Equine Research


Fiber Fresh is leading the world in forage fibre research.

Our 25 years of export experience and on-going commitment to research and product development has put us at the forefront of global fibre research. As a result, Callaghan Innovation, the New Zealand Government agency responsible for driving science and innovation in New Zealand, shares our vision and has supported us with co-funding into ongoing forage fibre research and product development.

We also partner with Massey University and other universities and research organisations in New Zealand and abroad, for R&D aimed at revealing the full potential of Fiber Fresh’s HNF® (High Nutritional Fiber). Our special interest is in improving Total Gastrointestinal Health and subsequent performance. Current research focuses on the effect feeding Fiber Fresh to horses will have in areas such as gastric ulceration, laminitis and colic, all serious yet common health problems of the horse.

We believe that the superiority of Fiber Fresh feeds offers the most significant potential of all feeds for dramatic improvements in equine health and performance.

Five key findings of our research to date:

1. Fiber Fresh feeds are scientifically proven to be better than dry lucerne chaff*

New scientific research on thoroughbreds at Massey University has confirmed that FiberProtect® provides horses with considerably more slow release energy than traditional dry lucerne chaff. The study, recently carried out to compare the hydration level, nutrient intake and digestibility of dry lucerne chaff against that of FiberProtect® found that FiberProtect® provided 20% more dry matter intake, 20% more energy intake, 32% more retained energy, 22% more digestible energy, and improved hydration.

2. Feeding Fiber Fresh results in better hydration than dry lucerne chaff**

Replacing dry lucerne chaff with FiberProtect® provides horses with 3.6 litres (8%) more water per day. Substituting dry forages with FiberProtect® reduces the loss of electrolytes, and the potential for tying up and colic associated with dehydration.

3. The protein in Fiber Fresh feeds is superior to dry lucerne chaff**

Horses fed FiberProtect® had more than double the level of retained protein (203%) compared to those fed dry lucerne chaff. Crude protein digestibility was significantly (18%) higher in the horses fed FiberProtect®. Amino acid levels were higher and digestibility was significantly better in almost all 17 amino acids. Digestibility of the main limiting amino acids, lysine (24%) and methionine (30%) were significantly higher in FiberProtect® than dry lucerne chaff.

4. Get more digestible energy from hard feeds when feeding Fiber Fresh*

Scientific research recently conducted on thoroughbreds at Massey University has shown that replacing meadow chaff with increasing amounts of FiberProtect® as the forage component in a grain-based diet of oats and barley increased the total retained energy (RE) in the horse by 26%.

5. Feeding FiberProtect® can rapidly counter the negative effects that high grain feeding can have on gastric health**

In a peer-reviewed scientific study, when fed at recommended levels as the sole feed to spelling horses, FiberProtect® provided dietary relief of symptoms of gastric discomfort, corrected an acidic stomach environment and returned the stomach to a normal healthy condition within 14‑28 days in 100% of horses studied. FiberProtect® was also shown to be effective as an aid in the management of gastric health in active horses following the reintroduction of high grain racing or competition diets.

*Data on file – 2011: Journal of Applied Animal Nutririon
**Data on file – 2012 In-press; Journal of Applied Animal Nutrition