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Protein requirements - Young horses

Both the requirement for absolute protein and the need for high quality protein are higher for growing horses than for other horses. Young horses generally have a smaller feed intake than adult animals. As a consequence, the concentration of digestible crude protein must be higher in the diets of young growing horses than of any other category.


Protein requirement (Digestible Crude Protein) for growing horses at different ages:

Age, months 3 6 12 18 24 30 36
Crude protein (DCP), g/d 665 676 845 799 769 752 742
DCP, g/MJ 13,4 10,4 10,8 9,9 9,8 10


Valid in PC-Horse3 from v.3.23


An optimal ratio between energy and protein is required for a balanced growth. The demands for protein per unit of energy decrease (see table) as the horse gets older. 

The requirement for the amino acid lysine also declines with age. At ages of 3, 6, 12 and 18 months the requirement for lysine is 0.7, 0.5, 0.4 and 0.4 grams per MJ of digestible energy, respectively.