Horse nutrition – after the NZ drought…

Many horse owners in NZ have seen lush spring grass appear following the long dry summer drought. This grass is typically high in sugar and low in fibre, a big change from the dry, high fibre grasses of late summer. In addition, the autumn weather promotes the growth of fungi in grasses, which leads to the production of mycotoxins which cause behavioural problems and staggers. If your horse is showing signs of loose watery droppings, or its behaviour is changing due to high sugar intakes, you can combat this by feeding a proven probiotic- based supplement. These contain the ‘good bacteria’ which will take over in the gut, reducing the effects of the ‘bad bacteria’ and the acid producing microbes, which love sugar and cause diarrhoea. Do check that the product you use has good data supporting its effectiveness at the relevant dose rate per day, and is safe to use and registered appropriately. Currently, many probiotic products include micro-organisms which are already on an approved list with MPI and have exemption certificates. If in doubt, ask the supplier.

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