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Feed For Thought: NSCS: Why are they important? What are they? 2013-11-27
In the last ten years, nonstructural carbohydrates have gone from something described in a handful of scientifi c articles to one of the most talked about aspects of equine nutrition. Nonstructural carbohydrates or NSCs are the summation of simple sugars, starches, and fructans within a feedstuff and are often expressed as a percentage of the total dry matter of the feedstuff in question (Hall 2003). Sugars & starches are the readily available energy sources found in a variety of grains & forages while fructans are chains of the simple sugar fructose that are produced by coolseason grasses, such as timothy or orchard grass, when under stress & can be used as potent prebiotic additive in minute quantities in the form of fructooligosaccharies (FOS).
Feed For Thought: the problem with alfalfa-grass blends in baled hay. What’s the problem? 2013-11-25
Too often people will swear up & down that alfalfa is a major cause of laminitis in horses. While any high calorie component in a horse’s diet can contribute to equine metabolic syndrome (EMS), that lush, green alfalfa is not the high sugar culprit; instead, it’s the grass hay in your alfalfa-grass blend hay.
Feed For Thought: this time of the year is generally known as “Colic Season,” Do you know why? 2013-11-25
While changes in management can also contribute to the higher incidence of colic as the weather gets colder, such as less time riding or less plentiful grass in pasture, there has long been known to a link between colic & cold weather changes. A possible reason for this is the dropping barometric pressure associated with most cold fronts. The more rapid & severe the drop, the more likely that the horse will experience gastrointestinal upset.