The Importance Of Iron In Equine Diets


The Importance Of Iron In Equine Diets

With major minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, headlining our deficiency concerns, other trace minerals often go forgotten about. Although needed in much smaller amounts, trace minerals are vital to maintain optimum bodily function and play crucial roles in the development of horses. One trace mineral that seems to be on horse owner’s radar though is iron! So, what is the importance of iron in equine diets and should we be supplementing it?

Why Supplement With Iron?

Research completed on racehorse owners in America found that a large proportion of them were in fact supplementing their horses regularly with iron. The concern of an iron deficiency stemmed from it’s function relating to performance capacity and stamina.

Iron is key for red blood cell health and function, making up around 0.33% of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin the part of the red blood cell that makes it red in colour, but also carries oxygen around the body. Therefore, ensuring optimal iron levels are key for supporting muscle function and energy generation.

Do I Need To Supplement My Horse With Iron?

There are very few cases in which a horse’s become deficient in iron and would need supplementation. Due to it’s vital function in metabolism and energy generation, horses conserve the trace mineral quite well.


However, research suggests that some amount of iron may be lost in sweat. It is estimate that horses lose a concentration of around 21 mg/L of sweat. For a horse in extremely hard, who is likely to lose around 25-30 litres of sweat, the iron loss would equate to around 500mg. The great loss in sweat for a horse in extremely hard work or losing a lot of sweat is greater than that of which the body can produce daily. Therefore, and iron supplement may be required to ensure levels are maintained for these more athletic horses.

Forage is a great iron source, however as grazing starts to dwindle, the high iron content of forage may be sacrificed. Plus, if you are feeding a diet high in cereals you could also be compromising your horse’s daily iron intake.


Combine clinical signs with veterinary diagnosis to determine whether you need to supplement iron. Signs you may needs to supplement iron include;

Poor Development

Reduced Appetite

Low Stamina

Poor Condition




Iron Boost Liquid
Iron Boost Liquid (RRP; 21.97)

Suffering The Signs But Haven’t Got A Diagnosis?

As we enter autumn, you may find your horse lacking that summer spark. Iron Boost Plus is a great way to combat nutritional deficiencies your horse may be suffering from. This multivitamin feed supplement supplies your horse with its daily requirements of vitamins and minerals, to ensure maximum vitality, health, performance and energy.

Iron Boost Plus helps complement the requirement of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids for growing youngsters. IronBoost Plus helps to provide a complement of B vitamins and iron needed to help support red blood cells synthesis. IronBoost Plus supplies anti-oxidants A, D, E plus selenium to combat stresses.

Available in 1litre liquid form, for rapid and effective absorption. RRP; €21.97

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