Written by: Shannon Pratt-Phillips
A bee pollen supplement may help increase your horse’s feed intake.
Bee pollen is another “buzzed” about supplement. In the one published article about its supplementation in horses (Turner at al., JAPAN, 2006), a bee pollen supplement (fed as 118g, with 55 per cent pollen) was shown to improve feed intake, and resulted in small increases in nitrogen and phosphorus retention. Bee pollen has approximately 30 per cent protein, so if one were to feed 100g of straight bee pollen, the horse would take in 30g of protein (or about five per cent of a 500kg idle horse’s needs). Analyses have also reported good protein quality, as it appears to contain all of the essential amino acids, except tryptophan). It also contains many minerals and vitamins.
There appears to be wide variation in nutrient composition between pollen species, so it is warranted to see the guaranteed analysis before adding bee pollen to your horse’s diet, in effort to ensure the full diet is balanced. However, if a horse is having problems consuming enough feed while in training, adding some bee pollen to the horse’s diet may be recommended.
Bee pollen is found as a component of several products, such as the one used in the above study (Dynamic Trio 50/50). Pure bee pollen is also available from any health food store.