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Adding Oil in Horse Diets for Calories: Why Adding Vitamin E is Crucial

Your FAQ Answered


Can I feed oil as a calorie source over my feed? If so, do I need to include a Vitamin E supplement? 


Benefits of Oil in Your Horses Diet:

Feeding oil to your horses diet is a safe way to provide additional calories without increasing meal size or creating extra ‘fizz’.  Oil is very energy dense, in fact the energy content of oils is greater than that of cereals. Therefore, horses that are in hard work, have reduced appetite or suffer from metabolic conditions, such as laminitis, may benefit from the inclusion of oil in the diet. 

When feeding oil as a calorie source, It is important to speak to a nutritionist before feeding more than 100ml/day to ensure your horse’s diet provides a sufficient level of vitamin E. 

The Role of Vitamin E for Horses:

It is recommended that horses on highoil diets should be fed additional vitamin E for its antioxidant properties. As a rule of thumb, the total diet should provide an additional 100IU of vitamin E for every 100ml of oil fed. 

Foran Equine’s Vitamin E supplement is a natural source of Vitamin E and acts as a powerful antioxidant to help minimise oxidative damage. 

Understanding Antioxidants for Horses: 

The term “antioxidant” refers to a group of chemicals that stop a process called oxidation. Oxidation occurs in the body and involves unstable particles called free radicals. Free radicals are naturally produced as a by-product of cellular metabolism. These free radicals roam around trying to stabilise themselves, causing a cascade reaction in body cells, including muscle cells. 

Antioxidants are able to stabilise free radical particles, neutralising them, and reducing their capacity to affect other cells. The balance between free radical production and the availability of antioxidants will determine the extent of oxidative stress. 

It can take a few weeks for horses to become accustomed to a high oil diet, although horses metabolise oil well, you must always introduce additional oil gradually to the diet.  

For information on which type of oil to feed and what the many benefits are follow the article link below   

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