Why is iron added to supplments and feed


Susan Vaughan
 

Dr. Kellon - thank you.
With your above post and some research I've recently done* - it all hit home. 
 
Pelleted feed.  Say it again.  Commercial pelleted feed.
(what I avoided since 2004 until getting a skinny kill pen horse).      

Last week I saw a new ration balancer on the market.  Tribute's Whole Blends Balancer.  *
No soy.  No added iron.   (No Fe's).  (No DiCal Phosphate - but MonoCal Phosphate - the latter less iron perhaps?). 

I love the idea of ration balancers (as concentrated feed) but in practice? 
I read the label.     
Max NSC 15%.     (ugh)  
I shot off an email with reply: starch max 5% and iron 175 ppm.     (min, average or max no idea).
I looked at the ingredients - and the picture of the balancer.
Looks like handfuls of oats thrown in the bags.
Food item by food item (peas !) I checked on Dairy One.  
All comparatively low in iron.
Oats (horrors):  (and approximates asf:)
Iron  115 ppm
Copper 7 ppm
Zinc 33 ppm

Hmmm.   Looks close to 10:1:3 for Fe:Cu:Zn
But for the starch......

So many of us wonder - why over the past years so many horses go metabolic?  More cases of founder.

Back in the day horses were fed COB and probably worked hard enough to offset the starch.  ??
They were fed whole grains - perhaps home grown - unprocessed.
Not iron overloaded.?    Rarely a horse Dx'd as EMS then founder?    

Now horses are worked less and fed commercial pelleted feeds.  
The pelleting process adds iron that is probably absorbed. 
More iron added as ferrous whatevers and more iron "hidden" in ingredients most people don't know what they are.
Much less they contain iron and iron should be a concern.

The humble whole oat.     What horses were fed for centuries and seemingly did well on.

We traded whole grains for pelleted feeds and where did that get us?
Less starch.   More iron.

Pondering.  Best,
Susan and Remy in Houston
Member since 2004 for Halima Two and then my dearest Rab.   


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

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Susan Vaughan
 

Reading this with great interest - wanted to chime in.
I tested with EA the Pro Elite Grass Advantage last month - Nov 2020.
Two different bags:
Results (ppm):

Iron 1650
Copper 161
Zinc  470

Iron 1550
Copper 162
Zinc 490

The bags list min. guarantees of Iron/Copper/Zinc as 700 / 200/ 600

I asked a rep at Cargill about the (much) higher than expected iron content. 
I was told it was most probably from the Dicalcium Phosphate.  (per their nutritionist).
That the DCP was not digested or absorbed by horses but would show up on tests.  

I have the test results and could email if ECIR wants it in the files. 

Above posts mention "supplemental".   
Does that mean supplements added in feeds - or supplements we buy to add to our feeds?   
Also, Is "machinery iron" thought to be absorbed by horses?    And messes with other minerals?  

Best to you all,   (especially Dr Kellon for her years of hard work /  helping so many horses and people).
Susan and Remy in Houston
(member since 2004 for Halima Two)





Maria Duran
 

Thanks Dr. Kellon.
--
María Durán Navarro 
Dec 2017
Madrid (Spain)

Plutón´s Case History
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_._,_._,_


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

We don't know because it hasn't been studied but I've never seen a horse try to eat a  mouthful of dirt from a packed  dry lot compared to a field.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Maria Duran
 

Yes Dr. Kellon, I remember that, it is mentioned in some of your courses, that´s why I asked if it would be the same for a foal living outside an eating from the ground 24/7 even if what he eats is just hay or hay/milk. In other words, are the foal supplements added iron just in case the foal is living most of the time in a stall or is there any real need for it even if living outside and eating from the ground?

--
María Durán Navarro 
Dec 2017
Madrid (Spain)

Plutón´s Case History
Plutón´s Photo Album
_._,_._,_


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

P.S.  The soil factor in foal anemia is supported by the fact that anemia is extremely common in baby pigs commercially raised on concrete and can be prevented by giving them access to pans of dirt.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Stabled foals developed anemia even when fed grasses from the same field where nonanemic foals were turned out. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2001.tb01579.x?sid=nlm%3Apubmed .  I have to wonder if exercise level is involved here because horses in training do absorb more iron but not sure free turn out in foals is the same as forced training.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Maria Duran
 

Thansks Dr. Kellon for both answers, still not clear about the need for iron in this case. Can I ask why only in pasture wouldn´t be needed? Is not iron hay content enough for foals? The same for the milk? I am just trying to understand it because a foal in nature will not get supplemented iron so I guess it is coming either from the milk, from the pasture or from both.

--
María Durán Navarro 
Dec 2017
Madrid (Spain)

Plutón´s Case History
Plutón´s Photo Album
_._,_._,_


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Probably not with pasture, but rearing conditions vary greatly and not all foals are raised on pasture.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

It's highly variable, from a couple ppm extra up to a high as much s 1000 ppm.  However, you have to look at in the context of the whole diet.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Maria Duran
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 05:40 PM, Eleanor Kellon, VMD wrote:
Don't forget Uckele. They removed iron from all supplements except the ones  aimed at growing animals.
Would you say for a growing horse either in a mixed nutrition of mother´s milk and hay or hay/pasture alone eaten from the soil, added iron in supplements is still needed?

Thank you very much.
 
--
María Durán Navarro 
Dec 2017
Madrid (Spain)

Plutón´s Case History
Plutón´s Photo Album
_._,_._,_


Maria Duran
 

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 04:00 PM, Eleanor Kellon, VMD wrote:
Iron overload in many zoo species has been traced to iron from eating p0rocessed (e.g. pellets) foods - the major source of elevated iron in their diets and it wasn't from supplemental added iron. This includes rhinos and tapirs, close cousins of the horse with the same digestive tract design.
Dr. Kellon, do you know approximately how much iron is expected to find per kg in a processed pelleted food coming from the machinery? Would you advice to avoid if possible pelleted concentrates for uncontrolled IR/PPID horses?

Thank you.

 
--
María Durán Navarro 
Dec 2017
Madrid (Spain)

Plutón´s Case History
Plutón´s Photo Album
_._,_._,_


 

My postulation was actually not nearly as kind as Heidi’s.  I was suggesting that they may be adding iron intentionally as some sort of ‘justification’ of that they cannot remove.  I realize this is slightly off the wall but not completely impossible.  As of a few weeks ago, I am related by marriage to the owner of a big west coast feed company.  Not having attended the wedding, I may have missed my chance, but I’m hoping my sister, who was MOG and did not miss the wedding, can be inspired to make the connection for me somehow.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo


 
 


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Iron overload in many zoo species has been traced to iron from eating p0rocessed (e.g. pellets) foods - the major source of elevated iron in their diets and it wasn't from supplemental added iron. This includes rhinos and tapirs, close cousins of the horse with the same digestive tract design.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Nancy C
 
Edited

Hi Heidi and Martha
it's not added intentionally, but is inadvertantly added in processing.
Respectfully,  I recommend that this cannot be taken for granted.

They may no longer be adding and iron. They have in the past. It is not evident on the web site. Anyone who has a label (I do not) can check for iron or "ferrous" in the listed ingredients.

A check of our tested feeds library shows results of iron in the 800s. The tests were from several years ago. IME, this would indicated added iron. Feeds that do not have added iron usually test in the 300s.  This is from processing. As Dr Kellon has pointed out, there is no evidence or research showing it is not bioavailable, so needs to be considered when balancing.
 

--
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2019-2020
Join us at the 2020 NO Laminitis! Conference, October 22 - 25, Harrisburg, PA


Heidi Wright
 

Martha, I agree with your thoughts on processing iron.  I spoke to a Triple Crown nutritionist once and they said that it's not added intentionally, but is inadvertantly added in processing.  I think that may be the case for many companies.

Heidi
--
Heidi Wright
joined Aug 15, 2018
5130 State Route 38
Malta, IL  60150
815-761-2341

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Heidi%20and%20Skyler 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=69604


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Don't forget Uckele. They removed iron from all supplements except the ones  aimed at growing animals.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001


Nancy C
 
Edited

I'm glad you brought this up again, Eleanor.

There have been some successes with feed manufacturers in removing added iron. Ontario Dehy, Stabul1 have been listening to this group for years.  It is but one reason why they are so well supported.

Back in 2008, our northeast regional feed, Poulin started adding iron at the recommendation of their nutritionist. A group of us from some half-dozen states got together and wrote to them, sent them our hay analysis and finally convinced them the iron sulfate and proteinate were not needed. This was accomplished over the objections of their nutritionist.

https://ecir.groups.io/g/main/topic/1028960#104672

TC has been an ECIR Group Benefactor in the past.

I was mistaken in reporting earlier my thought that TC had been sold. It appears they just changed the manufacturing chain. Rob Daugherty is still in control. He encourages folks to write to him.  https://www.triplecrownfeed.com/letterfromourfounder/

I can get my hands on a couple of hundred hay tests from around the US, that could be submitted as evidence that iron is not needed in the equine diet. It would require a level-headed volunteer to pick up the reins to lead the campaign.

--
Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President/Treasurer  2019-2020
Join us at the 2020 NO Laminitis! Conference, October 22 - 25, Harrisburg, PA


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

This is still eating at me - which is nothing new since I've been on this crusade  for almost 4 decades.

I still say the only way to deal with it is with facts, lay person or not. People, including nutritionists, talk about horses and iron as if they were humans or rats. They're not. Omnivores handle iron differently from studied herbivores (horses not completely studied) and different from carnivores. True carnivores, like cats, don't even store iron in their livers and bone marrow. Getting back to horses, yes, they are indeed uninformed. In addition to the IR paper, there is Dr. Theelen's study which I'd bet anything they haven't read. I'll put it in the files here. I corresponded with him after his first presentation and have a copy of the final approved manuscript. Furthermore, I would challenge any feed representative at any level from any feed company to produce the research that justifies adding iron to equine feeds and supplements. It doesn't exist.

There was a time when everyone believed the world was flat..........
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com  2 for 1 course sale until January 31, 2020
EC Owner 2001