Complete senior feeds are feeds designed to provide complete nutritional meals for senior horses. But first, let's break down exactly what a senior feed is and what a complete feed is.
Senior feeds for horses are specialized complete feeds that are designed to meet the unique nutritional requirements of aging horses. As horses age, they experience changes in their metabolism, digestive function, and nutrient requirements, which require a different type of feeding regimen compared to younger horses.
A senior feed is one with slightly more digestible nutrients than a non-senior feed and thus, more suitable for an aged GI tract which might not be functioning as well as it used to be. Senior feeds may be formulated with lower levels of non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs), such as sugar and starch, and higher levels of fiber though they can still have too high of a carbohydrate content for IR and Cushings horses. They also contain higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E and selenium which supports the immune system and overall health of older horses.
Finally, senior feeds are often formulated to be easier to digest, and may contain ingredients such as beet pulp or rice bran, which can improve gut health and digestion. They may also be formulated with lower levels of protein, which can help to reduce the risk of kidney damage in older horses.
On the other hand, a complete feed for horses are commercially manufactured feed products that (in theory), contains enough fiber for the need of a horse, and can be fed with out forages, however the fiber is short and may not satisfy the chewing desires of the horse. They typically contain a balanced blend of grains, such as oats and corn, protein sources, such as soybean meal or cottonseed meal, and added vitamins and minerals.
Complete feeds come in several forms, including pellets, crumbles, and textured feeds, and are available in different formulations to meet the needs of horses at different life stages, such as foals, growing horses, broodmares, and senior horses. The advantage of using complete feeds is that they provide a convenient way to ensure that horses receive a balanced diet, without the need to feed multiple individual ingredients. They are especially useful for horses that are picky eaters, as they are formulated to be highly palatable and can encourage horses to consume the necessary nutrients.
A complete Senior feed is one which combines higher fiber with the better quality nutrients. It is a type of complete feed, which means that it is formulated to provide all of the necessary nutrients in a single product, making it a convenient option for senior horse owners.