Did feeding queries change in 2023?

At the end of each year Dengie’s team of nutritionists look back at the number and nature of the enquiries they received to their helpline over the last 12 months.

Data collected from enquiries made by horse owners has shown that promoting condition safely remains the topic most frequently asked about, accounting for over 15% of enquiries. Many horse owners were keen to avoid or reduce the amount of cereals their horses were consuming and so were looking for high quality fibre and high oil feeds, such as Dengie Alfa-A Oil instead.

Unsurprisingly, given the much-publicised issue of obesity, the number of enquiries relating to Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) in 2023 had increased by 1/3 compared to 2022 and was almost 3 times the number of enquiries from 2020. It can be a fine balance to provide enough fibre without promoting weight gain, particularly with trying to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers at the forefront of many horse owner’s minds. This was one of the issues horse owners highlighted in a survey Dengie carried out in 2021. The Dengie Feedline team have also seen an increase in the number of enquiries regarding good doers or overweight horses prone to or being diagnosed with gastric ulcers breaking the stereotype of the typical ‘skinny’ ulcer prone individual. It was these findings that resulted in the launch of Dengie Ulser Lite in 2022.

young horse grazing with mother

2023 also saw a 20% increase in enquiries to the Feedline regarding breeding and youngstock ranging from questions about weaning to how to ensure a broodmare is receiving enough nutrients to support a growing foal.

What may surprise horse owners is the wide variety of animals the Dengie Feedline team are asked about so whilst not the most numerous, they are often the most unusual and test the team’s knowledge. The fibre feeds Dengie produce are suitable for a wide variety of species and so enquiries come in for everything from rabbits to elephants! Dengie Alfa-A Original is fed to many of the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park including zebra, tapir and camels.

Lowland Tapier checking out bale of Alfa-A Original

The top 5 topics that horse owners enquired about in 2023 were:

  1. Promoting condition safely
  2. Providing sufficient fibre for good doers without resulting in weight gain
  3. Enquiries relating to gastric ulcers
  4. How to extend or replace hay
  5. Fibre feeds for horses with dental issues

The Dengie Nutrition team are on hand to answer any feeding queries horse owners may have from what to feed a recently weaned foal to fuelling energy in the competition horse or providing fibre for a veteran who struggles to chew hay.

For more information about Dengie’s feeds or for help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.

Dengie Nutrition Team