Dr. Eleanor Kellon would like to ask horse owners who think hay analysis is another unnecessary way to waste money to please reconsider. As staff veterinary consultant for Uckele Health & Nutrition and a respected veteran at analyzing hay, she has experienced how this important tool can make a vital difference in a horse’s health, and provide tools to formulate a least-cost ration, as well.
“Without analyzing hay, you are just guessing at your horse’s nutritional needs,” Dr. Kellon reasons. “You could be wasting money on supplements your horse doesn’t need - or even making your horse’s mineral imbalances worse. You probably wouldn't feel comfortable buying a bagged feed for your horse that did not have an analysis. However, for most horses bagged feed is no more than 25% of their diet, leaving the remaining 75% hay in their diets nutritionally unknown. This introduces a host of potential deficiencies, excesses and imbalances into the major portion of your horse's diet.”
Part of the analysis gives information on protein, calories, fiber, fat and simple carbohydrates. Equally, if not more important, is the mineral information. Dr. Kellon contends that widespread deficiencies are a major reason why there is a flourishing market for hoof and coat supplements. Throwing a lot of supplements at the horse without knowing what is actually needed for its specific diet won't fix the problem and can be an unnecessary expense. Variable factors in hay include type and strain of hay, soil type, geographical location, rainfall, organic matter in the soil, stage of growth, type and amount of fertilizer, or soil treatments such as liming.
Dr. Kellon says the solution is simple, “Get a hay analysis. If hay changes too frequently for that, at least research the regional figures for where the hay was grown. You will save by supplementing only what your horse truly needs and in the correct amount. The health benefits are tremendous.”
Uckele Health & Nutrition, maker of CocoSoya®, offers hay testing, as well as products that address deficiencies most often found in hay.
- Hay Mineral Analysis is a simple test to identify mineral and vitamin imbalances in your horses' hay to help you match deficiencies and balance toxic mineral levels. You simply need to mail a hay sample in a quart-sized baggie. Click here for submittal form.
- Equi-VM is a concentrated source of vitamins, time-released trace minerals, abundant probiotics and digestive enzymes that are most likely to be deficient.
- Sport Horse Grass is a mega potency vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplement containing the three important amino acids L-Lysine, DL-Methionine and L-Threonine, important trace elements, very high levels of fat and water-soluble vitamins, and more.
About Dr. Kellon
Dr. Eleanor Kellon, staff veterinary specialist for Uckele Health & Nutrition, is an established authority in the field of equine nutrition for over 30 years, and a founding member and leader of the Equine Cushings and Insulin Resistance (ECIR) group, whose mission is to improve the welfare of horses with metabolic disorders via integration of research and real-life clinical experience. Prevention of laminitis is the ultimate goal. www.ecirhorse.org
Uckele Health & Nutrition is an innovation-driven health company committed to being on the leading edge of nutritional science and technology for over 50 years. Uckele takes pride in formulating and manufacturing a full spectrum of quality nutritional supplements incorporating the latest nutritional advances for equine athletes and companion animals to help achieve optimal health. www.uckele.com