What does NSC mean in horse feed?

Non-structural carbohydrates, or NSC, are the simple sugars and starches present in horse feed ingredients. Simple sugars (such as glucose and fructose) and starches (simple sugars that are attached together as a chain) are readily digested and absorbed in the small intestine.

What is a good NSC for horses?

For the EMS and IR horses, veterinarians and nutritionists often recommend that dietary non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) be below 12% on a dry-matter basis.

What is considered high NSC in horse feed?

It is considered that horses require a NSC content of 10-12% in the total diet. With horses in work, with higher energy demands, the NSC level can be much higher.

How is NSC calculated in horse feed?

The equation to calculate NSC on an as-fed basis is: NSC (%) = 100 – moisture (%) – crude protein (%) – crude fat (%) – neutral detergent fiber (NDF) – ash (%). This calculation will measure all forms of sugar in the feed including simple sugars and polysaccharides such as starch.

What is NSC food?

NSC’s are starch + fructan (sometimes) that live inside the plant’s cells so the plant can grow. Your horse can only digest so much in the small intestine, so the rest passes to the hindgut for the microbial population to eat.

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What is low NSC?

Non-structural carbohydrates, or NSC, are the simple sugars and starches present in horse feed ingredients. … Feed ingredients such as beet pulp and alfalfa meal are lower in NSC, while grain ingredients such as corn, oats, and barley are higher in NSC.

What is the lowest NSC hay?

Low Carb / Low Sugar Hay for Horses

We have a lot of hay between 5-10% NSC/NFC (sugars & starches combined), whereas Metabolic Syndrome horses should be between 10-12% (or lower) as recommended by veterinarians and research laboratories. Dr.

What is considered low NSC for horses?

For horses with metabolic conditions, safe NSC percentages are generally 12% or lower, nutritionists say. It’s vital to calculate the percentage on the guaranteed analysis yourself, as marketing on feed products can advertise a “low or controlled” starch diet, but still offer 20% or higher in NSC ranges.

Is alfalfa low NSC?

As you can see, alfalfa hay has much higher protein levels than the other two hays, but is also lower in fiber than the other two. Oat hay, however, has much higher levels of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) which are the levels of sugar and starch in the hay.

What is the NSC of oats?

Using NSC numbers from Dairy One, we can see that the average of the starch content of oats is 43.8%, for barley 54.3%, and for corn 69.3% — again, all way too high for easy keepers and metabolic horses.

How is NSC calculated in hay?

Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSC) — the total amount of sugar, starch, and fructan. To obtain %NSC, add together %WSC (water soluble carbohydrates) + %Starch. If your horse needs to have a low sugar/low starch diet, the %NSC should be <13% on a dry matter basis.

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What is the NSC of Triple Crown senior?


WSC is water soluble carbohydrates, ESC is ethanol soluble carbohydrates, NSC is nonstructural carbohydrates and NSC = Starch + WSC.

How much starch is too much for horses?

If too much starch is fed, then the risk of digestive disturbance increases. Current advice is to restrict starch intake to less than 1g of starch per kg of bodyweight per meal and less than 2g of starch per kg bodyweight per day.

Why is starch bad for horses?

During digestion, starch is broken down primarily in the horse’s small intestine by an enzyme called amylase. … Several studies have reported the negative effects of excess starch in the large intestine, such as decreased colon and/ or cecal pH level. This can lead to dangerous problems such as colic or laminitis.