Feeding biotin to horses
Biotin is a sulphur containing B vitamin essential for cell proliferation and is the most commonly identified nutrient for improving hoof quality. B vitamins are synthesized by micro-organisms in the digestive tract as a by-product of fermentation. In a healthy digestive system, the horse would be expected to produce sufficient biotin to maintain hoof condition. If the supply of fibre is compromised or the environment of the gut is not conducive to allow bacteria to function efficiently, then the production of B vitamins, including biotin, may be compromised. Poor hoof condition can often be a reflection of an unhealthy digestive system.
How much biotin should you feed to your horse or pony?
Numerous studies have tried to identify the level of biotin required to help address poor hoof horn quality. Buffa et al. (1992) found that supplementation with 15mg of biotin per day over a 10 month period achieved increased hoof hardness and greater growth rates than horses supplemented with 7.5mg per day. Josseck et al. (1995) found 20mg of biotin per day over a 3 year period reduced the severity of hoof horn defects, increased tensile strength and improved the condition of the white line. Commonly hoof supplements therefore provide 15mg or more of biotin per day at the horse feeding rate to promote improved hoof horn.
Dengie Feeds that include Biotin
Specific products within the Dengie range that will help to balance the ration and include biotin at a level to supply 15mg daily for a horse are as follows: –
Healthy Tummy – for horses in working up to a moderate level or those that need help to maintain their weight. Healthy Tummy combines chopped and pelleted alfalfa with a rapeseed oil coating, herbal blend, vitamins, minerals and ADM Protexin in-feed formula.
Healthy Hooves – for horses in light work or those that hold their weight well. Healthy Hooves combines chopped and pelleted alfalfa and straw with a light molasses coating, vitamins, minerals and garlic.
Healthy Hooves Molasses Free – for horses in light work or those that hold their weight well. Healthy Hooves combines chopped and pelleted alfalfa and straw with a light rapeseed oil coating, vitamins, minerals and garlic.
Performance+ Balancer – for working horses and breeding stock. Performance+ Balancer is a pelleted product that not only supplies a broad-spectrum of vitamins and minerals, but glucosamine for joint support and prebiotic for digestive support.
Leisure Balancer – for horses and rest or in light work. Leisure Balancer is a pelleted product that supplies a broad-spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
Performance Vits & Mins– for horses working up to a hard level. Performance Vits & Mins is a powder broad-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement that also includes live yeast for digestive support.
Leisure Vits & Mins – for horses at rest or in light work. Leisure Vits & Mins is a powder broad-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement that also includes live yeast for digestive support.