Maintaining Condition with Less Forage

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Photo by Ingrid Schulz

In times of drought, which can lead to a hay shortage, what can horse owners to do ensure their equine friends maintain their condition? The answer lies in the proper and complete digestion of forages: in order for a horse to completely digest forages, digestive health is key. Just like in humans, horses require pre- and pro-biotics to aid in better digestive health, but the need for good bacteria, as well as digestive enzymes, is magnified in horses because they are herbivores and need to break down the cellulose found in forages. To ensure horses get all the energy they can out of their feed, equine supplements with digestive enzymes and pre and probiotics are particularly helpful.

Biotic 8 is one such product – this is an equine pre- and pro-biotic digestive tract formula made by Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals. This orally-administered product is “used to change the bacterial flora in the large intestine and also to promote good digestion and intestinal health,” according to Omega Alpha. This is recommended to improve the digestive health of horses of all ages, including mares and foals.

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Biotic 8 is a source of eight different probiotic species that not only support optimal digestive health, they are delivered in a way that ensure the bacteria are protected against stomach acid, and helps prevent bad bacteria from growing, which can result in chronic health issues.

The prebiotics found in this product aid in the growth of good bacteria in the intestinal system. Biotic 8 also uses three digestive enzymes to help break down and get all the energy you can from proteins, carbohydrates and cellulose; the last of which being extremely important as it increases the absorption of phytonutrients, which are found in plant material and key in a horse’s diet.

In addition to those features, here are some other ingredients and benefits in Biotic 8:

  • Flax seed: a source of fibre, Omega 3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Iodine: needed for the health of the thyroid gland, and a source of essential minerals
  • Spirulina (blue green algae) and kelp: provide minerals and micronutrients
  • Brewers yeast: a source of B vitamins
  • Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm: used to soothe stomach irritation
  • Biotic 8 also contains several natural minerals to help increase energy

Biotic 8 is good for keeping your horse’s health in good shape, particularly when traveling, during the winter or if more confined to a stall. It’s also recommended for restoring good bacteria if your horse has been prescribed antibiotics.

The recommended dosage is two scoops mixed with feed daily. Biotic 8 is available in 400g and 1Kg packages, as well as single-serving packs. The single-serving packs, a 20g serving of the product, come in containers of 30, which make them good for traveling and going to shows. The packaging keeps the product fresh and protects the bacteria against humidity, ensuring the probiotics remain viable.

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