Does your horse have a sweet tooth? Many horses do, meaning that they are innately drawn to feed products with molasses, such as sweet feeds and bagged forage with molasses. However, in addition to making feed highly palatable, the benefits of molasses for horses also include various health benefits.
The high sugar content in molasses is why horses are drawn to it, but it also has a hidden benefit. Containing 50% sugar, molasses is quickly converted into energy. If you have a hard-working horse, this helps your horse perform on a daily basis. For foals and senior horses, it can be a way to help them maintain healthy body weight.
Additionally, molasses is extremely high in potassium. Horses excrete potassium through their skin when they sweat, so it is essential that your horse’s feed replaces this essential mineral. If your horse is deficient in potassium, they can experience severe symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue, and exercise intolerance. Horses with a potassium deficiency also tend to lose their appetite, which only worsens the problem. Generally speaking, you should make sure that your horse is getting adequate potassium intake each day. However, horses with Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP) require diets that are lower in potassium and may not be candidates for foodstuffs with molasses. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian if you have a horse with HYPP.
Molasses can also be beneficial for your horse’s respiratory system. All of the Lucerne Forage Products, including the Hi-Fiber, have the dust extracted from the hay, however, it can still innately have small particles from the grass, such as seeds. The molasses weighs down the fine particles that could otherwise irritate your horse’s lungs and airways. This means that you do not have to soak the hay in order to make it acceptable for horses with respiratory ailments such as heaves and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The benefits of molasses for horses are worth the sweet treat! Many horses can benefit from the addition of molasses in their chopped forage. It does more than make the quality forage taste even better – it can also help them to live long and healthy lives. Does your horse love molasses? Many horses can’t get enough of its delicious taste!