Chickens at Brantome

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will my horse be at risk from Laminitis by eating Premium Fodder sprouting barley? 

A: There are many causes of Laminitis - obesity, concussion trauma, medications, imbalance of gut bacteria and, of course, extensive feeding on rich spring grass.

The vet’s advice will not recommend to starve the horse, as many people think, as this can cause hyperlipeamia. So reduce the food rations and give fodder which is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals especially calcium.

Premium Fodder sprouting barley should not be fed continuously but in two or three daily feeds (depending on work). It is very high in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes which the horse needs to maximise digestion and absorption of the essential nutrients so you just feed it in the same way as hard feed - little and often and this controls any risk of laminitis. (by Teresa Hollands BSc(Hons) MSc(Nutrition); Dodson Horrell)

Q:  What about the sugar content in the fodder?

A:  All natural foods (including grasses) contain sugars which are necessary for humans and animals for energy and the digestive process.  Feed that has added sugar (eg molasses, sugar beet) is commonly used but the horse’s system is not designed to cope with it and can use up the valuable energy they are supposed to provide so they should be avoided.  Barley shoots have natural sugars in the correct quantities to provide horses with the necessary energy for healthy living.

Interestingly, the juice from barley shoots is given to diabetics to LOWER and control the blood sugar levels. (by Jerry Brunetti, world famous expert on livestock feed and nutrition)

Q:  Will barley sprouts put my horse at risk from colic?

A:   (As stated by the Equine Research Centre) There are many different types of colic: impaction, gas, spasmodic, displacement (twisted gut), enteritis/colitis colic and gastric distention/rupture. Some of these are treatable and are fairly minor complaints which can be cured by knowledgeable care from the owner.  Others are serious and should only be treated by a qualified horse doctor/veterinarian.

By introducing barley grass into your feeding regime, the horses are automatically hydrated as the root mass and shoots are packed full of water and nutrients. The shoots are very easily digested and therefore give the horse a much higher percentage of digestible energy.

The much improved digestion reduces the incidence of colic, and aids the process of digesting hay, which may be fed alongside the fresh fodder. A recommended mix of barley fodder with a reduced amount of hay gives a good balance of forage for extended periods.

There are many important ways to reduce the onset of colic in horses. A few important ones are as follows:

  1. A regular feeding schedule with 2/3 small feeds each day
  2. Access to clean water
  3. Provide at least 60% of digestible energy from forage
  4. Do not feed or water horses before cooling down after work
  5. Provide good forage for as much of the day as possible