How to read Feed Tag Labels on horse feed. Most of the time these feed tags are designed to be confusing and virtually impossible to decipher with great intention. Let’s make it a bit easier to figure out.
Please learn how to read those feed labels…if you see that the first 6-7 items are byproduct waste products…that is what you are feeding your horse, per volume. Those vitamins and minerals in a 50 pound bag of feed are not very much volume wise. The vast majority of that bag of processed feed by volume is byproduct waste, wheat middlings or wheat milrun, rice bran, beet pulp, soy meal, soy hulls, soy oil, Distiller’s Dried Grain solutes, feed grade molasses, Distiller’s fermentation solutes, almond hulls, ground corn, flax meal…etc
The first ingredient is the most by volume and the last is the least by volume. So, if the first 5-7 ingredients are byproduct waste, ignore the clever text and pretty colors on the bag and just Walk Away. If the minerals are in the Oxide form, know oxides are the cheapest form of minerals the least bio-available to your horse. So, if your goal is not to produce a mineral fortified urine and manure, then just Walk Away!
If the text on the bag tells you that this particular feed contains Probiotics for the thriving gut of your horse, and the tag indicates that most all the probiotics are Extracts, know that Extracts can not reproduce themselves, can not manufacture B-Vitamins, produce Antibodies or Co-factors.
If the Probiotics are reported as Viable but the feed is in pellet form, recognize the viable probiotics were killed while being extruded into a pellet due to heat, so if it is not your goal to feed dead probiotic to your horse, just Walk Away!
If you see any Soy bean (an anti-nutrient) byproducts in your horse’s feed, do not just Walk Away…in this case, Run Away!
If you see the use of processed oils (corn, canola, mineral, soy, vegetable), remember oils are needed especially if it is a loose feed to keep the dust factor down and mineral oil is used to minimize the possibility of impaction.
If you can buy a 50 pound bag of feed which reports to be a “Complete” feed and it costs $8.00, it is obviously too good to be true, you should not be thinking “WOW, What a great deal!” Know that every one along the line has made a profit on this product except your horse. Please just Walk Away.
If you can buy a 50 pound bag of feed for $25 – $35 dollars the same forementioned “Complete feed” will apply but there are greater over head considerations at hand. The bag is glossy, the text is much more clever, the advertising and marketing of this feed, the glossy horse magazines, the banners at the horse shows and the high money endorsing horse legends, the shipping and storing of this product, all of this costs a bit more and of course the profit margin needs to be a bit higher…..just Walk Away.
Walk over and spend $10 – $13 for the 50 pound bag of Whole oats, your horse will thank you. This feed tag will be so very easy to read ……….”Recleaned Whole Oats”. Keep it Simple!