Re: Testing of feeds - was Carb Guard vs TC Lite (NSC)

Eleanor Kellon, VMD <drkellon@...>

We already have a database of commercial feed results. Managing the
funds is a major issue - time, IRS hoops to jump through.
Personally, I think the easiest way to do it might be an "Adopt a
Feed" program. Anyone willing to contribute to the effort could let
us know and when someone identifies a feed that looks promising we
can notify one or more people on the list of sponsors and you can
send the money directly to the testing lab.

Testing of feeds by sampling a single bag has its pros and cons
though. As someone already mentioned, it's going to vary from batch
to batch unless the company is committed to only including
ingredients that fall below a given S/S value. To meet that goal,
they have to test their raw ingredients before they formulate and
mix each batch.

The validity of a sample's results depend on how representative it
is. For hays, coring and mixing as many cores as possible will give
you the most accurate overall picture of what your horse is eating.
The same holds true for feeds. If all the individual ingredients are
below X% S/S, it's a given that the final product will be too, but
testing each and every ingredient is expensive. Next best is the
equivalent of sampling multiple bales - batch testing. In batch
testing, multiple samples are pulled from the finished product,
pooled and a sample taken from that. When you consider that there
are 7+ million horses in this country, if their average feed intake
was even as low as 1 pound per day (way too low I'm sure), that's
2.555 BILLON pounds of feed being produced every year. Even if the
amount of feeds we might be interested in is only 1 million pounds,
you can see how difficult it would be to get a truely representative
analysis by sampling a single bag, or 20, or 100.....

As understanding and research evolves, we may see a complete
overhaul/refinement of how testing is done, to include such things
as available (digestible) starch and analysis of specific sugars -
glucose, fructose, sucrose. For now, we can only focus on general
guidelines we have already found to work (recognizing there are
individual differences) and try to put pressure on the feed
companies to meet our needs by including the information we need in
their GUARANTEED analysis. Every state's Ag Dept has a feed testing
program which checks for accuracy of guaranteed ingredient levels.
If we can push for sugar/starch as a guaranteed maximum, the states
will take over testing and enforcement. For now, focusing our
energies on demanding this information, both sugar and starch, from
companies that are claiming to have low, safe, etc. carb feeds is
likely to be the most productive. Keep the pressure on!


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