Re: Why is iron added to supplments and feed

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

Hi Susan,

Good example of why label guarantee "minimum" may not at all resemble what's actually in there.

DCP - dicalcium phosphate - is a supplemental form of calcium and phosphorus which is well known to be heavily contaminated with iron.  The claim the calcium and phosphorus are absorbed but not the iron doesn't make much sense.

All forms of iron are dissolved in stomach acid, releasing the iron. There are numerous accounts of zoo animals and birds becoming iron overloaded on commercial diets and pellets heavily "contaminated" with iron from processing.

There are no/zero/nada studies on the availability of different iron forms/souces in horses. None. No one can say that any form of iron is not absorbed. We do know that access to dirt is important in avoiding iron deficiency in foals and piglets yet dirt contains primarily iron forms that are often said to be unavailable. There has NEVER been a case of iron deficiency documented in a horse over the age of 1 but iron overload is common in adults, and increases with age.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

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