Horses teeth benefit from a high-fibre diet

It’s official – feeding high fibre diets to horses is not only great for their overall health and wellbeing, but also the key to helping them to maintain healthy teeth!

Feeding concentrates increases the likelihood of dental irregularities

Researchers at Michigan State University published research in the Equine Veterinary Journal (Bonin et al, 2007) that shows feeding high levels of concentrates (cereal or pelleted products) to horses increases the likelihood of dental irregularities such as enamel overgrowth or sharp edges.

High fibre diets encourages chewing

In contrast, high-fibre diets were shown to encourage the horse to use slower, larger movements when chewing so that chewing not only took longer, but was more effective.

Researchers placed markers on the horses’ heads and positioned cameras around the horses to record each one’s chewing action. The results showed that fibrous food stays on the cheek teeth longer, allowing the horse to utilise full movement of the jaw.

High fibre diets can encourage good dental health

This research certainly suggests that to encourage good dental health, high-fibre diets are definitely the way forward. Using feeds such as Alfa-A Original instead of concentrate feeds like cool mixes not only increases the fibre intake, but also supplies the same level of energy. Combined with the benefits that high-fibre diets have for the whole of the digestive system, it becomes easy to appreciate why more and more people are joining the fibre revolution!

If you would like more information on this research or feeding advice for your horse or pony, please telephone our team of nutritionists at the Dengie Feed Helpline on 01621 841188.