We do not send a physical kit for this analysis. Please wait for us to email you the instructions on how to best collect your sample and how to return this to ourselves. This email will also include a link to our form, where you can enter details about your horse(s), this will help us to calculate your bespoke feed recommendations*.
This Nutritional Analysis + Nitrates gives information on the nutritional value of your horse’s hay or haylage. Particularly relevant is information on nitrate levels, along with sugar (ESC and WSC separately) and starch levels for laminitic horses.
Nitrates (NO3) – can become a problem for horses when forage contains high amounts. Stress from drought, fertilisation and manure application practices where the balance of nitrogen to other minerals like sulphur in the soil is not taken into account, are factors that can lead to high nitrate levels.
In addition to there being little research in general on nitrate toxicity in horses, even less is known about the effect of ingesting chronic “less than toxic” levels of nitrate over a period of time. Nitrate competes with the uptake of iodide and can affect thyroid function.
North Carolina State University has adopted the same guidelines suggested as safe limits for cattle for equines. They report “Excessive intake of nitrates decreases the blood’s oxygen-carrying ability, which causes anxiety, increased respiration rate, and breathing difficulty. Severe cases result in loss of coordination, muscle twitching, and death”.
Where you see excessive protein in your hay sample it is wise to check nitrate levels. In general grass, hay and haylage in the UK should not be in excess of 12% protein. Even at 12% protein, some hays will have nitrate levels which are high.
The maximum acceptable Nitrate level in forage for adult horses is 0.5%. Higher levels may be “diluted” with very low nitrate hay to bring the Nitrate level for total forage fed below 0.5%. Hay for breeding mares and growing horses should not exceed 0.20% Nitrate.
Our unique horse testing reports aim to help you interpret the ratios and levels of nutrients in your forage. The information is presented in text, numbers and graphs to help you see and understand the excess and deficiencies quickly. We include detailed suggestions in the report to help you know how to balance your horse’s daily ration.
We interpret the results of all forage tests for horses and include bespoke feeding suggestions unique to your individual horse’s requirements within each report. We will ask you to supply us with your horse’s details, through an online form, after ordering your forage analysis. This report will enable us to advise on, nitrate levels, feeding amounts for healthy weight management and check daily levels of protein, sugar and starch levels. Balancing the nutritional elements coming from hay or haylage in your horse’s daily diet is an important factor in maintaining and supporting the health of all horses and ponies.
Approximately 50-100 grams of a representative sample is needed.
This representative sample will need to be taken from a larger sample which comes from 6 – 10 bales. Reports normally take 10-14 working days.
Our bespoke feed suggestions are based on forage analysis (and where applicable, in addition; water analysis results). We formulate suggestions unique to your individual horse’s requirements. Feed suggestions are given at the discretion of the company and are not included in the price of any forage or water analysis report.
It is important for safety and horse welfare that the information provided to Forageplus is up-to-date and as accurate as possible. Failure to provide sufficient information and or photos may result in us being unable to provide you with feed suggestions.
The timeframe for completion of feed suggestions is dependent upon demand. Each feed suggestion request will be placed in a queue and will be responded to as soon as possible.
We can only begin to calculate feed suggestions once the analysis report has been completed. The timeframe for completion of feed suggestions is dependent upon demand.
The feed suggestions will normally take 1-2 weeks longer than the analysis report but this is totally dependent upon employee annual leave and the level of demand for this free service.
**To avoid any extra charges due to increases in lab fees please use any analysis kit, bought from Forageplus, within 6 months of purchase.
For customers outside of the UK – the analysis process will be the same will full instructions sent via email once we receive your order.