specialized brans, meals and pulps that are carefully blended to form beneficial mixes to augment high quality forages. 

Read more about how grain byproducts benefit animals and the environment here in this recent research: New approaches for safe use of food by-products and biowaste in the feed production chain - ScienceDirect 

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