Nutritional Requirements of Horses - Part 5
In this multi-part series, we talk about the Nutritional Requirements of Horses including Energy, Proteins, Vitamins, Macro Minerals and Micro Minerals.
Part 5 – Macro Minerals
Minerals (Ash) are inorganic and unlike vitamins, discussed in last month’s issue, cannot be produced by a horse and so need to be provided in a horse’s diet. Levels of minerals vary in forages and unfortified grains depending on the soil where they were grown. It is important to remember that over fortification of minerals can be worse than too little. Correct fortification is essential! So buy feeds that are formulated and manufactured for your region and don’t dilute them with unfortified grains.
Macro-minerals (needed in a diet in larger quantities) include:
Calcium (bone and muscle development as well as nerve function and blood clotting), Phosporous (skeletal development and other metabolic functions) and Magnesium (required by enzyme functions that are critical for production of energy). Calcium and Magnesium are generally found to be deficient in B.C. forages.
A good quality mineral supplement formulated for our region will have appropriate levels of these macro-minerals for your horses health.