Feeding Biotin for Hoof Health
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that is found, in varying levels, in typical equine feeds (alfalfa, oats, soybean and corn) and is synthesized by the microbial organisms found within the horse’s large intestine (within the cecum and colon). These microbes appear to be sufficient in synthesizing biotin for the horse, as biotin deficiency has not been documented and there is no dietary biotin requirement for horses. Biotin functions as a component of several metabolic enzymes, and is involved in cellular growth. Biotin supplementation has been shown to improve hoof horn quality in horses that have poor hoof quality. This affect appears to take upwards of six to nine months, and, while some studies have reported increases in hoof growth and hardiness, these effects are inconsistent. Research has suggested that the outer component of the hoof wall is sensitive to biotin supplementation, while the inner structures may be more sensitive to…
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