Horse Pellets: All You Need to Know

Source: wiki (Montanabw)

Horses need constant care, and optimum health is a critical aspect of the wellbeing of the animal. Regular exercise, grooming, and a proper meal plan make up a comprehensive approach aimed at ensuring the horse stays completely healthy.

Over time, different ideas and avenues have been employed in a bid to ensure a balanced diet for these price animals. One of the solutions aimed at healthy feeding is the use of pelleted feed and CBD for horses .

Pellets are basically small, compact bits of ground food ingredients, typically with a low moisture content for a long shelf life.

The first step in the production of pelleted feed involved the grinding of the grain ingredients to a moderate texture, one that is not too fine or too coarse. Grains in their natural form would be had to shape into pellets.

Once grinding is complete, there is a need to use a binder to bring together the ground grain. Wheat is the best binder, easily bringing together the ingredients. As a binder, barley is a decent option as well.

In certain scenarios, artificial binders such as lignasol – a yellow powder, finely textured – are employed. The ingredients go into the churner and are brought together to form an even mixture.

The mix goes in a cycle with hot steam, with the hydration and heat facilitating the necessary binding. Forced steam bring the temperature of the mixture to a relatively hot range of 180 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

The steamed and considerably compact mixture is then pushed through a porous metal die, with the holes adjusted to the size of the desired pellet size. This pressing is done at a relatively low pressure for proper formation as well as the need for uniform shape and diameter.

The formed Pellets subsequently go into a cooler, which brings down the moisture content to below 15.5 percent.

Advantages of pelleted feed

  1. Pellets typically accumulate less dust in comparison to unprocessed grain. Considering that some animals suffer from respiratory issues, this can be a big advantage when choosing the ideal food for your horse. The general hygiene of animal feed is a crucial factor as well, and the carefully produced and packaged pellets deliver well on that end.
  2. Commercial sweet feeds have a defining coat of molasses, making them tough to handle during winter months. Pellets however, don’t have a molasses coating and remain easy to handle when the temperatures go down.
  3. In the traditional approach, a balanced diet is achieved by adding various components into the feeding trough. As with all animals, horses can be picky too and avoid some foods and eat the rest. The ingredients used in the production of pellets are ground and mixed. When a horse feeds on pellets, there is a guaranteed wholesome meal, balanced and healthy.
  4. Some animals grow up with dental problems, and with age, most seniors face challenges when it comes to feeding due to a deteriorating dental system. These challenges may lead to starvation in animals if not checked in good time. Pellets comprise of ground components, meaning that they are more or less pre-chewed for easier feeding. For animals that have chewing problems, they can be soaked for easier consumption.

Disadvantages of using pelleted feed
I. Pellets are textured bits that are nutrient-rich, and horses tend to gobble these up considerably fast at times. This speedy intake of food is an established cause of digestive upsets.A hungry animal will not try to manage the feeding speed, hence the risk of stomach upsets will persist.
II. Pelleted feed is somewhat bulky and compact, and as a result, they are a choking hazard if your horse feeds too fast.
A smart idea to help avoid choking is to:
Place some large, smooth stones into the feeding trough
Consistently feed your animal pellets in small amounts
Serve the pellets with a mixture of chaff, soaked beet pulp, or chopped hay
Employ the use of a shallow feeding trough, with the pelleted feed spread evenly in a thin layer
Use crossing bars like is the case in a foal feeder
III. When purchasing pelleted feed, the components are already ground, mixed, and formed into palatable bits. At the retail store, you are purchasing a finished product of which the quality of ingredients used is not verifiable. For purposes of surety, you may have to assess the feed for freshness, confirm the absence of mold or other unwanted material, as well as dusty particles.
IV. Pellets are produced through a process that may subsequently lead to an increase in price in comparison to unprocessed feed. The price of horse food remains a crucial factor if you are working on a tight budget or own a considerable number of animals. If the price is too high, it may prove deterrent and you may opt to use a more affordable option.

Additional facts about pelleted feed

  1. Pelleted feeds are a great option and attract considerably less flies, and handle much better than sweet feeds during cold months as they are not susceptible to bricking. This quality makes for a cleaner feed that remains very easy to handle even during winter months
    II. Despite the notion, Pellets don’t contain an inferior quantity of starch and sugar (NSC) due to the limited quantity of molasses used during production. In a majority of cases, pelleted feed is grain-based, with barley, corn, oats or wheat forming the bulk of core ingredients. For this reason, pellets and textured feed may not have an NSC disparity of more than 3 percent.
    III. Pelleted feeds vary in nutritional value, and this will consistently vary from one brand to another. Consultation with the manufacturer or retailer will help you make the most suitable pick for your horse, so remember to ask for specifics about nutritional content.
    IV. Remember to enquire for feeds that are suitable for your horse in the event of a need special dietary needs. If your animal has a pre-existing health condition, remain patient and enquire so that your purchase is for the best possible option.

For a complete diet, you should seriously consider the use of supplements, particularly CBD for horses, which is a potent relief for pain and inflammation. The supplement also facilitates neurogenesis, improves emotion and mood, and relieves stress levels. This essential addition could considerably improve the health of your horse.

Horses are sturdy, resilient animals, and will keep going when others possibly can’t. However, they require a very carefully managed feeding system that avails all necessary nutritional content. Pellets may not be what you prefer as an ideal feeding solution, but these nutrient-rich bits may be precisely what works best for your horse. For this reason, endeavor to properly check the feeding options and make an informed decision when purchasing animal feed. A smart initiative is to pay keen attention to the ingredients and texture of the feed, and remember to get creative if need be when feeding your horse processed foods.