Although grass or hay is the foundation of a horse’s diet, a concentrated feed should be added to meet nutritional and energy requirements. But with the variety of feed forms available on the market, which is the best choice for your horse?
Bluebonnet Feeds manufactures and sells four different forms of feed:
- Pelleted—Unlike many other mills that use extreme heat to manufacture pellets, Bluebonnet® uses a “cooling pelleting” process that helps minimize the loss of critical nutrients. All of the feed ingredients are first ground into a mash and then pushed through a die to create 5/32-inch pellets. Pelleted feed is a good choice for many horses because the feed ingredients are thoroughly mixed,ensuring that the same amount of each ingredient is consumed in every bite. The base ingredient in pelleted feed will determine whether it’s high or low in starch.
- Textured—Textured feed is a mix of grains like corn and oats along with pellets. Bluebonnet® manufactures two forms of textured feed: a sweet feed that contains molasses and a dry blend that is coated with soybean oil. Most horses like the taste of textured feeds and readily accept it. However, cereal grains are the prevalent ingredient in textured feed, making it high in starch.
- Extruded—Made from essentially the same ingredients as pelleted and textured feeds, extruded feeds are easier for horses to digest because of the manufacturing process. Feed ingredients are pushed through an extruder at very high temperatures, which causes the starch to degrade, making small fluffy-like pellets. Extrusion begins the digestion process so the horse doesn’t have to work as hard to breakdown and absorb vital nutrients.
- Cubed—Bluebonnet® manufacturers a ¾-inch sized cube, which basically looks like a very large pellet. Cubed feed can be fed on the ground and is easy for a horse to pick up and eat without ingesting dirt.
Choosing a form of feed for a horse mostly comes down to the personal preference of the horse owner. In almost all cases, the nutrition in the formula is more important than the form of the feed. That’s why Bluebonnet® places such an emphasis on ensuring each bag of feed it produces has an open ingredient listing. This allows the horse owner to see not only what nutrients the feed contains but also what ingredients are most prevalent.