This table lists the bio-availability of the various feeds used for additional protein in horses, but they are based on human studies. Therefore, values that have a range are because of different information available.
The bio-availability of proteins can vary between horses and even in one horse, depending on factors such as gut inflammation and fasting. I think it safe to assume that horses with gut inflammation or who are on medications (especially proton pump inhibitors – ulcer medication) will have a reduced absorption and bio-availability of proteins. In addition, horses in a carbohydrate dependency state (fed sugar every day of the year) will also be self-consuming their proteins (top line loss). Feeding excessive amounts of proteins may also cause the horse to convert the fed proteins into sugar in the gut when the amount of daily carbohydrates over needs is not reduced.
This list shows you that not all proteins are absorbed equally in testing conditions. Therefore, feeding the best quality protein (no hulls, no fiber, no sugar, no oils) with the best bio-availability AND offering several protein sources will give your horses the best chance of absorbing all the amino acids to produce a great top line, a robust immune system, and a strong connective tissue system.
|Dried Split Peas||65%|
|Grass and Legume Hay||50 – 56%|
|Hemp Seeds||33 – 87%|