Do Digestive EQ & RP provide enough calcium if my horse is grazing kikuyu?
Written by: Sam Potter (BSc(Hons), MPhilVSc (Equine Nutrition)
Kikuyu is one of the common grass species found in horse pastures. It contains a compound called oxalate which binds most calcium found in the plant, making it unavailable for digestion by the horse when they eat it.
This means that additional calcium needs to be provided elsewhere in the diet to meet your horse’s requirement.
Other grasses which also contain notable amounts of oxalates include species of couch, paspallum, buffel, carpet, digit, pangola, panic and setaria grass.
Digestive EQ and Digestive RP do contain a highly bio-available source of calcium, however it is not intended to be used as a supplement for meeting the increased calcium requirement (to balance the calcium to oxalate ratio) for horses grazing high oxalate grass species.
The amount of calcium supplementation required will depend on each individual situation, and should take into account the time your horse spends grazing, the height of the pasture, your horse's age, their weight and workload - plus what other ingredients already form your horse's diet.
We recommend using Poseidon Animal Health’s Feed Assist program, FeedXL, or an independent nutritionist to help you calculate your horse's calcium requirement and to assess if their diet is meeting these needs.
You might just find that with the inclusion of Digestive EQ or Digestive RP in your horse's diet, enough calcium is being supplied even when the horse is grazing on kikuyu or paspallum - especially when they are also receiving EquiBind which contains calcium too.
But in some cases extra calcium supplementation may be required to fully meet their nutritional needs.