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Carbohydrates - What are they?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Carbohydrates are a major component of plant tissue and are the main source of energy for horses, but are you aware of the different types of carbs and how they are digested in the horses body? Did you know that a horses digestive tract is designed to digest a particular type of carbohydrate and has a limited ability to digest another? Lets start by identifying the two types of carbohydrates:

1. Non Structural Carbohydrates also known as Non Fibrous Carbohydrates 

2. Structural Carbohydrates also known as Fibrous Carbohydrates 

Non Structural Carbohydrates (NSC's) are found inside of the plant cell and are referred to as STARCH & SUGAR. NSC's are broken down by enzymes present in the small intestine and are absorbed through the intestinal wall into the blood stream as glucose or are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen.

Structural Carbohydrates are found in the cell wall of plants and are referred to as FIBRE. These carbohydrates bypass enzymatic digestion and are fermented by the good bacteria living in the horses hindgut (cecum & colon). The process of fermentation produces volatile fatty acids which are used and an energy source by the horse.

Why are Structural Carbohydrates so important for the horse?

Horses have evolved on high Fibre diets (Structural Carbs) and have a limited ability to digest large amounts of starch (Non-Structural Carbs) due to limited enzymes present in the small intestine which break the starch molecules down. When a diet high in NSC's is fed, some escapes digestion in the small intestine and overflows into the hindgut where it is rapidly fermented. When NSC's are fermented, lots of acid is produced which alters the pH of the hindgut causing acidosis, killing the good bacteria present. This predisposes the horse to metabolic conditions and digestive disturbances (colic). 

You may be wondering what feedstuff is composed of starch? Cereal grain is composed of starch. When rations containing high levels of grain is fed, excess starch will escape digestion and rapidly ferment in the hindgut causing acidosis and increasing the risk of digestive upsets, metabolic conditions and poor performance 

ALWAYS remember, horses are hindgut fermenters- They need fibre to keep their digestive tract functioning! If you feed your horse grain, ensure the base of the diet is composed of adequate fibre and make sure your horse isn't consuming large quantities of grain at once. A diet too high in grain or one lacking in fibre, can cause serious health issues.  

Happy Riding!







4 reasons you should choose Omega Feeds products

Friday, March 17, 2017


Why choose Omega Feeds?

Why is the Omega Feeds range different to other premium feeds? 

Here are the top 4 reasons why feeding Omega Feeds is the better choice for your horse:

  1. Our products are based on sunflower seeds not grain (like most others on the market). Because the equine digestive system is poorly designed to digest large quantities of grain, there's a limit to how much grain you can feed without risking dangerous conditions like colic and laminitis or causing a ‘hot’ temperament. Omega Feeds is a cooling and calming product.
  2. Sunflowers are a known Superfood. And what makes our products even more special is that we dehull the sunflower seed and separate the hull (the fibre) from the kernel (the fat). By dehulling the seed, we make the seed more digestible (started breaking the seed down for the horse). Feeding whole seeds can be fruitless as they can pass through undigested.
  3. Sunflowers are full of rich Omega fats. Fat is a safe and excellent energy/calorie source for horses. Fat contains more than twice the energy content of starch, and horses digest and utilise fat well. Supplementing fat into the diet can increase calorie intake without greatly increasing the quantity of feed, so it can be more economical to use Omega Feeds.
  4. A quality fibre source is essential in a horse’s diet for proper digestive function.The horse’s digestive system has been designed to digest fibre NOT grain, which is why our 3 complete feeds are based on the fibrous hull of the sunflower.

Sunflowers are packed with nutritional benefits and by separating the fibre and fat components we are able to manufacture and 
range of products suitable for a variety of horses from easy keepers to hard doers. 

Here at Omega Feeds we want to ensure you horse gets the most out of every seed and feed.

The 6 essential requirements for a balanced diet

Monday, January 30, 2017

BACK TO BASICS WITH OMEGA FEEDS

What are the top 6 essentials for a balanced diet?

ALL THE POWER YOU NEED WITHOUT THE PROBLEMS OF GASTRIC ULCERS & TYING UP

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Are you looking for the ultimate performance horse feed that will provide the energy needed for optimum performance yet contains NO grain to significantly reduce the risk of gastric ulcers and tying up? It is clear many competitors want the energy or 'oomph' without the problems associated with grain, which is why Omega Feeds has scientifically formulated No-Grain Platinum

It seems to be a common practice to feed performance horses a large quantity of grain to boost the energy content of the ration, however many don't realise the problems this can cause. Two common conditions seen in performance horses are gastric ulcers and tying up and although triggered from a number of causes they are commonly associated with feeding grain. 

The benefits of No-Grain Platinum:

  • FIBRE BASED - Safe energy source, also keeps the hindgut healthy 
  • LOW STARCH (<3%) - Reduced risk of metabolic conditions 
  • 12.3 MJ/Kg DIGESTIBLE ENERGY - Contains the same digestible energy content of some grain based feeds on the market!
  • NON PELLETED- Horses spend more time chewing, which increases saliva and in turn buffers the stomach and helps protect it from ulceration
  • PALATABLE - Excellent for fussy eaters 
  • WELL BALANCED - Contains a complete vitamin & mineral premix specific to the needs of performance horses in medium - heavy work 
  • DUST FREE - Wont irritate the airways 

Want even more energy?? Fat supplementation is also a great way of increasing the energy content of a ration whilst reducing the risk of metabolic conditions. Scientific research has shown that a fat supplement such as MaxiCoat will provide 2.25 x more energy then grain!

Always remember, in order to improve the performance of your horse and reduce the risk of gastric ulcers and tying up you need to ensure you are feeding your horse correctly, as nutrition along with training will directly impact on how your horse performs- Try No-Grain Platinum today! 

FEEDING THE FOAL

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AIM FOR OPTIMAL GROWTH, NOT MAXIMUM GROWTH 

With the arrival of your foal, a correct and well balanced nutritional feed to encourage controlled, steady growth is vital in ensuring your foal turns into a sound athlete.
Throughout the first 2-3 months, the majority of foals will be able to obtain their nutritional requirements from the mare’s milk. Milk production decreases after 3 months and at this point foals will need creep feeding to fill the nutrient gap. A good creep feed should be palatable, nutritious, well balanced and contain high quality protein.
The biggest problem for young growing horses is developmental orthopaedic disease (musculoskeletal abnormalities). 

Some contributing factors to this are:

Genetic predisposition
Rapid growth rate/ Excess energy
Trauma
Restricted Exercise 
Poor nutrition / Unbalanced diet 


To prevent developmental orthopaedic disease the most critical stage of growth is from weaning to 12 months of age. Always aim for optimal growth not maximum growth. 
When weaning foals, feed a high quality roughage and supplement combined with a well balanced feed that contains adequate vitamins and minerals to support sound growth and development. It is important to ensure young horses are never overfed and a steady growth rate is maintained in order to reduce the risk of DOD’s. 

At 12 months of age the growth rate slows, which means there is less risk of developing DOD’s. Feed programs should remain customised for optimal steady growth rate. 
The high fibre content of the No-Grain Platinum will help ensure optimal digestive function while providing quality protein and a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals to meet nutritional requirements.

BREEDING & YOUNG STOCK - GET THE BEST START IN LIFE!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

In order to give your foal the best start in life it is important to feed your broodmare an appropriate well balanced diet that will keep her in ideal (moderate to fleshy) condition whist meeting nutritional requirements. Feeding an unbalanced diet consisting of poor quality ingredients can affect your foals growth and development and have a significant impact on future performance. In order to successfully meet a mares nutritional requirements, it is important to know that there are different stages through out pregnancy. 

Early to Mid Pregnancy 

During the first 7-8 months the fetus develops slowly, so a mares nutrient requirements are very similar to a mature horse at maintenance. During this stage we recommend the No-Grain Gold. If you have an obese mare or one susceptible to metabolic conditions such as laminitis then the PonyPlus can be fed. 

Late Pregnancy 

During the last few months of pregnancy most of the foals growth will happen, so the mares nutrient requirements increase. To support this rapid growth, the mare obviously has a higher nutritional requirement so we recommend switching the No-Grain Platinum. If your feeding a mare with/susceptible to laminitis, we recommend remaining on the PonyPlus but feeding a higher amount during this stage. MaxiCoat can also be supplemented into the diet to boost the energy level of the ration.

Lactation 

The nutrient requirements of a lactating mare are very high so after foaling the mares nutritional requirements increase again in order to produce adequate milk for the foal and to maintain body weight. If you have a mare who isn't maintaining body weight and condition then we suggest supplementing some WeightGain into the diet to enhance the calorie content of the ration. 

Once your foal is on the ground, a controlled steady growth rate is imperative to ensure it matures into a sound athlete. The biggest problem of young growing horses many breeders face is Developmental Orthopaedic Disease. There are a number of contributing factors, however common nutritional related causes includes feeding high energy feeds which leads to an excessive growth rate and also feeding an unbalanced diet. So in summary, correct nutrition is vital when producing a strong healthy foal- Never overfeed, ensure the diet is balanced and closely monitor growth rate!!

Enjoy the breeding season!! 


This Spring, put your horse's best hoof forward!

Monday, September 05, 2016


Spring might be the best time of the year, but if you have horses that are prone to developing laminitis, this season may be the beginning of serious health problems.

Springtime cold nights and warm days can drive sugar and starch levels in growing grass to extremely high levels, with the highest sugar content during the afternoon/early evening on warm sunny days. Laminitis occurs when horses consume too much of the new, lush grass resulting in an overflow of sugar/starch into the hindgut. This kills off the good bacteria present in the horses hindgut and releases harmful pathogens that are absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause laminitis.

When this occurs horses experience a decrease in blood flow to the laminae, the connective tissue connecting the hoof bones to the hoof wall, which in turn begin to die and separate. The final result is hoof wall separation, rotation of the coffin bone and extreme pain.

So, before Spring really hits, take steps now to ensure that your horse is healthy and ready for warmer weather and greener pastures.

Omega Feeds PonyPlus is a complete feed that has been specifically formulated for horses with metabolic conditions such as laminitis. With the lowest starch content of any complete feed on the market, it is the ideal preparation feed that you can give your horse.

Omega Feeds PonyPlus is also low in energy, which is a huge advantage as obesity is one of the most common causes of laminitis. A low calorie, nutrient rich feed will help with weight loss and keep your horse on the healthy track.

Visit our EQ Health Hub today for more nutritional advice on how Omega Feeds PonyPlus can benefit your horse today 

http://www.omegafeeds.com.au/EQ-Health-Hub/expert-advice



PONYPLUS - THE WONDER FEED!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

There is a lot of talk on PonyPlus at the moment and I have received so much positive feedback from very happy customers all over Australia!! Stories from down and out ponies that can barely walk and are now trotting around the paddock to broodmares that have previously been slipping foals and are now heavily in foal. Whatever the story, the results are astounding and the feed is working!

So why does PonyPlus work?

The feed works so well because it is so well balanced and so low in starch and sugar. It provides the horse with everything it needs- good quality protein, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and bulk without oversupplying calories, starch or sugar.

It is important to note that providing a low starch, low sugar feed is only PART of the correct management of a laminitic horse! Some owners have the first aspect of correct management down pat by feeding a low sugar, low starch feed, however are failing to address other contributing factors and giving their laminitic horse unlimited access to pasture or feeding roughage that is high in non structural carbohydrates and then wondering why they are not seeing big improvements in their horse. 

Grazing management is essential when avoiding repeated episodes. As I'm sure many of you know, pasture can contain high levels of non structural carbohydrates (NSC's), so susceptible horses need to be managed carefully! Remember, you need to address ALL aspects of proper management. For best results, feed PonyPlus with hay/chaff that is low in NSC's and manage grazing carefully.

Happy Riding!


WeightGain - keeping your horse in top condition all year round

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
With winter well and truly here and the temperature rapidly dropping, a horse a will burn more calories to generate body heat and keep warm. A high calorie supplement such as WeightGain is ideal for the winter months as it will provide your horse with the extra calories needed to maintain or increase body weight. For all those people out there who have said I have tried this and tried that, you are yet to try the best- The results seen from WeightGain speak for themselves!

Reasons why WeightGain works:
  • High calorie content for rapid weight gain (28% Fat)
  • Quality protein for muscle growth and topline
  • Highly digestible & well balanced 
  • Contains a customised blend of vitamins and minerals for optimum health 
  • Blend of quality ingredients, which achieves brilliant results.
WeightGain will help keep your horse in top condition all year round. Click here to find you nearest stockist

WHY SUNFLOWER? THE POWER OF SUNFLOWER

Friday, July 04, 2014
Here at Omega Feeds we pride our self on producing high quality horse feeds based on the goodness of sunflower. You may be wondering, why sunflower? Sunflower seeds are packed with loads of nutritional benefits:
  • High Fibre Content (Hull- outside of the seed) 
  • High Fat Content (Kernel - inside of the seed)
  • High Methionine Content 
  • Cool Energy 
  • Low Starch
  • Palatable 
  • Adds coat shine 

Our concept of sunflower based feeds opposed to traditional grain based ones, gives our product range a unique difference in the marketplace. As more and more people are becoming aware of the problems associated with grains they are looking for fibre and fat sources to meet their horses nutritional requirements. Horses don’t need to be fed a heap of different ingredients, in fact when you start adding bits of this and bits of that in, your likely to make the diet unbalanced. Feeding horses doesn’t need to be tricky, in fact its easy - keep it simple but balanced and you will see results!

I just want to add that we don’t use whole seeds. All of our high grade seeds go through a dehulling plant which breaks the hull and enables us to separate the kernel (inside of the seed) from the hull (outside of the seed). This is a significant point to make as it is more digestible to the horse.

From pleasure riding through to elite competition, we have a feed that will suit you and help improve the performance of your horse. With proven results, you really cannot go past an Omega Feeds diet!

LET SUNFLOWER POWER YOUR HORSE TODAY........