QUESTION:

I am about to purchase roughage for the winter's needs, how do I conduct an analysis and what else should I consider?


ANSWER:

It's good that you are asking for an analysis before purchasing roughage, as the nutritional value can vary significantly, and you might end up with roughage that is poorly suited to your horses without an analysis.

Current research indicates that almost all horses, even those performing at high levels, can thrive on roughage alone. For this to be feasible, it is crucial to pay close attention to the content to ensure it is suitable for your horse. In many cases, it can be challenging to find roughage with sufficiently high values for certain types of horses. Conducting an analysis is easier than many think, and you can save a lot of money by feeding the correct amount of roughage of the right nutritional quality.

Several laboratories offer roughage analysis. Order sampling materials well in advance and follow the accompanying instructions. Choose an analysis that includes minerals and possibly a hygiene analysis. It is also very important to know the water content so the amount of roughage can be calculated correctly.

Once you have the analysis, you can choose to contact an adviser or do the calculations yourself. At Eclipse Biofarmab, we use the PC Horse program, the most common software in Sweden where most feeds and supplements are listed. Based on the horse’s needs and the quality of the roughage, concentrate feeds, mineral supplements, and other feed supplements are added in appropriate amounts.

After a few months, perform a check to ensure the horse is functioning well and is in good condition. There are useful condition scoring scales that can help.

Analysis and Selection of Roughage for the Winter

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