Alfalfa has long been recognised as a natural buffer to acidity in the horse’s gut and should form the foundation of the feed ration for those that are suffering from ulcers or have had them in the past, or as a preventative for others whose owners are concerned about the possible occurrence of ulcers.
In addition to alfalfa, Healthy Tummy includes oregano, cinnamon and ginger, which are believed to be powerful antioxidants, as well as improving palatability. Protexin In-Feed Formula, with prebiotics and live yeast, have been included to aid fibre digestion further, along with a high specification of vitamins and minerals – including biotin – and a light coating of soya oil for slow-release energy and coat shine.
Dengie senior nutritionist Katie Williams, MSc (Dist), further explains the thoughts behind the development of this product: “There is a lot of evidence to show that low-fibre diets contribute to gastric ulcers, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the stresses of many horses’ lifestyles, even those in light work, are also contributing to the problem. Healthy Tummy has been designed so that you can enjoy spending time with your horse doing fun and exciting things, without worrying that you could be compromising their health.”
Research shows that about 40 per cent of leisure horses, 60 per cent of competition horses and 90 per cent of racehorses could be affected by Equine Gastric Ulcer
Syndrome. Feeding a high-fibre diet can play an important role in helping to reduce ulcer recurrence.
Patrick Martin, BSc Agric, BVSc, MRCVS, a partner at Blaircourt Equine Veterinary Clinic, endorses the research findings: “Ulcers are not just a problem in racehorses. An increasing number of vet practices now have long enough endoscopes to view the horse’s stomach, enabling us easily to detect this hidden threat. I recommend high-fibre diets regularly and frequently ask owners to consider whether they really need to use cereal-based feeds. Many horses and ponies in light work could easily be on fibre-only diets, which would greatly enhance their gut health.”
Healthy Tummy is nutritionally complete, so it can be fed alone to horses at rest or those in light work. For those in moderate to hard work, it can be fed alongside balancers and supplements to meet higher nutritional requirements and cereal-based feeds if more energy is needed.
Available in 15kg bales, Healthy Tummy has a launch pack RRP of £8.99, which includes a £2 discount. The regular RRP will be £10.99. For further information on the role of a high-fibre diet in helping to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers or to contact the Dengie Feedline, log on to www.dengie.com, email [email protected] or telephone 0845 345 5115.