Zinc is another important nutrient for proper hoof growth and soundness. In the German study (Coenen and Spitzlei, 1996), zinc content was significantly lower in hooves that had lower hardness scores. It is important to note that the horses with poor quality hooves (and low hoof zinc) received the same amount of zinc in their diets as did the horses with good feet. When these horses (with low hoof zinc) were fed supplemental zinc, the concentration of zinc in their hooves increased. It appears that the ability of horses with poor quality hooves to digest and absorb zinc may be lower than in horses with good hooves. Effective zinc supplementation improves hoof quality in certain horses.
Ott and Johnson (1995) compared inorganic trace mineral supplement to a supplement using proteinate sources of Mn, Zn, and Cu in yearling horses. Hoof growth was greater for the horses fed the proteinates (4.98 cm vs. 4.78 cm, P=.023). Therefore, the source of the trace mineral supplement is important.
FOCUS HF provides supplemental zinc in the form of zinc methionine, where a zinc atom is covalently bound to a methionine molecule. Since methionine is essential for hoof and skin growth, it is preferentially taken up by these tissues. By attaching zinc to methionine, there is greater deposition of zinc into these target tissues as well. Zinc methionine is the mineral source of choice for treating foot problems in the sheep and cattle industry. In addition, a study at an independent research metabolism unit showed through a complete collection Digestibility Trial that addition of the SOURCE micronutrients to the diet greatly enhanced the ability of the horse to utilize the existing dietary zinc. [+127.45%, S.E.1.29, Sig.Level(p<.01]. Please see SOURCE Products: for Horses, for more information.