Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Feeding Oil to Horses: Choose Wisely - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 23, 2016

Horse owners frequently reach for a jug of vegetable oil when they want to bump up energy consumption for weight gain or wish to add sheen to a coat. Faced with shelves upon shelves of choices, which is the best choice?

“All oils are 100% fat, so there is no difference in the number of calories each provides,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., nutrition advisor for Kentucky Equine Research (KER). “Variations in the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids exist among oils commonly fed to horses. These fatty acids are of particular interest to researchers because of their effect on inflammation and immunity, and because horses are not able to produce these fatty acids in the body, thereby counting on the diet to provide them.”

Cereal grains generally have far more omega-6s than omega-3s. A typical omega-3 to omega-6 ratio for cereal grains might be 1:10. Horses fed large grain meals, therefore, might have a skewed omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in the total diet, with omega-6s outpacing omega-3s...

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