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McMillan Feeds

Interpreting Nutrient Specifications

Nutrient levels of different feeds and supplements can be displayed on packaging and websites in a variety of ways. In order to make it as easy as possible for horse owners to determine the nutrients in McMillan Feeds we have provided each of these ways along with a description of how to interpret them.


As Fed

This refers to nutrient levels in a feed as it is normally fed to any animal and is the easiest and most uncomplicated way to read nutrient levels. As fed feed values express the nutrients combined in the entire feed, so you know that these levels are exactly what your horse is receiving.

Dry Matter

The dry matter of a feed is the percentage of the feed that is left over when all of the water has been removed, and dry matter levels are a way of making it easier to compare nutrient levels of feeds with different water contents. Because this amount is less than the total amount of the feed and water, the percentage of nutrients is higher than levels are in As Fed specifications.

Therefore when comparing nutrient levels of different feeds it is important to ensure the nutrients are expressed in the same format, and are both either As Fed, or both Dry Matter, to establish a fair comparison.


NRC Nutrient Specifications

The National Research Council (NRC) has established nutritional requirements for each type of horse which are published in Nutrient Requirements of Horses, Sixth Edition. The requirements are based on thorough research and updated regularly. They are commonly used as a standard reference point for nutrient requirements for each class of horse and are widely recognised as the minimum amount of each nutrient a horse requires on a daily basis. Information on NRC nutrient levels specific to each type of horse is displayed below.

The nutritionists at Kentucky Equine Research have combined NRC nutrient requirements with their own research to establish ‘optimum’ nutrient requirements for each class of horse that are higher than NRC minimum levels. With the help of Kentucky Equine Research, McMillan Feeds have been formulated to provide these ‘optimum’ nutrient levels, if fed at correct levels and when combined with optimum amounts of forages common to New Zealand.

Graphical representation of diets displaying how the feeds are formulated to meet optimum KER nutrient requirements are shown on each product information sheet.

View Nutrient Requirements Table

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