It seems to be a relatively common practice to add “a little something” to commercial diets, most commonly maize, bran or soya. Reasons for this supplementation range from perceived cost control, to perceived performance edge, or just to “put a bit of weight on”.
Commercial feed suppliers mix feeds that are balanced to suit particular nutritional requirements. Far from giving one the edge, adding other ingredients on top of a balanced diet often serves only to unbalance it and dilute the supply of essential micronutrients. Don’t forget that in a commercially balanced diet, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and minerals are included at optimal levels for the feeding rate. By adding other ingredients and effectively reducing the amount of commercial feed given, one effectively reduces the amount of vitamins and minerals supplied on a daily basis, and also may unbalance the Ca:P ratio of the feed. Imbalances in Ca:P may in turn lead to more serious problems related to bone strength and development.
Always discuss your feeding requirements with your feed supplier or nutritionist and remember that, in addition to being a leading supplier of quality feeds for all classes of horse, Vuma Horse Feeds provides a nutritional advice service free of charge to its clients. Now that could give you the edge!