Molasses in horse feed, the pro’s and con’s
What is Molasses?
Molasses looks like Golden Syrup. It is the syrup that is left over from the sugar production out of sugar cane or sugar beet. Molasses is used a lot in horse feeds as it has a number of significant advantages.
The advantages of molasses
Molasses contains 50% sugar. Because horses have a sweet tooth, feed with a little bit of molasses is very tasty.
The sugar in molasses is a direct energy source of so-called ‘fast energy’ for horses. If you give your horse a lot of work to do, it is necessary to include sugar in the hard feed as a source of energy. That is why molasses is often used in horse feed.
In addition, molasses is a good source of potassium. Potassium looks after the control of water absorption by organs, bones and muscles.
Finally, because of the syrup consistency, molasses is perfect to press firm cubes and also prevents mueslis from de-mixing.
The disadvantages of molasses
Molasses is not suitable as a source of energy for horses who are susceptible to laminitis. The latest view of horse nutritionists is that too much sugar in the horse’s diet (from roughage, especially grass, but also from hard feed) are the cause of laminitis. If your horse is susceptible to laminitis, look for a hard feed with low sugar content or don’t use hard feed at all and give some R-Gluco once a day for the required vitamins and minerals.
If a horse has a sugar rich diet in combination with only a small or irregular amount of work, then there is a bigger chance to get muscle acidity or azeturia.