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: Is there any new data dealing with the need for biotin in the hoof?
By Olivia Parodi and Claire Moiroud
A: The following data is taken from a limited study with 20 riding horses from the Mont St. Michel Bay Agricultural Secondary School that was reported last fall at a farrier meeting, which was sponsored by the French Institute of Horses and Riding.
Ten horses were fed a maintenance feed over a 6-month period that was enriched with 1.5 mg biotin per kg of feed or 0.01 mg of biotin per kg of live weight. The 10 horses in the control group received the same feed, but received no supplemented biotin. All 20 horses were physically examined and X-rayed three times by representatives of France’s Centre for Imaging and Research in Equine Locomotion Disorders during the 6-month study.
By superimposing the X-rays from the three evaluation periods, the researchers were able to evaluate the amount of hoof growth at the toe, which had small lead markers embedded in the hooves.
The horses that were fed biotin had significantly better hoof growth than the control group. Among the horses that received biotin, hoof growth was 2.8 mm larger in the front feet and there was an increase of 5.9 mm of hoof growth in the hind feet when compared to horses in the control group at the end of the study. In addition, biotin-treated horses that were over 10 years of age moved much better than older horses that were included in the control group.
While the French study did not show any improvement in horn quality, there was a positive impact on horn growth, especially in the hind feet, among horses that were supplemented with biotin.
Olivia Parodi is an agricultural engineer at Lycee Agricole de la Baie in Mont St Michel in France. Claire Moiroud is with the Centre for Imaging and Research in Equine Locomotion Disorders in Goustranville, Calvados, France.
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 February 1, 2016 installment: Can fever and stress rings on the hoof be due to poor nutrition?