Protein Sources For Horses (blog)
This table lists the variety of commercial protein sources available for horses. The ingredients often change so be sure to read the label for the most accurate ingredients. This list was updated December 2020 and I will not be updating it in the future (too much work). I leave it up to you to investigate.
I still believe that feeding soybean meal alone is your best bet because:
- it is a natural source of all the essential amino acids.
- It is from the legume family like alfalfa, clover, birdsfoot trefoil, etc – all horses eat with few having bad reactions to.
- It is used in ALL of the commercial feeds listed here as well as almost all other feeds
- As an ingredient, it is the least expensive
- As an ingredient, there are no added ingredients that inflame the gut
Other natural sources of protein are pea protein and hemp protein though they do not have the safety and efficacy track record of soybean meal in horses.
|Protein Product||Percent Protein||Protein Sources||Suspect Ingredients||Unnecessary Ingredients|
|ProAdd Ultimate (no longer available)
|55%||whey concentrate, dried whey||flaxseed, vegetable oil||added AA’s, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, choline chloride|
|60%||Whey protein concentrate, spray dried whey, spray dried egg||wheat gluten, flaxseed, vegetable oil, rice bran oil||yeast extract, AA’s flavorings|
|Top-Line Advance Support
|65%||man-made amino acids||flaxseed, wheat gluten, rice bran oil||AA’s, betaine, flavorings|
|Pro Advantage Grass Formula (no longer available)
|30%||soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal||wheat middlings, maize distillers dried grains w/ solubles, beet pulp, lignin sulfonate, soybean oil||CaCO3, minerals, vitamins, choline chloride, probiotics, flavorings|
|25%||soybean meal, dried whey, dehydrated alfalfa meal||corn, hominy feed, feeding oatmeal, vegetable oil, linseed meal||CaCO3, vitamins, minerals, Fenugreek, Anise (licorice) flavoring|
|25%||soybean meal, dried whey, dehydration alfalfa meal||hominy feed, feeding oatmeal, linseed meal, vegetable oil||CaCO3, choline chloride, vitamins, minerals, fenugreek, anise flavoring|
|80%||whey protein concentrate||none||none|
|Equine Platinum Performance
|21%||whey protein concentrate||flaxseed, flax oil, rice bran, sunflower seeds, cane molasses||vitamins, minerals, AA’s|
Life Data Labs
|32%||soy protein concentrate, dehydrated alfalfa meal||none||Lecithin, AA’s, vitamins, minerals|
|Whey Protein Isolate Powder
|90%||whey protein isolate||none||none|
|100%||lysine, methionine, threonine. (no other amino acids)||lab-made amino acids||AA’s|
|32%||dehulled soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal||wheat middlings, soybean oil, rice bran oil||CaCO3, AA’s, yeast, vitamins, minerals|
|30% Ration Balancer
|30%||soybean meal||wheat middlings, ground flaxseed, stabilized rice bran, kelp meal, lecithin, soybean oil, cane molasses||AA’s, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antacids, flavorings, preservatives|
|Gro ’N Win Ration Balancer
|32%||dehulled soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal||wheat middlings, heat processed soybeans, maize distillers dried grains, flaxseed||CaCO3, AA’s, vitamins, minerals, yeast|
|Enrich Plus Ration Balancing
|32%||unlisted ingredients on the website (see the blog “Betrayal” where a feed tag from 2018 is displayed)||unlisted ingredients||vitamins, minerals, prebiotic fiber|
|Super Sport Amino Acid Supplement
|40%||dehulled soybean meal, soy protein concentrate, dried whey protein concentrate, alfalfa meal||wheat middlings, cane molasses||CaCO3, AA’s, vitamins, minerals, flavorings|
|28%||dehulled soybean meal, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dried whey||ground extruded soybeans, wheat middlings, flaxseed, cane molasses, soybean oil||CaCO3, lignan sulfonate, AA’s, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, bentonite, flavorings|
|Empower® Topline Balance Ration Balancer
|30%||dehulled soybean meal||Wheat Middlings, Corn Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles, Corn Gluten Feed, Corn Germ Meal, etc||Vitamins, minerals, probiotics|
Notes and legend:
- AA = Amino Acids from synthesis (man-made).
- Anise seed – licorice flavoring has shown to be the favorite flavoring in trials with horses.
- Bentonite – a clay used as a binder and absorbent to increase shelf life. Also used as a laxative when prescribed.
- Betaine – derived from sugar beets it is an amino acid derivative.
- CaCO3 – calcium carbonate – the calcium used in antacids such as “Tums.”
- Choline chloride – is a growth stimulant used mostly in poultry feed.
- Lignan sulfonate – an antioxidant in flame retardants and animal feed, derived from wood pulp production, the main ingredient in plaster, concrete, and sheetrock and used for dust control on dirt roads.
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