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How Southern States’ Feeds Help Horses Grow


What you feed your horses during the first few years of life has a significant impact on their growth, development, overall health and future athletic endeavors. Southern States® recognizes the importance of proper nutrition and has feeds that meet the needs of your growing horse from in utero to adulthood. Your challenge as a foal owner is to design a nutrition program that gives your foal the best start possible. But don't worry, you aren't alone - Southern States is here to help.

"Since 60% of the horse's mature weight, 90% of withers height and 95% of bone growth is achieved by a year of age a good feeding program is essential to the future potential of your growing horse," explains Southern States Equine Nutritionist Dr. Marty Adams, PAS. During this critical growth period you want to make sure your foal is maintaining a steady growth rate to avoid developmental orthopedic disease (DOD). Ensuring your pregnant mare and foal get the right nutrients and minerals is the number one way to lay the groundwork for proper bone development.

View the Digital Horse Feed Guide

The most important factors for growth in the horse are protein quality (amount of essential amino acids) and energy. Adams suggests, "Use feeds with quality protein sources (soybean meal and guaranteed amino acids), high levels of trace minerals and vitamins, proper levels of calcium and phosphorus and low, controlled starch levels from feeds with fixed formulas." Recommended products include Legends® Growth and Southern States Solution. Copper, zinc and manganese are important trace minerals for the growing horse. "These co-factors for enzymes are involved in converting cartilage to bone," adds Adams.

"Equine nutrition research has determined that lysine is the most important essential amino acid for horses, meaning it must be supplied in the diet," notes Adams. "Soybean meal is the highest plant source of lysine, as it's the best quality protein source for the horse. This is why Southern States only uses soybean meal in their horse feed formulas." Southern States guarantees lysine content in our feeds for growing horses like Southern States Solution, and Legends® Growth. Nursing foals should eat feeds with a guarantee of 0.80% or more. Southern States Solution and Legends® Growth both meet this requirement.

One of the most common mistakes owners make is to over or under feed their foals. Monitor your foal's growth rate and corresponding feed ration. Your local Southern States can help you grow a healthy and happy foal.


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