Going soy free?
Not sure why I have a bee in my bonnet about this all of a sudden (except maybe the winter blues?), but I am wondering if I should try taking my horses off any feed with soy in it and see what happens? Not that any of them are getting alot of soy but...
Have one 11 yr old arab chestnut mare, no special needs, she currently gets about a pound of Purina sr active healthy edge. One 24 yr old arab mare, possibly ir/pre cushings, so I treat her as tho she is ir. also only gets about 1 lb/day of the purina sr active. Both mares are on a straight grass hay diet and get flax seed and equipride (when I can afford it - its pricey!).
Have one 8 yr old TB gelding. He gets about 2 lb/day of the purina sr active, plus other supps. He probably has neck arthritis, but my vet doesn't want to do injections yet so... but the neck issues seem to be manifesting as a difficulting in holding rt lead canter. he gets half grass hay, half alfalfa.
Having done some reading and seeing some people think soy can interfere with thyroid (not good for my older maybe ir mare) and may have phytoestrogens (not good for the chestnut mare!), and may inferere with absorbtion/utilization of amino acids (not good for the tb who can't hold right lead canter), makes me wonder if I should get it out of the diet even tho they don't eat much of it. don't know how much is enough to cause problems? Or is soy fine for horses and some people are just jumping on the hysteria bandwagon?
am thinking of replacing hte purina sr with a tim/alf blend pellet and some pelleted rice bran, along with the flax seed and equipride they already get (except my TB, he WILL NOT eat the equipride grrr).
Any thoughts are appreciated, I think I am in the middle of a winter funk and this is a good thing to worry on.
My mare is sensitive to soy. She was a raging, hormonal lunatic when I was giving her the Progressive ration balancer, which is soy based. It was so bad that she had a sticky, gooey, smelly mess stuck to her back legs and in her tail. Her cycles seemed endless. I was boarding at a place that did not have access to warm water, which was the only thing that would remove it. Since it was below 20 degrees for several weeks, I was quite frustrated.
It took about 3 weeks of being off of soy for her to go back to regular, normal cycles. She has not had the gooey stuff, since. :D
I switched to a flax based vit. min. suppliment. Of course, KER just came out with some testing which showed that flax has been shown to produce IR in some horses. My mare was tested with low thyroid last summer. She is on Thyro-L. Now, I am wondering if the flax caused it? :o
I can see trying it if you legitimately think there is a reason to, but . . . wow. Are you really THAT bored that you'd want to adopt this kind of project just for the heck of it? I am bemused, always, by the huge assumptions that soy is bad for all or most horses. Flax, which enjoys HUGE popularity, has almost as many phytoestrogen properties as soy, but these are given a pass or even considered a GOOD thing when it comes from flax. Very confusing. I don't think "soy problems" can really be boiled down that easily to "hormone effects". It is a lot more complicated than that, and I think much of the time what is being fed is simply TOO MUCH, and what's in concentrates is only of secondary importance. Just $0.02 worth--other than true allergic-type sensitivity, I'm not convinced, personally that flax and soy are a whole lot different in terms of potential "hormonal effects".
Deltawave - yes i AM that bored!!!! Have a seriously bad case of winter blues. And I am out of feed and have to buy this weekend so if I was going to try something different this would be a good time.
I did NOT know that flax has phytoestrogenic properties, not at all. Will research that tonight. Cause I use a fair bit of flax, a cup a day, plus whats in their pelleted feed.
SAving a little money on hay pellets vs pelleted feed would be a nice side benefit, but only if my horses arent going to suffer for it.
anyone out there tried copra meal? Elk Grove milling is making a hay pellet with copra meal added in or you can buy it separate at feed store and add it in. I wonder if it will be the next flax/boss/rice bran/food of the month?
I think chia seeds are still enjoying "nutritional flavor of the month" yet. :lol: (and yup . . . phytoestrogens in those, too) ;) IMO "everything in moderation" is still a fantastic motto for making nutritional choices, with obvious exceptions like allergies, etc.
Honestly, at one or two pounds of the Purina feed a day, it's probably not going to make much of a difference either way, but you'd probably be better off switching to the hay pellet and adding a vit/min. The recommended amount of most concentrates is five pounds a day, so you're not meeting the recommended amounts with any of your guys anyway. If you want to go soy free, try the hay pellets and Equipride. Can't hurt.
I am a big soy free convert. I was a big non-believer (just thought it was another feed "fad") but when I started having behavioral issues with high soy feeds (Fibergized, TC Senior) I switched and have been a happy camper ever since.
McCauley's makes a soy free ration balancer (M10) and I am curious to try it (we just picked up a dealer in Ocala).
I LOVVEEEE my Equipride but I'm always looking to try a more economical option. Twice I've switched off and twice I've switched back, so we'll see how the M10 works out. :)
It's really easy to go soy free. Equipride (or M10 or complete vit/min) + beet pulp/rice bran/hay pellets/oats. Pick your favorite combo. ;)
DeltaWave, I was surprised what you said about flax. I thought nahh. But I looked it up and you are totally 100% right. I never knew. Now I do. Thanks.
Today is the 31st, the last day of the month, is there any way I can find out what the next flavor of the month is in advanced. I have one more feeding to chia seeds. :-)) I am wringing my hands over what it is to be. !!
I have a mare who is also sensitive to soy. Thank goodness she isn't with flax. Whereas I also feed equipride (which does have flax in it) and hay pellets or bp. I have one horse on it, so price is not an issue. I am just happy there is something out there with no soy. I do like the equipride quite a bit, and she does too.
I am leary of trying anything new, in a bag/box, from a feedmill. I have no idea what was run on the belt before, or what could have by mistake gotten into the bag. ie soy. I do know from buying grain over the decades, each bag is not identical to the other one.
General soy question?
Not to high jack this thread... But can somebody explain what is supposedly wrong with soy? I was very into equine nutrition a few years ago and don't remember soy being discussed. I have seen frequent references to "soy problems or issues" recently. Maybe point me to reputable articles or studies? Or even just anecdotal info?
My mare is prone to an odd yeasty thrush infections – had tried many topical things, changed feed around – but she was always on a ration balancer that had soy.
I tried taking her off of RB for a good 6+ months, hoping it would possibly be the cause of the hoof issues. Fed rice bran / vitamin mineral supplement / alfalfa pellets instead.
It didn’t make a difference in her feet, and she wasn’t keeping the same glowing coat / healthy condition that she had on the RB. Went back to the RB, no change in feet, but over all condition improved.
In short, removing soy did not do anything special for my horse.
The biggest issue I have with soy is its GMO, plus its HIGHLY chemically sprayed, and yes even a little feed will have all those chemicals and yes, your horses will get them.
I dont feed soy, or corn, and my horse is healthy and fat. Too fat right now, he's having a good winter vacation, my tb looks like those chunky qh halter stallions with better conformation. Oy.
I skimmed too fast, but copra is ideal for maintaining or having a horse loose weight, I tried it as a fattener, as well as some other ottb friends, and they lost weight on it.
We have a mare who hadn't had a foal in several years yet she continued to lactate. We decided to eliminate the soy in her diet (she really got very little) and the lactation stopped within 1 week. About a month later her udder went back to normal sized. She still has raging heat cycles where she tears down fences, I think I will take the flax out of her diet too and see if it makes any difference.
I have one that I found out the hard way is sensitive to soy. It was very easy to switch to alfalfa pellets or cubes, rice bran, and smartvite. Since she would occasionally find the feed bin and grab enough to turn her into a whack-job, I just switched everyone to soy-free. I don't think it made any difference to the little ones, but it did for the mare. But her issues were behavioral, stereotypical mare stuff.
I thought mine was sensitive to soy but it actually turned out to be the flax. Relief for me because the soy free diet was way more difficult to get weight on him and get him to eat. He doesn't have any issues with the small amount of flax in the TC Senior but the extra I had been griding and giving him was actually doing him no favors. And here I thought it was a good thing.
I started using M-10 about four months ago. My mare's coat has never looked better. I highly recommend it.
Soy "issues" tend to group themselves like this:
1. True allergy/intolerance, where the exposed animal (or person) can get rashes, GI distress, etc. even with small exposures. This, IMO, is the real deal but can be hard to sort out.
2. A potential "estrogen" effect, which requires exposure to more than minute amounts, is probably dose-dependent, and may also be confounded by the fact that overfeeding ANY feed, if it makes an animal FAT, can increase production of sex hormones. Fat animals have more estrogen than lean ones, even if they're soy free, to put it simply.
3. Concerns about soy being a GMO, which are varied, personal, and far too complicated for one simple paragraph. :)
As of two weeks ago, my horses are completely soy free. I suspected sensitivities in both my horses for different reasons.
One is an aged TB gelding who was displaying agitated/over-sensitive behavior. Treating for pain and ulcers did not help. Moving him home to a low-key, stress-free environment did not help. So I started thinking outside the box.
The other is a fatty WB mare who's always been very sensitive, overly marish, is prone to fat pads, history of expressing "milk" in the past, etc. She has always seemed like the poster child for soy sensitivity. Truthfully, I kept her on a ration balancer all these years partly out of convenience and partly out of disbelief that a mere pound of ration balancer could be the trigger.
It's only been two weeks, so I don't have much to report. I HAVE seen positive behavior improvements in my TB-- I can't tell you conclusively it's from the feeding change, but he's definitely more relaxed. It's like I got my old horse back again. :)
Fat mare is still fat, possibly even fatter. That may be because our weather has been cruddy and she does nothing but eat hay 24/7. :lol: I haven't seen any changes in her personality yet, if I will at all...
Well I think I am going to try it for a month and see if I see any diference, either positive or negative. anyone want to help me design a ration?
My mares don't need the calories, they get lunch so a - put supp's in and b - they have something to eat in middle of day. My TB prob does need the calories, not that he gets that much (as compared to what some people are feeding!).
I was thinking for the mares:
handfull alfalfa meal (its sticky to hold onto the powder supps)
1 cup flax (or could it be less since they will get equipride?)
4 cups tim/alf pellets
for my TB
alfalfa meal (same reason as above)
1 cup flax
1 - 2 cups Nutrena empower boost
as much tim/alf pellets as it takes to fill the gal ziplock bag.
I was toying with the idea of adding a little copra meal since people are saying it is good for hindgut maintenance and my old mare is on daily previcox, and the TB is ...welll.... a tb so potentially ulcer prone. Any thoughts?
I would give my tb equipride but he.won't.eat.it. Altho I can try adding a spoonful at a time and see if I can build it up.
Thanks DW. I'm reevaluating my whole feeding routine and thought I may as well ask about the soy issues. Both of my TB geldings get soy via TC Senior and TC Complete. Neither one falls in category 1. Both are geldings and neither one is fat, so category 2 seems irrelevant. (Yes, I know that estrogen can impact males but neither one of my boys is girly! :winkgrin::winkgrin:) And the GMO issue isn't an issue for me and I'll stop at that!
Originally Posted by deltawave
Glad I can leave soy off my list of things to worry about. Back to the hay conundrum - but that requires me to start a new thread.
Can't hurt to try! I got my horses to eat Equipride by starting with small amounts mixed in well with wet food.
Originally Posted by arabiansrock
Quick question-- what's copra meal? I've never even heard of that!