La Sard
Dnes je: 5. 12. 2022 svátek má: Jitka

The Czech saying of my grandmother "soup fills the bottle, meat is just the cork" followed me all my childhood over unfinished bowls of cooling soups as my grandfather completed this with his wisdom of what makes you strong and makes you grow. Horses aren't usually fed soups, but they also have their fillings and corks.

Horses as non-ruminant herbivores are genetically programmed to receive only food of vegetal origin. The only temporary exceptions are suckling foals who, like all mammals, find their main and later substantial source of nutrition in their mother's milk.
Feeds of vegetal origin are divided into two main categories: hard feed and fodder. It is quite easy to imagine hard feed, it's basically all cereals, oil plants, legumes and their products. They are the main source of energy and protein in feeds, whether those are powdered, granulated or extruded. Nonetheless, the nutritional foundation for horses is fodder.

Fodder represents a vast and varied group of vegetal feeds that is further divided into two subgroups. However, the main feature in both cases remains the relatively low concentration of nutriments, particularly energy. On the other hand they usually contain a larger amount of fibre and other ballast substances. Nonetheless, they are indispensible to horses and their healthy life, unlike hard feed that forms only the superstructure of their diet. Without much exaggeration we can say that without hard feed we cannot have sport horses, without fodder we can't have any horses at all.

Juicy - Dry
green forage, hay
haylage, silage of hay
root crops, straw and chaff

Green forage includes the part of the plant that is above ground, which contains chlorophyll and larger amounts of vegetation water. It is probably the most variable group of feeds where individual qualitative indexes depend on a large number of factors. Most significant is the botanical composition, phenological age of the plants (maturity, phase of growth), amounts of nutriments in the soil, mode of processing and way of feeding.

The ideal is a good-quality pasture. Of course not every fenced bit of soil covered by some herbs is pasture.
For the quality of the pasture the following are decisive:
1) vegetal composition
2) phenological age of the plants
3) health condition of the plants
4) amount and relative proportions of accessible nutriments in the soil

The optimal composition of the growth depending on soil, temperature and moisture conditions is about 15 % of clovers (Red, White, Alsike Clover), 80 % of cultured grasses (60 % of loose bunchgrasses - catstail, meadow fescue, cock's foot, oat grass, and 20 % of salient grasses - Red Fescue, meadow-grass, foxtail grass, bentgrass). 5 % of other herbs can be gradually added.
In our conditions only rotational pasture is suitable for horses, where the pasture is divided into several smaller fenced fields that offer the animals fresh and valuable grazing. After a section of the pasture has been consumed, the uneaten residues are cut in order to prevent the spreading of weeds and non-tasty grasses. It is also necessary to spread out the droppings, which can then decompose better so that "greasy", periwinkle green spots in the growth with toxic abundances of nitrogen are eliminated. In the summer months spreading out the droppings also helps reduce the number of gut parasites. In case of need nutriments can be added into the soil in the form of manure. After cutting the grass residues and spreading out the excrements the section is left to rest, the plants to regenerate and the soil to aerate itself.
Of course, if we keep more than three horses per hectare and take no care of the pasture, in the course of very few years we will get a trampled-down parasite hotbed with resistant and distasteful weeds with nearly no nutritional value.

Clover and alfalfa belong among one of the most frequently used green forage. They contain large amounts of protein and less ready energy, therefore they aren't the most suitable fodder. In larger doses they are especially detrimental to sport horses and they can be the cause of laminitis. On the other hand in regulated amounts they can help underfed horses to regain quickly missing nutriments. When cut into shorter bits they steam up easily and cause colic problems.

Oats and rye left green, or corn or different cereal mixes can be a suitable source of nutriments, particularly of vitamins, minerals and fibre, but also only up to a certain extent.

Haylage and silage are forages (mainly grasses, alfalfa, clover and clover grasses, cereals in their lactic phase of maturity, corn) conserved by a fermenting process in the absence of air.
They're an analogy to sauerkraut, where the bacteria of lactic acid fermentation transform easily fermentable sugars in plants into lactic acid that conserves the vegetal matter which then doesn't decompose any further and devaluate itself. Of course, the absence of oxygen is key. Insufficiently pressed or badly packed haylage and silage contain in large amounts toxic substances such as butyric acid and ammonia (in larger concentration they are easy to detect, they smell horribly), and they're also often extensively mouldy. In the Czech republic haylage from wrapped bails are the most common.

The main advantages are:
a) easy to store - they can be left in open air
b) horses eat them well - most horses prefer haylage to hay
c) content of nutriments - haylage contains more nutriments per unit of solids than hay
d) no dust - haylage doesn't contain dust and spores, they are suitable for horses with respiratory problems

The disadvantages are:
a) price - it is higher than for hay
b) destined only for larger stables - an opened bail goes off very quickly
c) large weight - difficult to manipulate without machinery
d) easy to damage - when the bail wrapping is damaged (by animals, people, during handling) mould spreads quickly and protein is decomposed

Good haylage has the natural colour of forage, a slightly sour smell and has no traces of mould or rotting beds. The solids content varies between 25 % to 45 %. After getting used to it horses accept haylage much better than good-quality hay.
Corn silage doesn't reach the nutritional advantages of haylage, it is therefore rarely used with horses.

Root crops belong among good-quality and valuable feeds, particularly in winter they supply sufficient doses of vitamins, minerals and effective bodies in a tasty and palatable form. They are easily digestible with a relatively high content of quickly usable saccharides. Of course they must have no soil on them, they mustn't be rotted or frostbitten.

Carrots offer not only a large vitamin bomb (carotene - provitamin A), but also a sweet treat. They work as reward almost always, especially appreciated by sport and young horses and pregnant or lactating mares.

Beetroot is a juicy, dietetically beneficial feed with a relatively high content of easily digestible fibre. Especially towards the end of winter it represents a nice variation to the diet. It can be fed whole, chopped or grated. It requires more work, because for storage it has to be cleaned from soil and tops.

Sugar beet has a higher solids content than beetroot, it contains a large amount of sugars (15 % to 20 %) that supply ready energy. It can have laxative effects, particularly in larger amounts.

Potatoes are a relatively risky root crop, especially when they are sprouting, rotting, frostbitten or green. Pigs make better use them.
Ing. Miroslav Drásal


January 2013
Realization team La Sard wishes its satisfied current and future customers Happy New Year 2013

říjen / Octomber 2012
Spouštíme anglickou verzi našich webových stránek. Přejdete na ni kliknutím na britskou vlajku v pravémm horním rohu. / We launch the English version of our website. Go to it by clicking on the British flag in the upper right corner.

May 2012
18. května se naše jezdkyně, Martina Drásalová, zúčastnila významného závodu SAIC v Jihoafrické republice. Článek o její účasti (a dalších 8 českých jezdkyň) si můžete přečíst zde. Zkrácená verze vyšla také na webu »

January 2012
Představujeme Vám aktualizovaný leták krmiv a výživových doplňků La Sard.

Octomber 2011
Na stránce JO La Sard jsou doplněny podrobné informace k našim koním.

February 2011
Zahajujeme prodej plodu Ostropestřce mariánského, léčivé byliny ze středomoří. Po dokončení poloprovozních krmných testů uvedeme na trh krmný doplněk La Sard SyliVit Force.

November 2010
V měsíci listopadu bylo, po úspěšném prověření v krmných testech, uvedeno nové bezovsové, nízkoenergetické krmivo La Sard FUN s velmi atraktivní zaváděcí cenou.

January 2010
31.1.2010 spouštíme novou webovou prezentaci krmiv La SARD.

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