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Prebiotics and Probiotics in the Equine Diet


Easy Keeper grazing.

Dr. Marty Adams – Equine Nutritionist for Southern States

Digestive aids such as prebiotics and probiotics are showing up in more horse feeds. Many horse owners are likely wondering what they are and what they do to benefit their horse. Let’s take a brief review of these products in the Legends line of horse feeds.

Prebiotics are indigestible feed ingredients that beneficially affect the horse mainly by stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. There is research showing that these products increase fiber digestion, improve mineral absorption and stimulate immune function in the horse. Yeast culture and mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) are examples of prebiotics.

Probiotics are live bacteria that provide beneficial effects in the horse’s digestive system. These are naturally occurring organisms that are also known as direct fed microbials (DFM). Live yeast and probiotic bacteria are examples of probiotics. The most common type of yeast culture and live yeast used in equine diets are strains of one species of yeast known as Saccharomyces Cerevisiae.

All complete Legends Horse feeds and Legends CarbCare Balancer Pellet contain yeast culture and will soon have guarantees for live yeast and probiotic bacteria, so they contain a prebiotic and several probiotics. Live yeast guarantees for complete Legends Horse Feeds are 2.8 Billion colony forming units (CFU) per pound of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Direct fed microbial guarantees are 5.1 Million CFU per pound each for Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum and Enterococcus Faecium. Guarantees for Legends CarbCare Balancer Pellet are 5.6 Billion CFU per pound of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae and 15.3 Million CFU per pound each for Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum and Enterococcus Faecium. All of these products in Legends Horse Feeds have been proven to be heat stable and survive pelleting temperatures, so they are effective in the digestive system of the horse.

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