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Sugar in roughage

Sugar in roughage

Grass feed naturally contains non-structural carbohydrates such as sugar and starch. The percentage of sugar in grass, hay and silage can vary widely depending on the quality. Lucerne feed naturally has a lower sugar percentage than grass.

Sugars are in every horse feed, so in all roughages such as grass, hay, silage, luzern, etc. But this sugar quantity is less if you compare it with concentrates and / or cereals. In spring and autumn (plenty of sunshine and at the same time low temperatures) the sugar content in fresh grass can be very high. As a consequence, horses can get laminitis due to the sugar in the grass.

Fructan is stored as a reserve sugar by the grass, in order to be transformed into a variety of other substances during good growth conditions. Fructan is the only sugar that cannot be digested in the small intestine. Instead, it is fermented in the large intestine, which can cause problems for horses.

Roughage only contains negligible amounts of starch. Cereals and concentrates are rich in starch. The small intestine has a very limited capacity for digesting starch. If a horse gets too much starch, a large part of it passes through to the large intestine, where it can cause the same problems as fructan.

Today, sugar and starch are often said to be bad to a horse. These carbohydrates are in different amounts in almost all kinds of horse feed, such as in cereals (about 30 - 40%), concentrates (about 20-45%) and even grass, hay and silage grass (about 5-15%). Carbohydrates such as sugar and starch are used by a horse as energy supply, but not all horses can cope with large amounts.

Sugar in Hartog’s roughage

Hartog's Gras-mix and Lucerne-mix contain no pure molasses but are enriched with a small percentage of Molashine. Molashine is a mixture of molasses and vegetable oil. This mixture provides an increased energy value, a shiny coat and helps to bound leaf material. As a result, these mixtures are very suitable for allergic horses.

The table below shows the sugar percentages of various roughage feeders. Also, the standard deviation is given to grass, hay and silage because these values can be very varied. In the Hartog roughage, special roughage mixutures are used with constant quality.

Sugar percentage in Hartog products:

Product

Sugar-

percentage

Standard-

deviation

Hartog Lucerne-mix

7%

-

Hartog Lucerne-mix Digest

1,5%

-

Hartog Compact Grass

8%

-

Hartog Gras-mix

11%

-

Fresh grass*

12%

8 - 14%

Hay*

11%

8 - 15%

Silage*

9% 

7 - 11%


*Source: Dairy one Laboratory, New York

Due to the fact that Lucerne mix and Gras mix contain only small amounts of Molashine, the sugar content in these products is hardly affected, and the average remains lower than fresh grass and hay.

Tip:

Hartog Compact Grass can be fed unlimited, the product contains little sugar. This makes it very suitable towards sober breeds and seniors.

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