Iron (Fe) - horses

Iron is a component of the red blood cells that ensures oxygen uptake and transport in the blood. Iron is also present in the muscle tissue to maintain the oxygen levels in the muscle and in a number of enzyme systems. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia and reduced performance in high level sport horses. Excess of iron is bad horse the equine body since an iron excess causes the development of free radicals. Iron is regularly relatively high in forage but can also be high in the drinking water. However, part of the iron is not absorbed by the horse which is why the effects of an iron surplus does not occur very often. Young horses are very sensitive to an iron surplus. An overdose of iron can lead to a decreased absorption of copper, manganese and zinc.