In this episode of Nutrition Nuggets, Dr. Nettie Liebert, Senior equine nutrition Manager for Mars Horse Care and Pokai Nutrition, introduces the topic of extrusion and its benefits for horses. Extrusion is a cooking method that involves conditioning ingredients with steam under high temperature and pressure, resulting in a lighter, fluffy pellet. By extruding the feed, the starch is broken down and the protein is opened up, making it easier for the horse’s digestive enzymes to break down and absorb the nutrients. This can help prevent carbohydrates from reaching the hindgut and maintain the horse’s weight. Additionally, extruded feed tends to fall apart easier in the horse’s mouth, making it easier to chew and swallow, especially for horses with dental issues. A recent study conducted by Virginia Tech University also found that horses consuming extruded diets consumed the feed slower, which is beneficial for their overall digestive health. Keep an eye out for Buckeye Nutrition’s safe and easy senior product and reach out to them for any nutrition questions you may have.

Understanding the Extrusion Process

Extrusion is a cooking process that involves conditioning ingredients with steam under high temperature and pressure. It can be compared to using a pressure cooker in your kitchen. The result is a lighter and less dense pellet with a fluffy texture. Extruded feed can come in various forms, but it typically has a puffy appearance.

Advantages of Extrusion Over Other Forms of Feed

When feed is extruded, it breaks down starch and opens up proteins. This pre-digestion process allows the horse’s digestive enzymes to work more efficiently, as they can quickly break down and absorb the starch molecules and unfolded proteins. Additionally, extrusion prevents carbohydrates from reaching the hindgut, which can be detrimental to the horse’s health.

Benefits on Horse’s Weight Maintenance

Research conducted by the National Research Council in 2007 found that horses consuming extruded diets had an easier time maintaining their weight. This is particularly beneficial for hard keeper senior horses. Extruded feed tends to fall apart easily in the horse’s mouth, making it easier for them to chew and swallow. For horses with poor teeth, wetting the extruded feed can create an oatmeal consistency, further aiding in easy consumability.

Easy Consumability for Horses with Poor Teeth

Extruded feed has the advantage of falling apart easily, making it suitable for horses with poor teeth. By wetting the feed, it can be transformed into an oatmeal consistency that is easier for horses to chew and swallow. The saliva in their mouth helps break down the feed, eliminating the need for excessive effort during the consumption process.

Slower Consumption of Extruded Feeds

A study conducted by Virginia Tech University showed that horses consuming extruded feed consumed it at a slower rate compared to those eating pelleted feed. Slower consumption of grains is beneficial for horses as it allows for better digestion and absorption, resulting in improved overall health.

Results of the Virginia Tech University Study

The study conducted by Virginia Tech University compared horses eating the same recipe, one pelleted and one extruded. The findings revealed that horses consuming the extruded diet had a slower consumption rate. This reinforces the idea that extruded feed offers benefits in terms of slow and controlled grain consumption.

The Role of Watham in Extrusion Support

Watham plays a vital role in providing support for the extrusion process. As a research body in the field of equine science, Watham ensures that the extrusion method used in feed production meets the highest standards of quality and effectiveness. Their support helps to advance the knowledge and understanding of extrusion in horse nutrition.

Notable Research and Publications on Extrusion

Extrusion has garnered attention in the field of equine nutrition, leading to research and publications highlighting its benefits. The Equine Science Society has featured a presentation on extrusion, shedding light on its advantages for horse feed. Additionally, the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science has published a study on extrusion, further solidifying its significance in the field.

Introduction of New Extruded Products for Senior Horses

Buckeye Nutrition has introduced a new product called Safe and Easy Senior, which is 100% extruded feed. This product caters specifically to senior horses with its extruded form, making it easier for them to consume and digest. The Safe and Easy Senior product addresses the unique needs of senior horses, providing them with a quality feed option.

Conclusion

The extrusion process offers multiple advantages for horse feed, supported by scientific research. By breaking down starch and proteins, extruded feed reduces the workload for the horse’s digestive enzymes. It also prevents carbohydrates from reaching the hindgut, ensuring the horse’s overall well-being. Extruded feed has been shown to aid in weight maintenance, particularly for hard keeper senior horses. Its easy consumability makes it suitable for horses with poor teeth, and the slower consumption rate offers additional benefits. With the support of Watham and ongoing research in the field, the application of extrusion in horse nutrition continues to evolve and hold promise for the future.