Equinews.com - Full Article
By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 30, 2014
Fructans, one class of fermentable polysaccharide stored in cool season grasses, can be digested in the horse’s stomach and hindgut by bacterial fermentation but not by enzymatic hydrolysis in the small intestine. Unlike the relatively stable level of starch in a particular cereal grain, grass fructan levels are immensely variable, making up from 5 to 50% of the grass dry matter (DM). Horses also vary somewhat in their sensitivity to the fructans they consume. These factors help to explain why one horse can freely graze fresh spring pastures with no problem, while another horse may develop warm, painful hooves after only a few hours or days of grazing...
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