The philosophy behind the Equus range is based on the proven principles of natural feeding techniques and the emphasis throughout is on natural fibres and gut health. At Equus only the best ingredients are used throughout our range.
The two main natural fibre types used to supply the required roughage in our feeds are Lucerne and predominantly top quality Rhodes Grass. Only prime grade Lucerne is used and great care is taken not to lose the leafy part of the product which contains most of the sought after nutrients. In some feeds we also utilise Oat Hay and this is cut in the early bloom stage before the grain has developed, and is then sun dried until it is ready for baling.
Within some of our products Soya Hulls are used. They are often referred to as a “super fibres” due to their high digestibility and ease of fermentation. It is unusual to have a fibre product that is so completely and easily fermented by the horse’s digestive system and still able to provide a good level of energy.
With the current focus in the horse industry on lowering non-structural carbohydrates(NSC) in equine diets (starches typically derived from grains easily causing digestive disorders), it is important to note that some super fibres have an average NSC of around 12%. This fact, combined with their good calorie content and ease of fermentation make them an excellent ingredient for formulating high fibre, low carbohydrate diets. The use of super fibre diets can benefit not only older horses but also horses suffering from gastric ulcers, respiratory issues, metabolic diseases and many other feeding situations. (Read more on super fibres)
Our strategy is to use several different ingredients to supply the required non structural carbohydrate portion of the diet. Each ingredient is digested at different rates and energy is subsequently released into the bloodstream more gradually. This helps to prevent any insulin spikes and ensures more sustained energy for the horse. To ensure that there is no starch overload in the foregut (or any problem causing elevated levels of undigested maize in the hind gut), our maize is cooked by extrusion when used.
Our emphasis always falls on protein quality more than the total percentage of protein. When selecting protein sources great care is taken to supply a healthy balance of the 13 essential amino acids, amongst others lysine, methionine, and threonine, which are often deficient in the average feed. The main protein sources used are Soya meal, extruded Full Fat Soya and Sunflower Oilcake as well as prime grade Lucerne.
Within the Equus range we always aim to reduce the use of starches and sugars and thus Fats and oils play a very important role in increasing the energy density of our diets. Maintaining the balance between the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is what makes the difference. Apart from Full Fat Soya which supplies this much needed energy from fat, a special blend of high omega-3 containing oils is used to achieve the correct balance. (Read more on Omega 3 containing oils)
Few people realize how the quality of vitamins and minerals can vary depending on the source. The quality is determined by their stability in mixtures (which also affects shelf life) and also by the biological availability of these vitamins and minerals to the animal. Stringent quality control is applied in the selection of these and minerals in the organic form (especially chelated selenium and zinc and chromium) and are used wherever required.
The live yeast culture of choice for Equus is the Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain 1026, produced by the World Equestrian Game sponsors, Alltech.
This culture is based on a proprietary strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast strain specifically selected for its influence on animal performance. Yea-Sacc 1026 ® has a large body of research clarifying its mode of action and performance responses and is ideal for inclusion in equine feeds for horses of all ages as approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
At Equus we aim to keep the inclusion of molasses to a minimum. The use of molasses has its place but it should be used in moderation! Horses prone to laminitis and related conditions should not be fed anything other than a feed guaranteed to be very low in NSC. There are a number of contributors which cause an unwanted high NSC and molasses is a major role player amongst them and should best be avoided. Equus Safe n Lite is one such feed containing only 0.9% molasses.
At Equus we ensure 100% compliance with all legislation applicable to the animal feed industry, including all applicable GMO regulations. We keep abreast and study thoroughly the latest developments and scientific research on the effect of GMO’s on the health and performance of equines and ensure at all times that we are using the best possible ingredients. It is however extremely difficult to ensure that all ingredients are GM free as the prevention of cross contamination between GMO and non GMO raw materials (eg. Maize and soya) is not actively encouraged by legislation and therefore not pursued by the grain and raw material handling industry in SA.