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          the good, the bad and the ugly...

​Courtesy of University Of MN

          written by Marcia Hathaway, PHD

​Carbohydrates are a hot topic in the horse industry. Carbohydrates are essential in all horse's diets. There are, however, different kinds of carbohydrates found in horse feeds.

THE GOOD: The most common kind of carbohydrate is cellulose present in forages. Cellulose is digested by microbes that reside in the horse's hind gut. The microbes break the cellulose down into individual sugars; using the sugars themselves. As a by-product of that process. they produce volatile fatty acids which the horse can absorb and use as its primary energy source. In many cases, all of a horse's energy requirements can be met by forages.