Q&A: How Does Purina Deliver Consistent Nutrition for Your Horse in Every Bag?

Nutrition : General Nutrition

Nutrition : Ingredients & Nutrients

Karen E. Davison, Ph.D.

Director, Nutritionist, Equine Technical Solutions

Your horse has nutrient requirements to feel, look and perform his best – not ingredient requirements.

As a result, it’s important to pay close attention to what nutrients are in your horse’s feed and where those nutrients are sourced.

Q: What information can I get from my horse feed tag?You get what you formulate for. Constant Nutrition<sup>®</sup> compensates for natural nutrient variability in ingredients.

A: Look at the purpose statement on the tag to decide whether the product is appropriate for the age and activity level of your horse.
But the feed label only tells you so much. For example, you would think two products with 14 percent protein and 6 percent fat would be the same feed, but these feeds may be very different because they are using different formulation strategies.

Q. What are fixed or least-cost formulas?

A. “Least-cost” formulations allow a manufacturer to adjust and even switch out ingredients based on cost if the formula still meets the guaranteed analysis. However, changing ingredients can dramatically change how the diet affects the horse. Let’s look at soybean meal and cottonseed meal. These two ingredients have similar crude protein levels, but cottonseed meal doesn’t provide the same quality of protein (i.e. amino acid composition) to support growth as soybean meal.

Major changes in ingredients can also change palatability or cause digestive upset.

“Fixed” or “locked” formulations always use the same ingredients in the same amounts. These terms sound convenient and accurate, but all ingredients – even high-quality ones – vary in nutritional content.

For instance, not all oats have the same protein or mineral content from region to region or from one growing season to the next. As such, the nutrients in every bag will vary.

At Purina, we do it differently. We use a Constant Nutrition® feed formulation strategy to ensure your horse always gets the most consistent nutrition possible – and you get exactly what you pay for.

Q. What is the difference between Purina’s Constant Nutrition® horse feed formulation strategy and fixed or least-cost formulas?

Our Constant Nutrition® formulation is a key component of our Purina® FeedGuard® Nutrition System. This strategy provides consistent, reliable nutrition in every bag of premium Purina horse feed.

We set stringent quality standards for ingredients and buy only from suppliers who meet strict criteria. When ingredients arrive at our manufacturing facilities, we inspect them, sample them and analyze their nutrient levels. The Constant Nutrition® formulation is more accurate than using published book values or supplier averages.

We make very small adjustments in the amounts of ingredients utilized in the formula to maintain consistent nutrient concentrations in the finished product.

Find the right feed for your horse with our Feed Finder tool.