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Organic acids and Enzymes

Organic acids and Enzymes

All animals require food to maintain bodily condition, provide the raw materials for growth, repair damaged tissues and provide energy for work or exercise.

The horse is a grazing animal, designed to eat almost constantly throughout the day. Their natural feed is grass and they have evolved to eat for 18 out of the 24 hours.

This helps prevent and mitigate feed allergies in horses. Enzymes aid in the repair of tissue and are beneficial when your horse is training. Enzymes play a role in virtually all body activities, each one having a specific function in the body. The enzymes in the body are actually an invisible activity or energy factor and not just the protein molecule itself. The reaction promoted by a particular enzyme is very specific. Therefore, because of cellular metabolism includes hundreds of different chemical reactions, there are hundreds of different kinds of enzymes.

As a natural grazer, consuming grain is not the most natural thing for a horse. Despite this, grains have been incorporated into the diet as a source of energy so that a horse can meet the energy demands of performance. Ideally, starch should be digested by enzymes in the small intestine, with as small an amount as possible being passed into the hindgut for continued digestion. Any amount that does pass to the hindgut for digestion could cause problems for the horse.

Application of organic acids can prevent the development of musty odor and mold in the hay that is not adequately dried. Most preservatives applied to horse hay contain organic acids that are the same as those found in the horse’s gastrointestinal tract. Propionic and acetic acid, the most common organic acids used in hay preservatives are produced naturally in the cecum and colon of horses as a result of microbial digestion of fibrous feeds. These organic acids can be used as mold inhibitors and applied when hay is not yet dry enough to bale safely but rain is coming and crop may be lost if not baled early. Research studies have shown that heating and molding of hay during storage is decreased with the use of preservatives.

Benefits:

  • May increase animal intake
  • Source of extra energy during hard work, competition, and long distance running
  • Improves horses performance and endurance
  • Boost immune system and prevents infection
  • Reduce feed allergy symptoms in your horse
  • Reduce malnutrition caused by poor nutrient absorption

Sources:

http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.4141/cjas87-026

https://www.horsejournals.com/horse-care/feed-nutrition/propionic-acid-treated-hay

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/13958/supplementing-enzymes-in-the-equine-diet

http://harvesttec.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Acid-Treated-Hay-for-Horses-06.pdf

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