Guaranteed Analysis - Why Is It Important?
Apr 06, 2016
Every Standlee Premium Western Forage product comes with a guaranteed analysis of our forage. We list the minimum percent of crude protein, the minimum percent of crude fat, the maximum percent of crude fiber, as well as the maximum percent of ash. These values are all determined by sending samples to a laboratory and having it analyzed. While it is important that we provide you with this information, it is also important that we make sure you know why each of these values are important. Here is a brief summary of the importance of each of these nutritional components.
Crude protein: Protein provides amino acids which are involved in nearly all of the vital processes in a horse. They are also responsible for helping build bones and build and repair muscles and soft tissues. Horses at different life stages and work levels require different amounts of protein. Growing horses and those used for breeding require a higher level than pleasure and performance horses.
Crude fat: The function of fat is to provide energy for the horse. Horses can also get energy by eating carbohydrates, but when comparing the same volume, fat provides more energy than carbohydrates. Forages contain very low amounts of fat so horses that need a higher fat diet will need to be supplemented with an additional fat source.
Crude fiber: Fiber is the most important part of a horse’s diet. In addition to providing energy, fiber also helps the digestive system function properly. Horses are not able to get energy directly from the consumption of fiber. In order for fiber to provide them with energy, it has to first be converted to volatile fatty acids. This is done by bacteria in a horse’s gut which then provides the horse with 30-70% of their digestible energy needs. Due to its importance in digestive health, a horse’s diet should be composed of at least 50% fiber.
Ash: Ash is the mineral portion of forage that remains after the complete burning of combustible material during laboratory analysis. The ash content in a forage can come from both internal (what the plant is made of) and external (like dirt when forage is harvested) sources. While not a direct measurement of nutrient content in forage, ash is used to determine the total digestible nutrients (TDN) which is one way of determining the energy content in forage.
At Standlee Premium Western Forage, we aim to provide our customers with the best forage possible. One of the ways we do this is by testing our products for nutrients analysis and providing that information to you as a guarantee.