ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: High protein feed and any chance of mad cow disease?

Re: High protein feed and any chance of mad cow disease?

Susan F. Evans (suendavid@worldnet.att.net)
Sat, 22 Mar 1997 18:14:41 -0800

Hi Ann,

Commercial horse feeds from a reputable source would not use animal
protein for horse feeds. Typical sources of protein supplementation
in high-protein horse feeds is usually soybean meal, linseed meal,
sometimes cottonseed meal, a few others but all vegetable sources. Mad
cow disease comes from eating contaminated beef, and beef by-products
are extremely unlikely to be in horse feed---let alone beef by-products
from contaminated cows.

Your friend's suggestion of feeding hog feed to a horse is an extremely
poor idea, not only because of the very high protein (which horses in
most cases don't need and certainly not adult performance horses), but
also because other commodities that are OK for pigs are used which are
definitely not OK for horses---for example, fish meal, animal fat, meat
and bone meal and tankage, which is basically everything from the
slaughterhouse that can't be otherwise utilized. Not pretty. Pigs have
a digestive system fairly similar to humans, and entirely different from
horses. Also, most hog feeds are formulated for maximum growth and may
contain growth additives, antibiotics, sulfonamides (a chemically
derived antibiotic), growth hormones, excessive selenium and arsenicals
and other chemotherapeutics. Finally, feeds which have been balanced
for pigs are...well, balanced for pigs. Not horses. The requirements
for each species are different and therefore what is provided to the
horse by feeding him hog feed is in many cases going to either supply
too much or too little of trace/microminerals, amino acids and a few
vitamins. Keep in mind most hog feeds are designed to produce 230 lbs
of pig in less than 155 days after birth. Horse feeds are (hopefully)
designed to provide a much lower level of "production" for years and
years. Feeding hog feed to a horse is NOT good nutrition management
(and obviously, you already knew that!)

Good luck!

Susan Evans

Ann Hatfield wrote:
> I was reading the posts defining high protein feed, lower protein, etc. and
> a chilling thought occurred to me. Some feeds here list the total
> constituents, the sources from which they derive their fats, protein, etc.,
> but not all do. I wonder in particular about the high protein feeds-do any
> of them use animal meat to boost protein levels?
> A friend bought a fine old horse at out local auction and on someone's
> advice fed him hog feed which is very high in protein. ( Yes, we had a
> discussion, she and I, about old horses' kidneys and lots of protein!) He
> ate it and she bought another bag from a different feed mill later which he
> wouldn't touch. She kindly gave it to me! I dumped it in the compost and
> as it decomposed it reeked! It sure didn't smell like a vegetable protein
> base. That bag did not identify the source of the protein.
> Yecch. My bacon is being fed what? I eat little meat now and may yet
> become a total vegetarian!
> I can't remember-have we had mad cow disease crop up in North America? Mad
> horse disease-that's all we need!
> Ann

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