Last Updated: | By Dr Lee Proctor PhD
Do you need salt in horse feed balancers and your horse’s daily diet? If salt is in horse feed balancers will it degrade the vitamins and minerals in the supplement? Forageplus answers your questions here.
Dr Lee Proctor is our Technical Manager with a PhD in organic chemistry and a highly qualified pharmaceutical chemist. Here he discusses the statistics that show that horses should be supplemented with salt each day and the science and chemistry of the way salt is a beneficial additive in a horse feed supplement.
The level of salt in Forageplus horse feed balancers is carefully calculated to make sure that sodium is supplemented at an average which is needed throughout the country as reflected by the detailed statistical analysis carried out on the hundreds of forage analysis reports we have on file.
Where sodium and chloride is concerned, it is not enough to just leave horses to self-select in the hope that they will know or get what they need. Many horses will not go near a salt lick even if they are deficient in sodium or chloride. A salt lick also takes many licks to get even a small amount of sodium or chloride. At Forageplus we do not believe that you should leave nutrition to chance so we have created our balancers to reflect what we know horses need on a daily basis as matched to the grass or hay they eat.
If you have a hard working horse you may need even more in the horse diet so analysis of horse hay, horse haylage or horse grass is wise insurance to supplement levels which will not contribute to depletion of either sodium or chloride through sweat losses.Find out about the importance of salt and how it is sensible to include in a horse feed balancer to supplement sodium for optimum health and performance.Click To Tweet
As well as the nutritional reasons for adding salt into our balancers the addition of salt also aids preservation because salt is a desiccant, that is, it absorbs water and hence removes water from any food/supplement it is added to. In the absence of water, bacteria don’t multiply which is why salt acts as a natural preservative.
Basically, salt works by drying the food/supplement making the environment too dry to support harmful mould or bacteria. Salt is therefore a very safe and natural anti-bacterial stabiliser. Horse feed balancers or products without added salt may have to have other synthetic preservatives added to prevent unwanted bacterial growth.
Under normal ambient conditions of temperature and pressure, sodium chloride (salt) will not chemically react with any of the other minerals, vitamins and organic material present in Forageplus horse feed balancers. In addition all our balancers are packaged extremely carefully, using two 500 gauge HDPE human food grade bags to prevent against moisture ingress.
We have a very quick stock turnover with our warehouse stock being turned over within 1 to 2 months and all our balancers are sold in five kilogram amounts to help shelf life, with a 12 month expiry.
Here at Forageplus we suggest that people claiming that salt will degrade minerals and vitamins in horse feed have not looked carefully at the real science.