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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Dear Dr. Getty -

In your recent reply to Harry Hutchings regarding feed recommendations, you mentioned several feeds including "Safe Choice" by Nutrena, "Safe and Sound" by Acco, and "Purina Ultium." Do you know what protein percentages these feeds contain and whether any of them are free of alfalfa? I have one horse who is extremely sensitive to alfalfa. Thank you.

Where are you from? Wimberley, Texas

How did you locate this forum? google

Re: feed

Hi Jean,

If my memory serves me correctly, the Safe Choice is a 12% protein and the Ultium, 14%. I would need to look up the food label to make certain. This percentage is not of great concern to me. I generally feed between 12 and 16% protein. And, the percentage on a food label is "crude protein" which simply tells you "percent nitrogen." It says absolutely nothing about the quality of a protein. So, I am far more concerned about the ingredients than the amount of nitrogen in a feed.

Having said that, these feeds do contain alfalfa. Alfalfa is an excellent roughage source that balances out the protein profile to create a high quality protein. That is why these feeds are worthwhile.

I'm not sure what you mean by "sensitive to alfalfa." But, if you wish to avoid it (which is generally not necessary), then you won't want to offer these feeds. You'd be better off mixing your own feed -- say beet pulp, flaxseed meal, and a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement and you've got a worthwhile mixture of quality ingredients.

Hope this is helpful!

All the best,

Dr. Getty