Spillers has introduced Alfalfa-Pro, a high quality conditioning alfalfa blend with oil, supporting horses prone to gastric ulceration. Spillers Alfalfa-Pro is one of only five products in the UK to carry the prestigious BETA Equine Gastric Ulceration Syndrome (EGUS) certification mark.
Spillers Alfalfa-Pro is a low sugar and starch fibre and oil blend that can be fed alongside a balancer or traditional compound feed. It can help build condition and increase eating time to support gastric and digestive health.
The fibres in Spillers Alfalfa-Pro are of a softer texture than many other alfalfa based feeds, without sharp stalks that may damage the stomach. They have been specifically blended for slow, moderate and rapid fermentation, which — when combined with the buffering properties of alfalfa and extended eating time — help to maintain complete digestive health.
Only the finest British alfalfa, high in quality protein and organic minerals, is selected for Spillers Alfalfa-Pro. A high level of rapeseed oil is included with added vitamin E to balance it, as well as to enhance coat shine and provide slow release energy and antioxidant support.
Nutritionist Clare Barfoot, the research and development manager at Spillers says: “Alfalfa is an important fibre source. The chopped alfalfa in Spillers Alfalfa-Pro will not only extend eating time but also the high protein and calcium content may help to buffer stomach acid and, if fed before exercise, will help maintain a fibre mat in the stomach to help to reduce ‘gastric splashing’.
“We are very proud that Spillers Alfalfa-Pro has been awarded the BETA EGUS certification mark, which is helping horse owners make informed feed choices to enhance the health and welfare of their horses.”
Clare’s tips to help reduce the risk of gastric ulcers:
Feed as much fibre/forage as possible at a minimum of 1.5% of bodyweight (dry matter) per day.
- Avoid prolonged periods without forage.
- Avoid straw being the sole or predominant forage source.
- If extra energy is needed, look for feeds that have restricted starch and sugar levels and added oil rather than cereals.
- Aim to feed <1g/kg bodyweight of non-structural carbohydrate (NSC: starch plus water-soluble carbohydrate) per meal and preferably <2g NSC/kg bodyweight per day.
- Try to spread meals across the day — multiple small meals are better than one or two large ones.
- Add chopped fibre to every meal — especially alfalfa which has been shown to help buffer gastric acid.
- Avoid very stalky, sharp chopped fibre which can increase the risk of damage to the stomach wall.
- Provide a small chopped, fibre based meal or access to forage before exercise to reduce gastric acid splashing up onto the sensitive unprotected upper non-glandular part of the stomach.
- Turn out to pasture as much as possible.
- Provide access to water at all times.
- Avoid using electrolyte pastes.
- Provide forage while travelling.
New Spillers Alfalfa-Pro is available from your local stockist. For more details contact the Spillers Care-Line on + 44 (0)1908 226626 or visit www.spillers-feeds.com