All stud owners know and understand the absolute necessity to feed brood mares and foals adequate balanced minerals to help prevent, or decrease, the incidence of DOD (Developmental Orthopaedic Disease) in young foals, weanlings and yearlings.
Current supplementation practices have, for many years, been based on NRC (1989) recommended levels of nutrients for growing horses.
Recent scientific research has confirmed that growing horses receiving these NRC recommended levels, or lower, are more likely to develop DOD. The RIRDC (Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation) has recently revised the recommended levels for the essential minerals calcium, phosphorus, copper and zinc in brood mares and growing horses.
In line with the recently recommended mineral level increases, Ranvet has acted to fortify Folactin Red, its mineral formulation for studs, to reflect the new dietary requirements in Folactin Red Plus.
There is a scientific correlation between the occurrence of DOD in horses, and the amount of copper, zinc, calcium and phosphorus fed. The incidence of DOD decreases significantly when these minerals are supplemented at adequate levels.
What’s Improved in Folactin Red Plus?
DOD is well accepted as having multifactorial causes, and supplementation of one mineral alone will do little to reduce DOD lesions. Folactin Red Plus provides boosted levels of the essential bone-building minerals, copper, zinc, calcium and phosphorus, and now has added magnesium
Copper is critically involved in stabilising bone collagen, and formation of elastin. It has long been recognised that copper is essential to help reduce DOD lesions, and copper has been shown to reduce the prevalence of cartilage lesions in foals when present in adequate amounts. Most Australian pastures are copper deficient.
Zinc deficiency in the diet can also be a contributing cause to DOD, and recent scientific studies confirm that increased dietary zinc allowed increased recovery from DOD in foals.
Calcium and phosphorus, the two primary minerals involved in development of sound, healthy bones, must be present in a very precise ratio to allow normal bone development. The levels of calcium and phosphorus in Folactin Red Plus are now higher than NRC recommendations, because scientific research shows that the amounts necessary to maximise bone strength and total mineral content, as well as to reduce the incidence of DOD’s, is higher than the levels required to maximise growth rate.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis
Is Folactin Red Plus Safe?
The improved levels of copper and zinc are still well below the upper safe concentrations (copper, 800ppm, and zinc 500ppm), as determined by the NRC, 1989. There is no risk in feeding these improved levels of copper and zinc, but there could be significant advantages in doing so.
The improved ratio of calcium and phosphorus simply reflects the current research on DOD prevention, and levels of both minerals are significantly below any likely toxicity levels, while being balanced for optimum availability and absorption. Calcium : phosphorus imbalances are most likely to occur when high grain rations are fed, or when horses graze tropical grasses for extended periods.
Is Folactin Red Plus Designed for Brood Mares As Well As Foals?
In the last 3 months of pregnancy the foetus doubles in size, and calcification of the skeleton occurs. If adequate calcium is not available at this time, foals are often premature, with inadequate calcium stores, and predisposed to rickets. During late pregnancy the mare draws heavily on calcium reserves stored in her bones. If she has insufficient access to dietary calcium during this period, the mare’s own body reserves of calcium may be severely depleted.
Lactating mares require even more minerals than pregnant mares - up to three times greater than normal requirements. In fact, the lactating mare loses over four times the amount of calcium than does a pregnant mare. Folactin Red Plus provides the safety margin to allow for dietary insufficiencies.
Folactin Red Plus improves the mineral quality of mare’s milk.
It is important to understand that the foal relies on body stores of the trace minerals, including copper and zinc, as little is absorbed from colostrum, therefore it is essential to ensure that mares in late pregnancy are fed a diet balanced in minerals for incorporation into foetal bone structure.
Young, Growing Horses Require Balanced Essential Minerals
Young growing horses require a balanced intake of minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, zinc, iodine and manganese for healthy, sound bone growth. At any time pastures are likely to be deficient in one or more of the essential bone building minerals. While many other factors such as dietary protein are also involved in DOD, providing adequate balanced minerals is the key to reducing the risk of DOD.
Can Folactin Red Plus Be Fed To Adult Horses?
Yes. Folactin Red Plus will be of value in adult horses where deficiencies or imbalances of calcium. phosphorus, copper, and zinc may exist in the pasture or diet. Folactin Red Plus is of significant value in brood mares in the last third of pregnancy and lactation, as well as in working horses and stallions.
What’s In Folactin Red Plus?
Each kg provides;
Retinol (Vitamin A) 247,000 IU (74.1mg/kg)
Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) 100,000IU (2.5mg/kg)
Folic Acid 167mg/kg
Daily Dose Rates
Pregnant & Lactating Mares 60-90g
Empty Mares 30-60g
Foals (creep fed) to 3 months 15-30g
Foals (creep fed) to 5 months 30-60g
Horses (over 16 years) additional 30-60g
A measuring spoon is enclosed. One level measure provides one 30g dose.
Available in 5kg and 20kg.