Feeding the Veteran generally requires some modification of nutrition. Changes in the physiology of digestion, adjustments in the nutrient requirements and a possible shift in hindgut fermentation can all be accounted for when formulating a suitable ration.
But what happens if the horse’s dentition is compromised to an extent that it impairs intake? Or even can a veteran maintain its intake under normal circumstances.
Trials conducted at Writtle College addressed both these questions. Horses in the age range of 21-50 years with poor dental condition were trialled against horses aged 10-13 with average dental condition. Observations were conducted on intake and time of intake of two commercially available fibre feeds – one being Fibre-Beet – and a standard quality hay.
Fibre-Beet uptake in the veteran was significantly greater than the commercial fibre feed, which in turn was greater than hay. The rate of uptake of Fibre-Beet was also significantly improved.
If intake of forage is a problem then Fibre-Beet improves the chances of maintaining nutrition.
Ref: Mann T, The suitability of three different forage sources for veteran horses with compromised dentition. Writtle |College and the University of Essex. 2007