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 important is protein quality when it comes to having an impact on hoof growth and hoof quality?
By Juliet Getty, PhD
Since a protein deficiency can lead to slower hoof growth, the right proteins must be fed in the proper amounts. The building blocks for proteins, amino acids that contain sulfur and methionine are the major ingredients needed for building hoof structure and hoof health. These amino acids are found in most hoof supplements.
Both a horse’s hair and hooves contain keratin. To produce this protein, the first requirement is sulfur, which is present in a number of amino acids.
The horse’s overall diet needs to be high in protein quality rather than quantity. If you get a hay analysis or read a feed tag and it lists the crude protein level, remember that this is not an indication of quality, but only a measurement of the nitrogen content present in that protein.
Juliet M. Getty, PhD, is an independent equine nutritionist with a wide U.S. and international following. Located in Lewisville, Texas, her research-based approach optimizes equine health by aligning physiology and instincts with correct feeding and nutrition practices.
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 Aug. 15, 2018 installment: I have limited turnout for my backyard horses, so how do I know if they are getting enough vitamin D?