Feeding oil

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Snipper
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Feeding oil

Postby Snipper » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:59 pm

My friend has a 19-year-old mare who is about 15.2hh. She is fit and healthy and still hunts weekly during the season. But she does want to get more weight on her. She is on build up nuts, but she wondered if there was something else she could try. I suggested feeding oil might be worth a try. Is this right and if so, what oil should she use and how much? She doesn't have any extra oil in her feed at the moment. I thought that you had to feed quite large amounts but introduce it slowly? If you don't think this would work, what else would you suggest?

Expert_NAF_Nutrition
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Re: Feeding oil

Postby Expert_NAF_Nutrition » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:32 am

Hi,

Thank you for your enquiry, and you're right in thinking that oil can be a great way of feeding for condition. Oil is a very concentrated energy source and extra energy, that is, extra calories is what you need if you want to add condition.

Oil is a particularly good choice for horses as they begin to age (not that 19 is necessarily 'old'), as it is a very efficient form of energy and easily broken down by the system. However you're right that it must be introduced very gradually as the system takes a little while to adjust to the new diet. Horses with large energy demands, such as top eventers and endurance animals, might take up to a pint a day of oil, but for most horses in work you should be aiming at around a cup a day for significant energy. But that should still be done gradually, starting at around 30ml per day (1 'pump' if using NAF oils) and increasing over around 8-10 weeks. Once you're on the higher level then you also need to balance that with additional vitamin E. The vitamin E is required because for all oils benefits they are also a 'pro-oxidant' which in large amounts could be detrimental if not balanced with an 'anti-oxidant' like NAF Vitamin E, Selenium & Lysine.

As to which oil, I would recommend a vegetarian based oil as this is more natural to the diet. NAF Omega Oil would be an ideal choice as it is a unique blend of natural linseed, soya and hemp oils. The addition of hemp oil is particularly important as it means this blend provides a broad, balanced, spectrum of the omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids - all of which have their own unique roles to play within the body.

I hope this has answered your question. Any further queries please do contact us again, and please let us know how your friend's horse gets on with a high oil diet.

Kind regards,
Kate


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