Elevage Lusitanos has been awarded the EquuRES label which certifies a high level of care for our horses and for the environment. EquuRES focuses on 9 themes including: Feeding and Bedding, Well-being and Veterinary Care; Water and Energy and Outdoor spaces and the Environment.
Here I want to tell you about how our feeding system follows the ideals of the Equures Label which are: use of locally sourced products to reduce carbon footprint; use of environmentally friendly products; feeding a balanced regime which is primarily based on hay/grass, whilst adapting the feed to the animals, according to their state of health, age and activity – all for the well-being of the horses.
- We grow all our own hay. The hay is analysed and we are pleased that it is of a high quality. The land for hay is fertilised with our own horse manure. You can’t get more local than that!
- All mares and foals are out on pasture which is in plentiful supply for most of the year in Normandy! We supplement with hay and cereal feed when needed.
- We purchase black oats and barley from nearby farms (with 25km). This is crushed on site as needed (for freshness and to maintain nutrients), and mixed with cereal balancer to provide our base mix. Then either vitamin and mineral supplements, luzerne or other protein and oil supplements are added to provide the correct feed mixture to suit our horses according to their activity and development. All feed is certified GM free and grown in France. We have a ration plan, formulated annually, to complement the nutritional values of the hay.
- Oats and barley are collected in reusable “big bags”and stored in our silo. Any paper feed bags and baler twine, we recycle at collection points organised by the Department of Agriculture in the Orne.
So, there you have it…we’ve have been here for 15 months and we are getting to know the type and quantity of grass we can grow, the quality of the hay we make, and we are balancing the feed regimes for our horses during pregnancy and after foaling. So, the well-being of the horses is our main focus, but we are also looking after our beautiful environment as well, with the guidance of EquuRES.