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Malnutrition has a negative impact on the growth and development of hooves among horses. The deficiency of minerals and proteins causes poor growth and development of hooves leading to reduced performance of horses. To meet the demands of the growing hooves during malnutrition, metabolic mechanisms scavenge for proteins and minerals from the body; hence, worsening the condition of malnutrition. Abidin, Adamu, and Ahmad state that horses with poor nutrition are two times more likely to develop hoof rings when compared to horses with good nutrition (32). Deficiency of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and energy collectively contributes to the development of the hoof ring in horses. Bigham and Tabatabaei argue that poor nutrition increases the susceptibility of hooves to wear and tear because they become fragile (179). Malnutrition, therefore, weakens the strength of hooves and makes them crack easily.
Hooves require sufficient nutrients because their growth rate is high in a bid to replace hooves lost through wear and tear. Specifically, horses require vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Vitamins A, B, C, and D collectively nourish tissues and improve the integrity of cells in the growth and development of hooves. Minerals such as calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium, and phosphorus mediate biochemical processes that are central in the growth and development of healthy and strong hooves among horses. Moreover, horses require proteins, particularly essential amino acids, because they limit the formation of collagen, keratin, and related proteins. Methionine is an essential amino acid in the development of hooves because horses use it in the synthesis of keratin, a structural protein in the hooves (Abidin, Adamu, and Ahmad 27). Given that hooves are metabolically active, they need adequate carbohydrates to provide metabolic energy.
- What proportions of vitamins, minerals, and proteins do horses require for the formation of healthy hooves?
- What are the confounding variables that influence the health of hooves among horses?
- What is the effect of excess methionine on the synthesis of keratin among horses?
- “The relative risk of hoof ring is two times more likely to develop in an establishment with poor nutritional level” (Abidin, Adamu, and Ahmad 32).
- “Amino acid D-L methionine, vitamins, biotin, and sulfur are vital for the hoof because they act as chemical bridges, which hold the horn tubules together” (Abidin, Adamu, and Ahmad 27).
- “A variety of causes have been hypothesized, including genetics, nutrition, stable management, pasture management, and physiological or biomechanical abnormalities of the hoof itself” (Bigham and Tabatabaei 179).
- “Therefore, regular inspection, trimming, and shoeing can help prevent hoof wall problems and protect the high-performance horses and raise high-quality breeds of horses” (Bigham and Tabatabaei 182).
Ideas that Come to the Mind
Hoof is an important part of a horse because it determines the performance. Horses with healthy hooves perform better than the ones with unhealthy hooves. Given that hooves are metabolically active, they require a constant supply of nutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates. Moreover, trimming and shoeing is necessary to protect hooves from tear and wear. Therefore, hoof management through nutrition is very critical in improving the performance of racehorses.
Abidin, Nurul, Lawan Adamu, and Bashir Ahmad. “Incidence of equine hoof derangements in Malaysian horse population.” Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science 5.2 (2013): 26-32. Print.
Bigham, Sadegh, and Naeine Tabatabaei. “Field study of hoof wall problems in unshod working horses.” Bulgarian Journal of Veterinary Medicine 10.3 (2007): 179-183. Print.