Increasing Your Horse’s Whole Body Wellness with Extruded Feed

Creating an optimal feeding program is about more than fulfilling the basic nutritional requirements; it’s about nurturing your horse’s entire body—enhancing their well-being from the inside out. No matter your horse’s nutritional needs, 100% extruded feeds are made to improve the absorption of vital nutrients, provide more calories for growth, development, and performance, and may help lower the risk of certain digestive upsets that can lead to choke, colic, and laminitis.

With several key stops along the gastrointestinal tract, here’s how specially formulated extruded feed nuggets help horses live better lives from the inside out.

Extruded nuggets

A Journey Through the Gastrointestinal Tract

  • Mouth

Extruded nuggets are lighter and larger than other feed forms, so they have more surface area and absorb moisture more completely. This causes horses to chew feed more thoroughly and produce more saliva, which slows down how fast they eat and helps protect the digestive tract from acids.

  • Esophagus

Extruded nuggets typically break between 10 to 13 pounds of pressure, compared to 25 to 30 pounds or more for pellets. The equine esophagus generates about 10 pounds of pressure to drive food down, so it has the power to break down extruded particles even if they aren’t fully chewed.

  • Stomach

The strong muscle at the entrance of the stomach and angle of the esophagus prevents horses from vomiting, which may lead to serious health conditions, like choke, if the feed particles aren’t broken down.

Ingredients in extruded nuggets are ground finer compared to ingredients in pelleted feeds. When broken down, this produces a greater surface area for stomach acids to interact with, which enhances digestive efficiency of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.

  • Small Intestine

Extruded ingredients are cooked longer than pelleted feeds at higher temperatures, which helps to “predigest” certain nutrients, allowing them to be naturally absorbed where they’re meant to. This helps provide healthy levels of these nutrients to help ensure the horse has more calories for maintaining body condition and more essential amino acids for growth and optimal performance. Increased pre-cecal and total tract digestibility also helps minimize common digestive challenges that can lead to choke, colic and certain metabolic challenges.

  • Large Intestine

The large intestine is composed of the cecum, small and large colon. This is where high quality fiber sources in our extruded nuggets, like soybean hulls, beet pulp and rice bran, provide calories for energy in a safe and natural form.

Maintaining the right hindgut acidity levels fosters growth of beneficial bacteria, fungi and protozoa to break down fibers, nutrients and vitamins through fermentation

  • Cecum

The active microbial population found in the cecum serves to ferment forage and other fiber components into usable energy, protein and other nutrients like B-vitamins. Here, prebiotics and probiotics in extruded nugget formulas help to maintain a stable intestinal environment.

  • Colon and Rectum

Highly digestible extruded feed, along with healthy hindgut fermentation, supports the absorption of nutrients and water by the colon and encourages the healthy formation of manure in the rectum.

Feeding the Whole Horse

Including 100% extruded feeds in your horses’ feed program ensures they receive the maximum benefit from every meal, from the very first mouthful to the final stages of digestion. For horse owners, understanding the comprehensive benefits of extruded feed is the first step toward nurturing happier, healthier horses, ready to meet their full potential in every aspect of their lives.

Feed Your Curiosity

Learn more about the full line of Sentinel Extruded Horse Feeds, along with expert
tips and advice to ensure your companion has everything they need to live a happy, healthy life.

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