Biotin is most commonly associated with supporting hoof growth and quality, but it also plays an important role in many other processes within the horse’s body.
In our latest blog, we explore what biotin is and how it helps support the health of horses.
Benefits of Biotin for Horses
Biotin is a B-vitamin that’s found in virtually every cell in the horse’s body, it plays an essential role in normal thyroid and adrenal gland function, reproductive tract health, nervous system stability, and the growth and repair of skin and hooves.
It occurs naturally in alfalfa and is found in modest quantities in oats, barley, rice bran, molasses and soybeans. However, most of a horse’s biotin requirement is synthesized in the hindgut. The biotin synthesised is produced in such sufficient quantities that there is currently no recorded evidence of biotin deficiency in horses.
Benefits of Supplementary Biotin for Horses
Although poor hoof horn quality is not a direct result of biotin deficiency, an additional 20 mg daily over nine months can help to improve hoof wall integrity, according to a clinical trial. This can be especially helpful for horses with brittle, cracking hooves that struggle to hold shoes properly.
It’s worth noting that biotin only improves hoof health for new growth, not existing hoof and should be fed as part of a balanced diet. This means you should expect to wait at least 6-9 months before you see any improvements, depending on the growth rate of the hoof – It usually takes eight to 15 months for the hoof wall to grow out completely and replace itself, and if you stop providing the supplement the hoof quality will revert to its former state.
High-Fibre Horse Feeds to Support Hoof Health
Horses should consume at least 15mg of biotin per day to encourage maximum improvement in hoof health as part of a balanced diet. Mollichaff HoofKind Complete contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement and has been formulated to ensure that the required biotin levels are met. It is low in sugar and starch and offers a high fibre complete feed that can be fed as the sole bucket feed if fed at recommended levels.
If you’d like to discuss your horse or pony’s diet, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team – We’re always happy to help. Alternatively, if you’d like to receive a free sample in the post to try before you buy a whole bag, you can request one here.