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: What is the impact of poor nutrition on hoof quality?
By Kentucky Equine Research staff
A: Equine nutritionists are frequently asked questions about dietary influences on hoof health by farriers, veterinarians, trainers and owners. In recent years, more horse owners have expressed an interest in the effects of poor nutritional status or malnutrition on hoof health.
Without question, malnourishment negatively impacts hoof growth. Inadequate dietary energy, especially to the point of emaciation, hinders normal hoof development just as radically as it impedes other body processes. While hoof growth may continue at a relatively constant rate through downturns in nutrition, the quality of hoof that erupts during these periods may be severely diminished.
Like other tissues, the hooves will likely improve as a horse moves from negative energy balance (too few calories in the diet to sustain body weight) to positive energy balance (calories exceed those required for maintenance of body weight). A malnourished horse in negative energy balance will use whatever nutrition it consumes or whatever it can leech from its internal stores to fuel survival.
Kentucky Equine Research is a nutrition consulting company located in Versailles, Ky.
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Click here to read part 1 of the April 1, 2020 installment of Hoof Nutrition Intelligence: While my trainer refers to my mare as an “easy-keeper,” is there anything I need to watch out for in regard to hoof concerns?