ISSN 2398-2977      

Nutrition: protein

pequis

Requirements

  • Protein is essential for maintenance, tissue growth and milk production.
  • Both quantity and quality of protein are important - quality refers to the levels of essential amino acids a feedstuff provides, and their availability to digestive enzymes.
  • Essential amino acids are those that the horse cannot manufacture in sufficient quantities to meet requirements and so they have to be supplied in the diet.
  • Lysine is the essential amino acid most likely to be deficient in horse diets and threonine is the next most likely.
  • Cereals are typically low in essential amino acids and so good quality protein sources should be added to straight cereal rations.
  • Soya, alfalfa and synthetic lysine are typically added to compound feeds to provide quality protein.

Growth and maintenance

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Dietary protein concentrations

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Sources of protein

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Hintz H F (1992) Ed. Clinical nutrition. Vet Clin North Am 6, (2).
  • Schryver H F et al (1987) Growth and calcium metabolism in horses fed varying levels of proteinEquine Vet J 19 (4), 280-287 PubMed.
  • Orton R K, Hume I D & Leng R A (1985) Effects of level of dietary protein and exercise on growth rates of horses. Equine Vet J 17 (5), 381-385 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Frape D (2004) Equine Nutrition and Feeding. 3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, UK. ISBN: 1405105984.

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