Is protein heating in horse feed?
Anyone with any involvement with equines will have some understanding of the vast amount of diets available now on the market. Like human athletes horses in work have more specific dietary and energy needs to ensure their optimum health and balance. If their food and energy levels are not correct it can result in poor performance which of course is undesirable! This article will explore what is meant by heating and nonheating feeds and when they are used.
Table of contents
What is heating sometimes heated feed?Oats are a common ingredient in many high energy horse feedsIt is very important to selectively feed diets based on the desirable energy levelsWhat is nonheating feed?Conclusion
What is heating sometimes heated feed?
The term heating when in relation to horse feeds does not mean that the actual food has been warmed up but rather reflects the consequence of feeding certain feeds. Diets that are high in starch and sugar generate a heating effect when they are rapidly digested and quickly become readily available as an energy source in the bloodstream. The higher the starch the faster the energy release will be.
Oats fall into the category of heating feeds because of the effect that they can have on horses that eat them. Many horse owners also feed coarse mixes containing a high amount of cereals which give a quickrelease energy source. I suppose feeding higher energy feeds to horses is the equivalent of giving candy to children! Cereal grains are classed as moderate to low quality protein sources and as mentioned above they are mostly included in a horses diet for energy but they do provide protein and amino acids.
Horses which are regularly fed oats are often considered quite hot headed and fizzy and generally have greater energy levels. Additionally feeding high quantities of oats or cereals can cause horses to be excessively exuberant and sharp. This behaviour may well be desirable particularly in athletic horses which experience regular intense exercise such as racehorses. The more work they do the more energy they require. This is why racehorses are regularly fed high amounts of cereals.
It is very important to selectively feed diets based on the desirable energy levels
Furthermore you wouldnt want to feed a noncompeting childrens pony excessive amounts of heated feeds. This is because it may result in undesirable behaviours by giving them too much energy