Can anyone explain to me why most feed companies producing pelleted or extruded feed use a combination of soya hulls, beet pulp and corn & wheat as their base for most produtcts?
What is the science behind this? What are these ingredients proving to our horses that we wouldn't otherwise get?
In general, the soy bean hulls and beet pulp are fermentable fiber sources that are low in starch and sugar. These are kind of a no harm, no foul ingredient that makes the bag fuller so you think that you are getting more for your money. Some value may be found in these if there are large grain inclusions in the diet. Otherwise, my opinion is that there are better natural forage answers to these two ingredients. Corn and wheat are another thing altogeather. Again, in my opinion, they have no place in a horse diet. Both are high in starch and the quality used is usually very low, and unusable for any other application. Bottom line is that these ingredients are either cheap, or bulky to make the bag fuller.
Because it's cheap for them to make it expensive for the consumer. Rice hulls is another that I don't particularly care for.
want2chase3 - 2022-08-02 4:26 PM
No kidding! We bed on rice hulls down here when shavings are too expensive. You can get a pretty big trailer filled up at the rice mill for $100. It irks me when rice hulls are one of the top three ingredients in a $35 bag of feed.
Barnmom - 2022-08-03 11:54 AM
Not sure what feed you are refering to, but be sure you are aware of the difference in Rice Bran and Rice Hulls. Rice bran contains over 80% of the nutrition found in brown rice. Raw rice bran has no shelf life before the natural fat in it begins go rancid, literally less than a day. Stabilized rice bran is a food grade product with a one year shelf life. Rice hulls are the outside covering of the rice kernal. It has little to no nutritional value. Rice hulls used for bedding can be a problem because the very high silica content tends to make them slippery. I have seen horses hurt themselves when they try to get up after lying down on rice hulls.
A pretty popular big name feed has rice hulls listed in the top 3 ingredients in several of their high end feeds. I know how cheap they can be and I've even heard of companies getting them for free or next to nothing. I know theres difference between rice bran and rice hulls. I've fed rice bran before and think it's a valuable ingredient. However, I will also say I've fed raw rice bran for a while and haven't ever had a single issue. It's less than half the cost of stabilized rice bran with a picture of a horse on it. I know some companies use only stabilized rice bran and it'll be listed as such. Haven't figured out if it just lists RICE BRAN that it is raw rice bran or stabilized. Either one would be fine with me. No issues with a company using rice bran .. raw or stabilized... rice hulls ... is questionable on the actual quality.. been told its a good source of fiber that basically undigestible by the horse. I'd prefer it not being in my horses feed. I've heard of several people using rice hulls instead of shavings as bedding lately. Guessing it's never been an issue with horses trying to eat it
want2chase3 - 2022-08-03 1:38 PM
I can provide some information on Rice Bran in horses, since I am the person who started that as a horse feed ingredient on a commercial basis in 1987.
Raw Rice Bran, and Stabilized Rice Bran can be vastly different. Just like all hay is not the same. Raw rice bran is a product of the rice milling process that turns brown rice into white rice. This is strictly a waste product that mostly goes to cattle. The fat naturally found in the bran layer of the rice kernal is very unstable. As a result, it goes rancid in about eight hours. Along with this rancity goes the great natural vitamin E, and other valuble nutrients due to rapid oxidation. No matter how you handle raw rice bran, it will be rancid when you feed it to your horse. Wether this is OK or not depends on what that raw rice bran was exposed to and how it was handled. Since it is a low cost waste product, no care is taken in storage or handling equipment. It is usually exposed the elements in some way, and contamination is possible from a number of sources. If you choose to feed this, that is fine. But, just like rained on hay, you may get along with it for the whole life of your horse and as a simple fat supplement (though rancid) or you may not. I personally have seen damage to horses from raw rice bran.
Stabilized rice bran is a value added ingredient in both premium animal formulations and human foods. As a result, it is stabilized in the rice mill immediatly off of the mill line, then handled and stored to food grade standards. The resulting shelf life is commonly more than one year if stored properly. In addition, the chance of contamination from outside sources like rodent and bird waste, molds and bacteria is virtually eliminated.
I have probably sold more stabilized rice bran, both as a pure product and in formulations that I have made myself or done for other companies, than anyone in the world. If I could have done that safely with my name on the bag, using raw rice bran at a fraction of the cost I would have done so.
The defence I hear from people for feeding raw rice bran is that "I have done it for a long time with no problems". Maybe you have, and maybe you haven't. In my experience, respiratory problems, allergy problems and failure to thrive are always a possibility with raw rice bran if contaminated. If you have not fed a contaminated batch yet, it is likely that you will at some point. Your results may vary.
This has never been worth the chance to me. My recommendation has always been, "Feed Stabilized Rice Bran if you want he benefit of Rice Bran, or feed something else entirely. But, I personally would never feed Raw Rice Bran.
I understand what you're saying about the rice bran. I'm not currently feeding it to anything because we just don't need it. I actually prefer to use flaxseed and saw better results using it. So my question is if an ingredient is listed "rice bran " is it safe to assume it's stabilized or are they using raw to save on costs? If raw, is it possible for it to be an issue in the feed itself? Because so many stories of horses just randomly stop eating or walk away from their feed they've been eating suddenly. It's happened to me with my own horses too. I know Triple Crown lists theirs as stabilized rice bran on their ingredients. But I've seen several that just list RICE BRAN.
I feed parboiled rice bran. It doesn't stay around my house long. I feed everyone part of a scoop twice a day. I had a broodmare get bitten by a snake about the time she foaled. She got very thin very fast. I needed to get weight back on her so she gets a scoop twice a day. This rice bran is 20% fat 12% protein. I certainly had helped. All of my horses are SHINY.
streakysox - 2022-08-04 6:14 PM
As I said above, the difference between Stabilized Rice Bran and Raw Rice Bran is a big deal. Those the go to the extra effort to use Stabilized Rice Bran always use that term. If it just says "Rice Bran" I assume that it is raw.
As to the question of Parboiled Rice Bran. That does have a more extended life that raw will have, perhaps a month or so. The difference between that and Stabilized Rice Bran is in the vitamin levels, particulary Vitamin E (which is kept in the Stabilization process and also lost quickly in raw bran). Those are essentually distroyed in the parboiling process. The fat level and protein levels do survive mostly intact.
Parboiled is not raw. I guess you have never eaten Ike salad.
I've never heard of parboiled rice bran until now. Very interesting! What exactly is it? Cooking it before feeding it? Why does the stabilization of rice bran make it so much more expensive? $43 for a 40lb bag vs a 50lb bag of full fat rice bran for $11.99 it use to be $9.99 but like everything else .. it went up. Just curious. I'm not doubting your information on the potential of raw being rancid, I'm just trying to understand it. I was told that stabilized rice bran loses nutritional value during the stabilizing process and the added calcium carbonate actually hinders the digestive system from absorbing any nutrients. Don't shoot the messenger. This is just what I've been told by a few folks who do not believe in feeding commercial feeds, supplements or grain.
want2chase3 - 2022-08-05 2:48 PM
The difference in price is the difference in a fully functional food ingredient and a waste product. Everything involved is different. Rice bran that is going to be stabilized is much cleaner and more pure than raw bran. That is why Stabilized Rice Bran commonly has a fat level of over 20% and raw rice bran is often only 14%. The difference is how much rice hull, starch and milling junk is allowed to be in the raw rice bran that goes out to the waste pile to be picked up for cow feed, or for cheap filler in some horse feeds. Food grade requires conveying equipment that is cleaned daily, storage facilities that are clean and sealed from outside contamination, and stabilization equipment that has to actually be present in the mill so that the bran is stabilized right off of the mill line. Remember, raw rice bran goes rancid in eight to twelve hours, so there is no time to move it to someplace else to be stabilized. If properly stabilized the nutrient value is preserved, not lost. As the fat goes rancid in raw bran, oxidation distroys the super high vitamin E levels naturally present in rice bran along with a number of other valuble nutrients. This does not happen in Stabilized Rice Bran.
In reality, calcium is only added to straight rice bran because people are trained to look for a balanced cal/phos level, and adding calcium does this. Because Stabilized Rice Bran is fed at such low levels, the amount of calcium that is added contributes less difference to the overall diet than how big a flake of hay you grab when you feed does. This practice began years ago because it was just easier than explaining this to customers every time the cal/phos question came up. In addition, there simply is not enough added calcium to affect the absorbtion of anything positive or negative when the entire daily diet is considered. Cal/Phos ratio is important, but Calciium added to Stabilized Rice Bran when a 20+ pound diet per day is fed is not a factor. This is an example of people looking at a tiny factor rather than the what should be done, which is consider the entire daily diet.
Simply put, if you do not believe in feeding Stabilized Rice Bran, just don't feed it. The value has been well proven over the years, that is why almost every major premium feed manufacturer uses it in some of their higher effeciency formulations. But, there is a lot of wrong information out there, and these were a few examples. (not shooting the customer here at all, and I am glad you brought this up). I am just saying that all rice bran is not the same, and the raw, waste product version should not be confused with the properly stabilized version.
I still compare this to hay. If you are willing to feed hay that has already been through the horse, it will be somewhat cheaper than premium quality hay.
Thank you for the explanation. It's a wonder where some of the information comes from and gets passed on probably diluted or enhanced along the way lol. I'm glad to have the information. I don't take issue paying a bit more for a quality product, you get what you pay for. I think I may take issue if a feed company is charging a premium for less than premium feed using cheap fillers. I'll be looking at some feed tags this afternoon.
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