A fresh approach to feeding quality fibre to Australian horses

A fresh approach to feeding quality fibre to Australian horses

Fiber Protect, Fiber Ezy and Fiber Mix have become increasingly favoured across Australian feed stores. Fiber Fresh forage feeds are grown entirely in the Central Plateau Region of New Zealand. Crop husbandry and gold-standard harvesting practices are an integral part of the business, from the use of state-of-the-art harvesting technology to crop management that is second to none. This ensures the very best quality and consistency in product is produced for our Equine customers.

There is really no other forage that compares with Lucerne in terms of its energy, protein and overall nutrient composition.

The unique fermentation process that all Fiber Fresh products go through means that the horse can get the most from their feed when compared with dried forms of the same plants.

Nutrients are also captured and retained at levels close to the freshly harvested crop. Maintaining quality and consistency is a key part in the production of Fiber Fresh. By adding a product from the Fiber Fresh range to your horse’s diet, you will be offering a highly nutritional forage of consistent quality.

Some of the key benefits of Fiber Fresh are:

  • Superior nutrient retention during the fermentation process (drying reduces many nutrients) – proven in published trials

  • The Crude Protein (CP), is significantly higher in a fermented product, thus more protein per kg of DM

  • Higher digestibility (18% higher than dry forage/chaff) – (Stowers et.al. 2013)

  • Diet-limiting or essential Amino Acids; Lysine and Methionine had levels than dried Lucerne chaff (Stowers et.al., 2013)

  • Fiber Fresh forage fibre allows for passive hydration in the horses diet (helpful for those equines that don't drink well - especially performance horses). Horses fed a Fiber fresh forage consumed 8% more water, than a diet containing a dried forage source

  • No dust – better for those horses with respiratory conditions

  • Ideal for equines requiring low starch/sugar diet (<10% starch/sugars) – Fiber Protect and Fiber Ezy

Fibre -A natural energy source for horses
Horses are well adapted at deriving energy from fibre sources in their hindgut. Feeding fibre sources to the horse ensures a slow-release supply of energy - a Fiber Fresh product can contribute significantly to the overall diet requirements of your horse via a supply of natural, easily digested forage nutrients.

Key advantages of Fiber Fresh vs. hay and chaff
Whilst grass and meadow hay are generally good sources of fibre, meadow hay generally has a lower energy and protein value compared to any of the Fiber Fresh products and they are not always consistent in nutrients. Fiber Fresh forage fibres offer not only superior energy levels, but also very good quality protein, calcium, and the first limiting amino acid Lysine. Research has proven that the amino acids (building blocks of protein), in FiberProtect® are better digested when compared with traditional dry lucerne chaff, particularly for Lysine and Methionine. Lysine and Methionine are both diet-limiting, or essential amino acids. This means the horse must obtain them from their diet.

The further benefits of a Fiber Fresh diet
Feeding Fiber Fresh products also ensures your horse stays well hydrated, which is vital at all times, but especially when the horse is travelling or at an event where they may not be interested in drinking. Research has shown that even though horses drink less whilst eating Fiber Fresh products than traditional dried chaff, they will be better hydrated because the Fiber Fresh itself contributes to their hydration levels. Fiber Fresh products contribute to keeping the digestive tract full and functional which reduces the risk of colic-like events.

Robyn Hirst BSc Animal Science M.AgriSci Equine Studies