Know you ingredients

Download – Know your ingredients

Understanding Horse feed Ingredients labels

Do you really know what is in your horses feed bucket?

As we become more aware of what we eat and the health issues associated with highly processed food, are you as aware of what goes into your horses feed bowl and exactly what you are paying for.

With so many different brands of feed on the market and each claiming to be the very best for your horse now is time to take control and really understand what is going into your horse.

Do you check what is in the bag of feed that you choose for your horse? Do you tend to buy the market leader? Is your feed choice influenced by advertising or habit? Is your purchase influenced by trust for the big brands?

To enable you to make a better judgement on where you spend your hard earned pennies we thought it important to explain what those ingredients actually are

Wheat feed – is not ground whole wheat as many believe but a waste by-product of the processing of flour, predominately made of the outer skin, wheat husk, hulls, endosperm and starch screenings.

Oatfeed or Oatfeed by-product –   like wheat feed, Oatfeed is not ground up whole oats. Oatfeed is a waste by-product from the milling industry. It is composed of oat hulls, oat hairs lying between the grain and the hull. Oat hull has a poor digestibility and is often processed to bind the hulls and the dust together into pellets, using binding agents such as lignosulphonate, molasses or starches

Both oat and wheat feed although high in fibre they are poor in nutritional content and deficient in essential vitamins and mineral eg. Cereal grains are phosphorus high reducing the ability for the body to absorb calcium which is essential for maintenance and development of bones, cells and  muscle tissue.

As well as being nutritionally deficient in the storage of grain at the mills, pesticides are sprayed onto the grains to protect them, mould spores grow on them and these remain present on the outer layer which is in effect then used in horse feed. The levels of microtoxins in cereal for human consumption is regulated unfortunately this does not exist in animal feed.

Nutritionally Improved Straw Straw is treated with sodium hydroxide to break down the structural fibre and increase its digestibility then sprayed with molasses or other chemicals to improve palatability.

GM Soya Hull, Soya By-product predominately imported from overseas where large parts of the rain forest have been removed for soya plantation, cheap to produce and as with oat and Wheat feed the hull and by product are the waste in the manufacture of soya oil and bean meal.

Can be a useful form of protein for horses in hard work, little research has been carried out into the absorption and bio availability as equine food source.

The main question is why are we spending hundreds of pounds over the winter on expensive feeds which are predominately made from these ingredients when it is cheaper to feed a bigger haynet with the same nutritional value?

Information taken from significant research much of which is readily available online for you to see for yourself