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A growing number of unseasoned cereal mixes are available on the market. They are very attractive because they are inexpensive and they attract owners thinking to do well. However, horses are herbivores and have a limited capacity to digest sources of starch which can have negative impacts on the digestive health of horses.
These mixes bear no resemblance to reasoned flake feeds, despite frequent comparison with the latter.
Just because a feed looks nice does not mean that is a balanced feed specially designed for horses.
These mixes are often composed of oats, barley, corn, easily identifiable light-coloured bran pellets, and recognisable alfalfa cubes (dark green) which have nothing in common with our mix of flakes where pellets have a specific formula supplementing the flake mix and controlling total starch concentration.
It is not recommended to add cereal to a balanced commercial feed. First, the origin of these cereals is often uncontroled and they can be contaminated by fungi and toxins that could harm your horse. Second, your horse’s feed has been designed and formulated to be an exclusive source of concentrate feed in your horse’s forage-based diet; adding raw cereal will ‘dilute’ the effect of the minerals, vitamins, and amino acids contained in the feed.