Animal Protein in Horse Food

KarinUS

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I've been feeding the horses the same brand of food for many years now but as DJ and Bixby are starting to show their age I decided to try something 'better'.
I wanted to check and see what the difference was between the regular feed and the SENIOR and found animal protein products in the senior food.
Since horses are herbivores I am feeling a bit uneasy about feeding them animal products.
Am I just being paranoid?
What might they be talking about? Eggs? Animal parts?
 

Tillytoo

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I'd be worried too, after all this is how we got mad cow disease.

Horses are naturally vegetarian and if they need higher protein I'd go for a plant based one for sure. Also, I'd be worried that the source of the animal protein wasn't stated, as you say there is a huge diference between a bit of egg albumen and mince animal parts from untraceable sources.

I think you are wise to be cautious.
 

Wally

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In the EU it is now illegal to put animal protein into herbivore food. Cow sheep and horse food cannot contain other cows, sheep pigs or horses
 
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KarinUS

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Well that answers that. I know sometimes I am overly cautious/protective so I like to hear other people's opinion just to get some perspective.
I won't buy that Senior Food again. Our regular is high quality feed made from stuff a horse would reasonably eat and it's less expensive too
 

popularfurball

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I have to admit to not understanding feeds In Te states - it seems to all be mixes? Can you buy plain
Hay chop/straw chop or unmollased beet like we can?

As for being herbivores I suspect that they eat fish in the wild but not much else... Though one of mine LOVEs ham sandwiches. She thieves them!
 

KarinUS

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Yes part of their food is beetpulp already. The majority of their meal of course is hay which they have access to all the time.
But the older ones are lightweight breeds (TB and Appendix QH) so they get a little extra. I can't feed straight grain since my TB just cribs more if he gets that. When I used to board him he lost weight and they upped his grain. He got to be really wound up but because he was cribbing so much he hardly ate any hay and actually lost more weight!
Once I moved them home I switched them to the pellet food and he cribs much less on it. After just a couple months home he started filling out.
But now that he's getting older he's been losing condition more so I was tempted to try a new kind of pellet specifically made for senior horses.
They have been getting pellets along with the beetpulp (and of course the hay). I think even the pellets are based on beetpulp and alfalfa and some grain but it also has probiotics in it and extra calories from plant oils and flaxseed and minerals/vitamins.

Fish? Are you pulling my leg now? lol
 
P

pinkheather

Guest
Animal protein is in a lot of animal feeds so you are probably eating it yourself indirectly. I know it is a subject that brings out a lot of discussion and argument with horse owners and the general population but if used for short spells it should be ok. Manufacturers appear to take more care over what they feed animals than what they feed to humans. It is a quick way to put weight and muscle on or keep condition over the harsh winter months. I use these feeds towards the end of winter when my darlings need a wee boost until the grass starts to come on usually about the last month of winter. If you were aware of what goes into domesticated sheep and cattle sometimes you would turn vegetarian. The list of what goes on in the food industry is quite alarming sometimes but we are all still here and thriving and i expect your horses are too. As a side dont think wheat products dont have chemicals in them they are sprayed with all kinds of stuff even round up weed killer to stunt their growth if it is a wet summer and they cant get harvesting. It cant be doing that much damage as we are all living longer and fitter nowadays. You can get too concerned about this subject and end up frightened to give anything to your horses or eat anything yourself. But you are correct too much protein is not good thats one of the reasons people in the west are grossly over weight. Its a very emotive subject for some people.
 

KarinUS

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Oh you'd totally be rolling your eyes at me if you knew how we are about food. No Red 40 dye for the kids, raw milk from grassfed cows, that sort of thing... lol
 

Tillytoo

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If they need more calories without getting silly have you thought of adding some vegetable oil to their diet?

The ex racehorses on my yard all have a slug of corn oil in thier dinner, they are all thin skinned and delicate so need extra to keep warm, but as they are now riding horses have to keep a sensible head on.

I am not speaking from experience though, my obsession is keeping my boy looking like a pony rather than an over stuffed sausage.
 

KarinUS

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We've done that in the past but now the pellets already got the vegetable oils in it. :)
I am just going back to our old style pellets and give them a bit more. It's no biggie. I was just surprised to see animal protein in horse feed
 

popularfurball

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Yep or add something like micronised flax seed (linseed) or black sunflower seeds. That way there is more nutrition than in oils as some of the benefits are destroyed in processing :)

And fish yes - ponds etc when they drink:)
 
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