Ultra Low GI Horse Feed

Horses have traditionally been fed grain based feeds but modern science has now allowed us to understand that cereals are not the best form of energy for every resting or working horse.

Keeping horses in stables and feeding them high starch feeds is a world away from their natural environment; feeding cereals in large quantities within the confines of a stable moves the horse away from its genetic evolution of a roaming continuous fibre eater. As the demands of domestication have taken horses away from this lifestyle, the practice of feeding large quantities of grain has proliferated and the occurrence of behavioural and veterinary conditions has increased as a result. So feeding traditional grain feeds can have a number of undesirable effects on both working and resting horses.

Low GI Horse Feed has a huge place in the dietary regimen of the modern horse, whether it is the high performance sports horse or the retired companion with Cushings. Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is relevant to all equines as it offers sustainable energy without the use of cereals, deriving its fuel source from digestible fibres and oils. The name ‘GI’ stands for Glycemic Index which is the measure used to ascertain the effect of sugar in the horse’s blood. There are lots of different types of Low GI feeds on the market with names such as Cool horse feed, Cool Mix Horse feed, Cool Stance horse feed. Our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is the few low GI feeds on the market with no cereals in its ingredient list. Not all low sugar horse feeds are the same.

Using our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed offers a range of health and performance benefits

Behavioural issues

Low GI Feed is a popular choice of feed for those who have horses that traditionally ‘hot up’ on cereal based feeds but who nevertheless require power and performance for competition. Cereal based ‘explosions’ can considerably affect behaviour in the ring and Ultra Low GI feeds are increasingly finding their place with top competitors who require premium athletic performance but without the attitude. Our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is the among the best low starch, calming horse feeds on the market; many other Low GI horse feeds contain cereals but our formula is grain free.

Ultra Low GI feeds can also have a massive impact not just on your horse’s performance but also his health. There are a number of conditions where cereal overload or intolerance are either the cause of a clinical problem or where the horse has a pre-existing condition which means that feeding cereals or grains is no longer an option. These include:-

1. Acidosis and Colic

The principal culprit in equine acidosis in the hind gut is cereals within the feed and effectively an overload of starch in the digestive system. Horses have evolved to have forage as the main component of their diet. As working and sporting requirements required the horse to perform at optimum athletic function, grains were used to provide the fuel source. The trouble with grain is that is has high starch levels and horses can struggle to digest this quickly enough, even with cooked cereals; the resultant passage of the undigested starch into the hind gut and its subsequent fermentation can lead to behavioural and clinical symptoms as the increased acidity in the gut damages the horse’s gastric wall.
Horses with high acidity in the hind gut may exhibit:-
• decreased performance
• loss of condition
• stable vices such as crib biting and wind sucking.

In more serious cases, untreated high acidity in the hind gut may lead on to:-
• Ulcers
• Tying up with its established clear link to dietary imbalance
• Colic
Prevention is definitely the best option in this situation rather than treatment and these conditions can all be managed if not eradicated completely by feeding our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed alongside a correct feeding regime and adequate forage. Why take that risk in the first place even if your horse is not showing any clinical or behavioural signs at the moment.

2. Laminitis, Cushings and Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS)

Those that manage laminitic and Cushingoid horses know only too well the importance of removing starch from their horse’s diet and Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is the perfect weapon of choice in managing these conditions. Whether laminitis is initially triggered by a feed related overload – too much grass or a rapid change of feed which the hind gut bacteria struggle to cope with – or is part of the package that comes with Equine Cushings, it is crucial that the horse is placed on a low starch diet to avoid any triggering or exacerbation of symptoms.

Our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is perfect for managing the dietary needs of laminitics and Cushings horses. These horses often have associated weight issues – they may need to lose weight or you may be worried about maintaining weight on an old horse – but you will be able to feed adequate rations with confidence. This feed helps to maintain the correct weight without the concern that the horse may be receiving levels of starch that are too high for its underlying condition.

What’s in our Ultra Low GI feed?

Our Ultra Low GI Feed works by offering the horse a source of energy through the use of highly digestible fibre and oils, there is absolutely no cereal in our formula and also no lucerne.

Fibre and oils can cater for your horse’s energy requirements be it maintenance, through to light work or serious competition. Fibre and oils make available to the horse a slow release source of continuous energy without any of the issues associated with traditional grain based feeds. Our feed contains soya hulls which have a Glycemic Index of just 7 whereas oats have a GI of 100 – the Glycemic Index measures the effect that a particular feed constituent has on the sugar levels within the bloodstream of the horse.

Micronized Lupins are another highly palatable constituent of our feed, a good source of protein and a secondary source of energy via the fibre content. The lupins are micronized to ensure that the content of the plant is readily available to the horse’s digestive system. Cold pressed Canola Oil provides the essential Omega Trio of Omegas 3, 6 and 9, adding a further source of energy, assistance with joint maintenance and the promotion of healthy skin and a sheen to the coat.

To promote a healthy environment in the hind gut, our Ultra Low GI Feed contains Levucell SC ‘Titan’ encapsulated Live Brewers Yeast and finally, a broad spectrum mineral and vitamin supplement so there is no need to add any additional products to ensure a rounded and balanced diet.

Adhering to the golden rules of feeding still remains as paramount as ever:-
1. Always ensure the horse has access to clean fresh water.
2. Try and feed at the same time each day.
3. Allow access to good quality forage whether hay or pasture.
4. Ensure your feed bowls are clean and without traces of old feed.
5. Introduce any changes to feed and hay gradually, over a period of ten days to allow the bacteria in the hind gut to adjust.
6. Always feed according to type, weight and workload.
7. Split the feeds into appropriate amounts with the largest feed being last thing at night. The horse’s stomach is small, accounting for only 10% of his digestive capacity and, depending on the size of the animal, can only accommodate of a volume of 9-15 litres.
8. Try and allow at least 30 minutes after feeding prior to exercise.

As a calming horse feed, our Ultra Low GI Horse Feed is a winner all round. Your horse will be happy and comfortable on our high fat low starch horse feed and you will have the comfort and reassurance that you are doing the best thing possible for your best friend’s dietary health.

Horsefeed – What Your Sport Horse Needs

Show jumping and cross country riding place strenuous metabolic demands on your horse, requiring it to draw heavily on energy reserves to fuel muscle contraction, sometimes for extended periods. Energy levels will directly affect whether or not your horse can go the distance.

Your feed should not only fuel your horse for longer periods of exercise at a slower speed, it must also help offset the effects of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and the depletion of muscle mass that contribute to fatigue and poor performance.

What Quality Sport Feeds Should Deliver:

Slow Release Energy Sources

 A quality feed for the sport horse should not only provide the correct balance of energy producing starch and essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) for muscle building, it must include slow release energy sources such as quality fibre and a quality oil. Fiskens Advance Mix is designed specifically for the needs of sport horses in heavy work, using quality cold pressed Canola Oil and high protein soya bean fibre that can be stored in your horse’s body and metabolised later during exercise.

Balanced Nutrients

A properly balanced feeding programme for the sport horse can reduce fatigue, help to build muscle mass and provide vital energy reserves. Fiskens Advance Mix eliminates the guesswork so you can deliver the right nutritional balance for optimal performance in your horse. It is the perfect complement for pasture and on most properties no other supplementation will be required.

Taste & Quality

Appetite can diminish under the physical stress of prolonged activity, so taste and quality ingredients are vital in a feed. Fiskens Advance Mix is highly palatable, easily digestible and made fresh. It contains the correct balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 for equine diets and molasses for a pleasant and palatable taste.

  • Quality grains (barley and maize) for high protein and optimal energy
  • High protein fibre (soya bean meal) and quality oil (NZ cold pressed Canola Oil) to maximise energy production and to assist with muscle building and reduce fatigue
  • Magnesium for the bones and muscles and to assist with the metabolism of calcium, sodium and other vitamins and minerals
  • Calcium for the bones and to assist with muscle performance
  • Sodium – a vital electrolyte that supports cell function
  • A balance of essential vitamins and minerals for the optimal performance of your sport horse.

Fiskens Advance Mix for optimal sport performance

Fiskens Advance Mix is a premium feed for sport horses in heavy work, containing the right balance of nutrients to support energy, muscle mass and endurance along with the essential vitamins and minerals your working horse needs. Made fresh with quality ingredients. Fiskens are one of the very few horse feed companies in New Zealand to use Cold pressed Canola Oil, containing the optimum ratio of Omega3 and Omega 6 for equine diets.

The Fisken’s story – superior horse feed since 1957!

At HR Fisken & Sons, business really is all in the family. Generations of Fiskens have been racing horses, three generations have been producing quality horse feed and that combination is one pedigree that’s hard to beat!

The family pedigree

The family owes its racing lineage to Bob (‘Fuff’) Fisken, who started his business life as butcher in Gisborne and went on to become a successful stock buyer, sending off mobs of up to 5000 sheep on the epic journey all the way from Gisborne to Morrinsville for selling.

Fiskens & PeterwahFuff had a life-long passion for racing, setting up the Gisborne Trotting Club and fast becoming the uncrowned king of Poverty Bay racing. He made his mark as a star harness horseman on the NZ racing scene with his mighty American-bred stallion Peterwah. This famous trotter was one of the greatest square-gaiters ever raced in NZ, winning the Dominion Handicap at Addington in 1926, and bagging a place in racing history as the first trotter to get to 4.30 for the 2 mile event.

The birth of HR Fisken & Sons

ChappyThe legacy continued with Fuff’s son, Harold (‘Chappy’) Fisken who farmed a block of land on the shores of Lake Rotorua before buying the family farm at Pukekohe in the early 1950s. Chappy trained and drove winning trotters such as Faux Pas, Knighthood, Zakariah and Pukepoto and when his mates wanted to know the secret to his successes…he started selling them his favourite basic feed. Very quickly he saw this as an opportunity to make and sell good quality racehorse feed and the rest is history.

As demand snowballed, Chappy’s sons would return from school to find their bedrooms full of oats! However, before long new buildings and silos had sprung up at the family farm.

In 1957, HR Fisken & Sons was officially born.

As good now as it was back then.

Today the family feed business in Pukekohe has continued through two generations, Firstly by Chappy’s eldest son Graham and more recently, the reins have been passed to his grandson, John. From humble beginnings, Fiskens has expanded to supply 12 specialised horse mixes, as well as calf, chicken, goat and dairy feeds.

The person in the saddle may have changed, but Chappy’s commitment to the best lives on. John and HR Fisken & Sons continue to supply superior stockfood just as they did in 1957…albeit with a few modern additions. These days John makes use of computerised technology and every feed is designed by an expert nutritionist making it as good now as it was back then!

Horsefeed – What Your Racehorse Needs

Providing enough energy for your horse to race at his peak is one of the biggest challenges for trainers and owners. Whether your horse is in training or fit and ready to race, the energy intake required to fuel muscle activity and to maintain optimal performance can be more than double that required at rest. Your feed not only needs to cater for your horse’s weight, age and stage of training, it needs to support and fuel your horse under the stress of regular, fast (aerobic and anaerobic) exercise.

A Quality Racehorse Feed Should Deliver:


A quality feed for the racehorse should provide all the essential building blocks to fuel your horse’s metabolism during exercise:

  • protein for energy and muscle mass
  • fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6
  • fibre and grains for energy
  • quality oil
  • essential minerals and vitamins.

Fiskens Racehorse Mix contains all the essential requirements for a racehorse in full work, providing a readily digestible source of energy, muscle building protein and vital nutrients.

Balanced Nutrients

A properly balanced feeding programme for the racehorse should help build muscle and reduce fatigue while providing optimal energy intake. Fiskens Racehorse Mix eliminates the guess work so you can deliver the right balance of nutrients to keep your horse racing at his best. It is the perfect complement for pasture and on most properties, no other supplementation will be required.

Taste & Quality

Appetite can diminish under the physical stress of intense activity, so taste and quality ingredients are vital in a feed. Fiskens Racehorse Mix is made fresh using quality grains, superior NZ Cold pressed Canola Oil and molasses for a pleasant and palatable taste.

Fiskens Racehorse Mix Contains:

  • Quality fibre (lucerne, oaten chaff, bran) to provide roughage and help with dehydration
  • Quality grains (oats, barley, maize) to provide energy and help put on muscle bulk
  • Quality NZ cold pressed Canola Oil containing Omega 3 and Omega 6 to aid with energy production, muscle building and the anti-inflammatory response
  • Magnesium for the bones and muscles, and to assist with the metabolism of calcium, sodium and other vitamins and minerals
  • Calcium for the bones and to assist with muscle contraction
  • Sodium – a vital electrolyte that supports cell function
  • Other essential vitamins and minerals for the optimal performance of your racehorse.

Fiskens Racehorse Mix and Racehorse Extreme for Optimal Performance

Fiskens Racehorse Mix and Racehorse Extreme are premium energy feeds containing the right balance of nutrients to maximise energy and promote optimal performance on the track, along with the essential vitamins and minerals your racehorse needs. Made fresh using quality ingredients. Fiskens are one of the very few equine feed companies in New Zealand to use Cold pressed Canola Oil, containing the optimum ratio of Omega3 and Omega 6 for equine diets.

Balance Omega 3 and Omega 6 in your horse’s diet

Only the Best for Your Horse

Whether you’re a trainer, competitor or just riding for pleasure you want the best for your horse.

In New Zealand we have the advantage of superior pasture for grazing but if you’re like most horse people you probably also offer a grain supplement with added oil. In Fiskens Equine Feeds that oil is always Cold-Pressed Canola Oil.

Why Canola for Horses?

Cold pressed Canola Oil delivers an ideal balance of omega-3 with omega-6. The naturally occurring omega-6 in grains creates an inflammatory response that is balanced with omega-3.

Omega-3 is also known to have a calming effect on horses that are prone to excitability.

A grain diet with a balanced omega-6/omega-3 content from Canola Oil delivers the natural balance that aids in anti-inflammatory response.

Cold pressed Canola Oil provides a concentrated energy source that can enhance speed and reduce fatigue as well as improving oxygen saturation and respiratory function during exertion.

Why Pure Oil NZ Canola?

Fiskens choose Pure Oil NZ for Fiskens Horse Feeds as it’s New Zealand’s best source for quality, home-grown canola oil. It’s an all-natural product with the highest standards for handling and storage, never genetically engineered or modified.

It’s the exact same oil that we use for cooking and salads. Its superiority is due to two main factors – the manufacturing process and the quality assurance:

  1. Manufacturing – Pure Oil NZ uses the cold press method of extraction. Because the process requires no chemical additives and no heat, the oil retains all the vitamins and minerals that are so necessary for the health of your horse. Many manufacturers add up to 17 chemicals in their extraction process; Fiskens cold pressed canola oil has none.
  2. Quality – Pure Oil NZ’s agronomy team is hands-on throughout the entire process from cleaning and supplying the seed through the growth cycle and finally during the packaging process. With Pure Oil NZ you never have to worry about cross-contamination from any other product.

The Final Word

Fiskens Horse Feeds with Pure Oil NZ Canola Oil are your best choice for a balanced omega-6/omega-3 diet for your horse. It’s simply good, clean, quality canola, every time.

Starter Feeds For Calves

Begin offering calf feed when the calf is four days old. The feed should be:

  • Palatable -

Calves are no different than humans in that they are likely to eat more and gain weight more quickly if the food smells good and tastes good. Quality grains, roughage and molasses all appeal to calves and contribute to the unique taste of Fiskens calf feed. This makes for increased palatability and an easy transition from product to product as the calves grow.

  • Digestible -

Digestibility in calf feed depends on the quality of the ingredients. Fiskens products contain high-quality protein and grain sources for superior digestibility.

  • Fibrous -

In dry feeds fibre stimulates saliva production. This in turn regulates the rumen’s pH level. Note however that calves should not be allowed an excess of roughage – too much can result in a lowered concentrate intake. A dry feed with the correct roughage level like Fiskens Calf Feeds eliminates the need for unrestricted roughage and improves early feed intake.

  • Balanced and Anti-Coccidial -

Calf diets are usually structured with optimal protein and the energy needed to use it in mind. 12 MJ ME per kilogram of dry feed delivers the energy needed to metabolise the protein in 20.5% feed. Adding minerals, vitamins and an anti-coccidial is advised.

Fiskens calf feeds are tasty, digestible and contain the proper balance of nutrients along with minerals, vitamins and an anti-coccidial, Bovatec® which works to combat coccidiosis and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the rumen so calves derive more benefit from their feed.

Function and Development of the Rumen

Mature cattle belong to a class of mammals known as ruminants – even-toed cud-chewers with four stomachs. In the adult cow the rumen is the first and largest stomach, comprising approximately 80% of the digestive tract.

The feed that passes into the rumen ferments, assisted by billions of bacteria, fungi and protozoa (microorganisms) in conjunction with periodic cud-chewing. As the feed is broken down the cow absorbs some through the wall of the rumen while some (along with a portion of the microorganisms) moves into the other stomachs to be further digested.

Newly born calves are pre-ruminants. They have the same four stomachs as an adult bovine but the rumen is significantly smaller. In the calf, the largest part of the digestive tract is the abomasum (fourth stomach), making up nearly 70% of the digestive tract. In the young calf the act of sucking causes a fold of muscle to develop in the wall of the rumen. This is called the “reticular groove” and as the calf sucks it delivers milk directly to the abomasum (fourth stomach) where it is digested.

As the calf grows and solid feed is incorporated into the diet the rumen enlarges as the abomasum shrinks. This is a critical stage in the animal’s development. For the rumen to develop properly it needs to be stimulated by the ingestion and digestion of solid feed.

Early introduction of solid feed leads to optimum rumen development and weight gain. It is a gradual process that prepares the animal for a pasture-based diet and is a key element in effective calf-rearing.

Calf Pro Plus is a highly palatable protein calf feed designed for early rumen development, early weaning and increased growth rates. Contains Bovatec to prevent coccidiosis (scours).

Preventing Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is a parasite-caused disease that can be difficult to identify. In the worst cases coccidiosis will manifest as bloody scours. This is because when they are present at high levels the parasites can damage the wall of the intestine.

In most cases – 95% in fact – you will not see dramatic signs of infection. All the same, the parasites and their eggs (oocysts) can be found everywhere – in barns, sheds and even in the pasture. Even the cleanest facilities can harbour the oocysts and once a calf is infected the disease can spread very quickly. Even a low-level infection can cause poor intakes and substandard feed conversion leading to reduced growth rates.

As is the case with most parasitic diseases the best defence is a good offence. Calves should receive an anti-coccidial early on so that parasite development can be stopped and the calf can begin to build a natural immunity (a process that usually takes approximately 140 days).

The easiest, most effective way of administering an anti-coccidial is to include it in the feed. Fiskens Calf Plus and Calf Pro Plus feeds contain an effective anti-coccidial so your calves have the protection they need.

Preventing the Post-Weaning Growth Check

The post-weaning growth check refers to a period of slow growth usually lasting about two weeks as the calf transitions from milk to solid rations. It is common but also preventable.

Post-weaning growth check is usually attributable to one or more of the following factors:

  1. Not enough dry feed in the early weeks – If the calf lacks sufficient dry feed in the weeks up to weaning the rumen will not have developed sufficiently. The calf will not be able to grow rapidly if the rumen is not accustomed to processing significant amounts of dry feed.
  2. Too much roughage – Of course the goal is to move the calf off the cow and onto pasture but if too much hay and grass is fed a growth check can occur. This is because calves with their small, developing rumens are unable to process enough of this type of bulky feed to result in significant weight gain.
  3. Stress – Calves dislike change and can become stressed when presented with a feed to which they are not accustomed. Using same-flavoured feeds can help prevent a growth check. Use a concentrated feed throughout the weaning process and afterward, until the calf is on pasture.

Keep in mind that if the calf does experience a growth check, the time that is lost cannot be recovered. The calf will take longer to reach its target weight.

What Is The Ideal Calf Feed?

A calf has a small rumen – a capacity of just 1-2 litres in a newborn, as opposed to 25-30 at 3 months of age – that needs quality feed in order to develop effectively. Because of the size of the rumen the feed has to provide a high concentration of essential nutrients.

The best calf feeds are concentrated and high in dry matter. Feed can vary widely when it comes to dry matter content – for example, silage-based feeds may contain only 50% dry matter as compared with 85% in the better concentrates.

You will certainly pay less for feed with a higher moisture content but it’s a false saving. You are essentially paying for water and your calf is not getting the nutrition it needs in order to flourish. Post-weaning growth check is often a consequence of substandard nutrition.

For the best results and optimum growth, use a quality feed that is high in dry matter, balanced, fibrous and contains an anti-coccidial. The feed should also smell good and taste good so the calf is encouraged to eat. Fiskens feeds are high-quality concentrates and contain a minimum 80% dry matter.