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If it seems like you need a graduate degree to make sense of the many types of carbohydrates, don’t worry – we’ve put together a guide to the carbohydrate types you’re most likely to see on a feed/forage analysis report.

We’ll give you the carbohydrate name, description, and nutritional significance for horses:

Richard Ten Eyck is the Oregon Department of Agriculture feed specialist and chair of the Carbohydrate Working Group of the Feed Labeling Committee for the Association of Animal Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

  1. Cereal Grains: Corn, Wheat, Barley, Rice, Oats, etc.
  2. Cool season grasses: Timothy, Bluegrass, Orchard-grass, Fescue, Brome, Prairie Hay, etc.
  3. Warm season grasses: Bahia, Tiftin-44, Coastal Bermuda, etc.
  4. Legumes: Alfalfa, Clover, Lespedeza, Peanut Hay, etc.
  5. NSC: Currently listed as: Starch + Sugar + Fructans, but when laboratories become uniform it will become: WSC + Starch or ESC + Starch.
  6. Forages: Hay (dried) and Pasture (fresh) and Haylage (preserved by fermentation).
  7. Glycemic Response: Will vary according to individual size of the horse, pounds of feed fed at one time, daily activity level of the horse, etc.