Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is a twice-a-month web segment that is designed to add to the education of footcare professionals when it comes to effectively feeding the hoof. The goal of this web-exclusive feature is to zero in on specific areas of hoof nutrition and avoid broad-based articles that simply look at the overall equine feeding situation.
Below you will find Part 2 of the latest question and answer installment that you can share with your footcare clients.
Q: How do I make sure my horses are being fed to encourage hoof growth and quality?
By Kathleen Crandell, PhD
The most important thing for hoof quality is a balanced diet, which includes adequate amounts of important nutrients.
While hoof wall growth has been found to be responsive to the overall plane of nutrition, the balance between those amounts is crucial, such as the calcium/phosphorus ratio. There should always be more calcium than phosphorus.
With copper and zinc, there should always be more zinc than copper, but they need to be kept in a certain relationship in regard to each other.
The horse needs adequate amounts of protein, simply because hoof horn consists of protein. A protein deficiency can result in slower hoof growth. There must be the correct amount and the right kind of protein. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks for proteins.
Some amino acids contain sulfur and those are the major ones for hoof structure. Perhaps the most important amino acid for hoof health is methionine. You will find it in almost all hoof supplements, but the other amino acids, such as lysine, also play a role in the healthy hoof as well.
Kathleen Crandell, PhD, is an equine nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research in Versailles, Ky.
Hoof Nutrition Intelligence is brought to you by W.F. Young Co. (Absorbine).
Like many significant achievements, Absorbine® grew out of humble beginnings—and through the tenacity of someone willing to question the status quo. In this case, it was a young woman in late 19th-century Massachusetts: Mary Ida Young. Her husband, Wilbur Fenelon Young, was an enterprising piano deliveryman who relied on the couple’s team of horses to make deliveries throughout the Northeast. Inspired by Mary Ida and Wilbur’s vision, Absorbine® has continued to add innovative products throughout the years — products used every day by horse owners around the world. Which is why, since 1892, we’ve been The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name®.
Click here to read Part 1 of the April 1, 2018 installment: What can you tell me about the role of Vitamin C in the equine diet?