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: Do I need to be concerned with calcium levels when it comes to hoof quality?
By Connie Larson, PhD
Calcium makes up 35% of the content of the bone and is definitely important for maintaining skeletal soundness.
After determining that your horse’s diet contains an adequate amount of calcium, the calcium:phosphorus ratio should be evaluated. It is important to maintain a reasonable calcium:phosphorus ratio (from 1:1 up to 6:1) in your horse’s diet in order to avoid negative mineral interactions. Excess phosphorus can decrease calcium absorption and create skeletal alterations.
The role of calcium in your horse’s diet includes dealing with skeletal development and maintenance, blood clotting, muscle contraction, temperature regulation, enzyme activity regulation, glandular secretion and cell membrane integrity. With all of these numerous functions, calcium is definitely critical to developing a quality hoof.
Connie Larson is an equine nutritionist and researcher with Zinpro Corp. in Eden Prairie, Minn. She has been a frequent contributor to American Farriers Journal and a speaker at the International Hoof-Care Summit.
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 May 1, 2017 installment: What role does energy play in determining hoof quality?