- Animal Nutrition & Health
- Future of Farming
- Feeding the World
- About Alltech
Many horsemen are concerned that the number of available stallions from many different breeds is declining too quickly. This limited gene pool is significantly decreasing the number of outcrosses that are available. Eventually, the undesirable traits could become part of the entire population rather than the property of an isolated few. One of the first results from these phenomena is the falling reproductive performance among elite equine athletes. Reducing services per conception and improving breeding longevity are key elements in improving the profitability of equine breeding operations all over the world.
Impaired reproductive performance in mares and stallions has been described in horses receiving a selenium-deficient diet. The central advantage of supplying selenium in the organic form is the ability of the animal to store this form. Tissue reserves of selenium are critical during times of increased need, such as immune challenge and reproduction. Benefits of feeding the organic form include improved antioxidant status and sperm quality improvements in stallions. Mares have faster placental expulsion when supplemented with organic selenium, thus avoiding a number of potential problems caused by a retained placenta.
Selenium is needed for both innate and acquired immune function. In addition to nutrients transferred during gestation, good quality colostrum supplies high levels of selenium to prepare the foal to fight infection while milk provides lower amounts.