DL Equine 1/4 in 4 Method Introducing a new feed

Introduce New Feed with the “1/4 in 4 Method”

posted in: Blog, Nutrients | 0

If you are planning on starting your horse on a new feed or supplement or even new hay, this requires some careful introduction to your horse’s gut.

Did you know that your horse’s gut microbes are sensitive enough to notice and react to a change even between hay from this year to last year’s bales?

Or from one supplier from one paddock cut to a different paddock cut?

The microbes in the gut get very used to the same type of feed and become upset and imbalanced when a different feed is introduced. This can cause gastric upsets from acidosis to colic.

Start with a small amount and increase very slowly allowing the gut microbes a chance to adjust.

🔹Day 1 – 4

Start with 1/4 of the new feed plus 3/4 of the old feed for 4 days.

🔹Day 4 – 8

Increase amount to 2/4 new feed plus 2/4 old feed.

🔹Day 8 – 12

Increase amount to 3/4 new feed plus 1/4 old feed.

🔹Day 12 – 16 complete transition onto full amount of new feed.

The very best way to help your horses gut manage these changes is to slowly cross over to the new hay or feed over a 2 +week period.

Go with what I like to call the “1/4 in 4 method”!

Happy days for the equine gut microbe population!


Dale Logan                                                                                                                                     

BSc, Post Grad Dip, Equine Nutrition, Cert Animal Welfare Legislation, Cert Equine Herbal Medicine