Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Nutrition: protein

Contributor(s): Derek Cuddeford, Zoe Davies, David Frape, Deborah Lucas, Katie Williams (nee Lugsden)

Requirements

  • Protein is essential for maintenance, tissue growth and milk production.
  • Both quantity and quality of protein are important - quality refers to the levels of essential amino acids a feedstuff provides, and their availability to digestive enzymes.
  • Essential amino acids are those that the horse cannot manufacture in sufficient quantities to meet requirements and so they have to be supplied in the diet.
  • Lysine is the essential amino acid most likely to be deficient in horse diets and threonine is the next most likely.
  • Cereals are typically low in essential amino acids and so good quality protein sources should be added to straight cereal rations.
  • Soya, alfalfa and synthetic lysine are typically added to compound feeds to provide quality protein.

Growth and maintenance

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Dietary protein concentrations

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Sources of protein

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • Hintz H F (1992) EdClinical nutrition. Vet Clin North Am6, (2).
  • Schryver H F et al(1987)Growth and calcium metabolism in horses fed varying levels of proteinEquine Vet J19(4), 280-287PubMed.
  • Orton R K, Hume I D & Leng R A (1985)Effects of level of dietary protein and exercise on growth rates of horses. Equine Vet J17(5), 381-385PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Frape D (2004)Equine Nutrition and Feeding.3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, England. ISBN: 1405105984.


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