Which Supplement? - Biotin

It would be a bit of an understatement to say that this winter was a total washout. In fact, according to Irish Weather Online, it's been almost 4 months since the last dry day in Ireland! I've had two horses living out full time during the winter and their poor feet have suffered a bit. They seem to have suffered from cracks and chips far more than any other year...the only difference being the wet and damp weather.

Now that the land has started drying out I want to give them a bit of a helping hand and feed both of them a good hoof supplement. Biotin (Post: Feeding biotin for healthy hooves and hair) is synonymous with restoring and promoting good quality hair and hoof growth so this is my first choice supplement to offer my two. In fact it has been  proven to improve hoof growth and quality.

There are currently a huge range of biotin supplements on the market and I was a bit overwhelmed by the choice. I decided to dig a little deeper and explore their ingredients and find out just how good they are! The results were interesting if a little surprising! It is important to note that it takes approximately 6 months for an entire new hoof to grow but you should see changes around the coronary band after one month. Biotin has no recommended daily allowance and there are no adverse reactions from feeding too high a dose :)

Product sizes were chosen based on a 6 month supply - or as close as possible. 

Horse First Hoof First

€155 / 5kg (smaller sizes available)
Instructions: 25g scoop in the feed every day until improvement is seen, and then cut back to half a scoop daily. Ponies and small horses can be given half a scoop.
200 day supply

Contains 40mg of biotin per 25g. 
Cost: €0.78 per day.

 TRM Biotin

€24 / 1kg  
Instructions: All Horses - feed 25g per day
40 day supply 

Contains 15mg of biotin per 25g
Cost: €0.60 per day

TRM Hoofmaker Powder

€236.20 / 5kg (smaller sizes available)
Instructions: Adult horses: Feed 20g per day. Ponies and foals: Feed 20g every second day.
250 day supply

Contains 37.5mg of biotin per 20g
Cost: €0.94 per day

€210 / 10kg
Instructions: All horses - feed 50g per day. Ponies and foals - feed 50g every second day.
200 day supply

Contains 37.5mg of biotin per 50g
Cost: €1.05 per day

Farriers Formula

€63 / 5kg
Instructions: 475kg - 170g cup (bear in mind most grown horses are nearer the 650kg mark!)
29 day supply

Contains 20mg of biotin per 170g
Cost: €2.17 per day

Equine America Hoof Powder Plus

€54.39 / 908g (smaller size available)
Instructions: For a 500kg horse, per day - 14g.
65 day supply

Contains 20mg per 14g
Cost: €0.83 per day

Forans Hoof Aid Powder

€66.10 / 2kg
Instructions: 450-600kg feed 20g per day
100 day supply

Contains 32mg per 20g
Cost: €0.66 per day

Forans Hoof Aid Liquid

€50.25 / 2.5l
Instructions: 450-600kg feed 45ml per day
56 day supply

Contains: 26.25mg biotin per 45ml
Cost: €0.90 per day

NAF Pro Feet Powder 5 Star

€40.95 / 1.3kg
Instructions: 400-600kg feed 33g per day
39 day supply

Contains 23.5mg per 33g
Cost: €1.11 per day

NAF Pro Feet Liquid 5 Star

€40.95 / 1l
Instructions: 400-600 feed 25ml per day
40 day supply

Contains 25mg per 25ml
Cost: €1.02 per day

Su-Per Biotin

€19.95 / 2.5lb (~1.1kg)
Instructions: 1 ounce daily
40 day supply

Contains 20mg per ounce (~28g)
Cost: €0.50 per day

It's interesting to see the varying biotin levels by supplement and brand. Horse First Hoof First delivers twice the biotin levels of Equine America Hoof Powder Plus and at a lower price! Strangely the TRM Hoofmaker Pellets were more expensive than the TRM Hoofmaker Powder despite containing the same biotin levels (The pellets did contain the amino acid DL-Methionine). The Su-Per Biotin seems like excellent value all round! I think Horse First Hoof First and the Forans Hoof Aid Powder are my favourites both in terms of biotin quantity whilst still remaining good value for money.

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