Brewers yeast in the equine diet

Written by jen davis
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Brewers yeast in the equine diet
Feeding brewer's yeast to horses has been shown to increase performance. (horse racing image by david purday from

Brewer's yeast has been shown to improve equine digestion, increase digestive bacteria and may also serve as a potential source of vitamins, according to nutritionist Ed Piwonka Ph.D. Piwonka says adding brewer's yeast to feed may improve palatability and help horses consume consistent amounts of feed. Piwonka advises that by adding brewer's yeast to a horse's regular diet, horse owners may be able to "overcome the negative effects of less palatable feeds."

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Good Bacteria

Horses' natural diets consist of a large amount of forage. By increasing the amount of digestive bacteria in a horse's diet, it increases the horse's ability to digest and break down feed. The more the feed is broken down, the more possible nutrients the horse can receive from it.

Growing and Performance Horses

Piwonka theorises the improvements in growth and performance could be due to the improved feed digestibility that has been linked with feeding yeast. Piwonka reports that several studies have shown young horses that are fed yeast cultures grow more quickly than those that are not and that performance horses that have been fed yeast in their diets have shown increased fitness levels.

Pregnant and Older Horses

During the latest parts of the pregnancy, brood mares have been shown to have reduced capacity for feed because of the unborn foal. Piwonka reports that yeast can help increase the mare's absorption of protein, minerals, vitamins and increase energy. Older horses have less effective digestive systems, and feeding brewer's yeast improves the absorption of nutrition, decreasing the horse's vulnerability to other health issues.

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