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Soy: Who Uses It With Success?

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  • Soy: Who Uses It With Success?

    This seems to be a heated subject, but I'm wondering who uses soy without seeing the bad side effects often mentioned here? From my understanding, it seems to be more an allergy/intolerance in some horses, while others do fine on it?

    My 2.5-y-o WB mare is on an RB, with added BOSS and roasted soybeans. This was from a recommendation of a friend, and was more a "quick fix" - I bought before I did a whole lot of research. I've found both good and bad information and reviews for BOSS and soybeans, and have decided to switch my mare to flax seed when the BOSS runs out for a better O3:O6 (that should be taken care of by the end of the month).

    The roasted soybean, I'm not entirely sure on though. My mare has been on this new diet for a little over 2 months now, and I've seen no bad side effects... she has gained the little weight that I wanted her to gain, and now that she's clipped and that nasty rain rot has been done away with, her coat underneath is shiny and healthy.

    So - if I don't see any negative changes in her, should I really be concerned about her soybean intake? Is it that she's not sensitive to it, or am I still "poisoning" her, without visible reactions?

    She only gets 2/3c of roasted soybean daily, so there's an awful lot left to throw it out for no reason...

  • #2
    I know a bunch of people that only feed roasted soybeans and good quality hay and their horses look just fine ...

    I dont know if I'd base an entire feed program around it but sure cant see the harm in adding it to existing feeds
    www.TrueColoursFarm.com
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    • #3
      My pregnant mare is on 2.5lb Progressive Grass Balancer - protein is from soy. She is great on it.

      When my WB gelding was 3-ish, I used Dynamite's HES - soybean meal-based. He was great on it. I tried a ration balancer on him (Triple Crown), with, again, the protein coming from soy, and within a couple of weeks, he developed fat pads behind his shoulders.

      What this tells me:
      Some horses can take it, some cannot
      Some horses can take it when in a certain state - for him, it was possibly the energy required to grow. For others, it may be hard enough work.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • #4
        Never had a problem with it, feeding many different horses with many different types of soy-containing feeds over many years.

        Some horses probably tolerate it poorly, just like some tolerate alfalfa, oats, corn, or other substances poorly. They probably should not get those things. But I don't think there is really anything particularly bad or unhealthy about soy in and of itself.
        Click here before you buy.

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        • #5
          I buy it in the 50 lb bags we grow our own, but it's a king sized PIA to roast and grind so I just buy it and let the mills do the work...and shhhhhhh don't tell, but I also keep a stock of dehydrated molasses on hand as well


          Tamara in TN
          Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
          I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

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          • #6
            I actually do use soy products for the horses that don't have an intolerance. It works well for them and I see no reason to stop. It does have it's benefits. Heated debate or not, I still won't condem a product just because certain horses can't handle soy.

            Just see how you go.

            Terri
            COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

            "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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            • #7
              If your horse is doing well, there's no reason to change. Each individual is going to react differently, and the nutritionists all agree that soy is a healthy protein choice for horses.

              I have one horse that is totally fine on a high soy RB; another that went totally nutzo bonkers on it after one week. Pulled him off the RB and he was a kitten two days later. I have since been feeding him a commercial feed with soy hulls, but no meal, and he's been fine with that, so I guess the RB was just soy overload for him.

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              • #8
                I don't know about feeding soybeans but the majority of us are feeding our horses soy in some form. It's almost impossible to avoid unless you feed straight beet pulp and oats or some other combo you put together yourself. So virtually all horses are eating some soy without issue.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home

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                • #9
                  I do add up to a cup of soy meal a day to some of my horses' feed when I want to up the protein
                  "Traditions are basically just peer pressure from dead people"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                    Never had a problem with it, feeding many different horses with many different types of soy-containing feeds over many years.

                    Some horses probably tolerate it poorly, just like some tolerate alfalfa, oats, corn, or other substances poorly. They probably should not get those things. But I don't think there is really anything particularly bad or unhealthy about soy in and of itself.
                    Same here, I feed 1 cup as a coat supplement and the 3 grains/RB that I feed are soy based protein. I think many times when nutritionists or others come up with a new theory people often jump on the bandwagon so to speak-some of those people probably have real problems, some have sensitivities, and some have no problems but are trying the diet anyway.

                    I can't remember her name, but one well liked COTHer has a horse with a legitimate extreme soy allergy. Maybe she will post here.
                    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
                    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
                    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
                    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.

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                    • #11
                      I have a mixed bag of horses - everything from an old retired horse to a air fern pony. I use soybean meal as a protein additive to those in real work to boost their % protein mildly. It's probably not even enough to really make a difference (1/4 cup/day) but I've not seen any behavioral issues on it.

                      I use flax seed for the oils...

                      RB's- it seems a common thread that these have cause horses to go "bonkers" and soy protein gets blamed. I've always considered these highly concentrated feeds yet people are directed (from what I've read) to feed 2 lbs of it. That's a whole lot of "powerfood" IMHO. Most of my horses get 2-3 lbs of plain old grain (oats/corn mix) - even the ones in (winter-light) work (TB event horses, BTW). They might go bonkers too, on 2 lbs of "high octane" feed - soy or not...

                      Just something that always makes me wonder.... (and yes, I do think some horses may very well be soy sensitive too)

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        If I'm only feeding 1/3c of roasted soybeans 2x daily, should I be upping my amount? This amount was again, a recommendation of a friend, and I've not found a whole lot of information on exactly how much to feed.

                        The mare is a 2.5-y-o WB, great attitude (not hot or flighty, extremely laid back and easy to work with), and on a RB, 2c BOSS daily (will be going to flaxseed; I use this additive for the added protein/fat/coat effects - she had nasty rain rot that I recently clipped away), and 2/3c roasted soybeans daily.

                        I am now mainly using the soy as an added protein source as she's a growing horse; originally I was also using it for the higher fat content as she needed to put on a little weight, however in the past two months she's gone from slightly ribby to perfect.

                        So, long story short, if I intend to use the soybeans for protein, how much is a good daily amount?

                        Thanks for the replies so far! Glad to see that I'm not the only one using it without problems (or apparent problems).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Cheaper to use straight lysine for this purpose - insignificant calories, probably the only thing lacking in terms of "protein". Total protein is just too uncommon a problem to be worried about protein in general. Lysine is much more likely to be the culprit

                          According to this
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soybean
                          soybeans have about 2.7gm lysine per a 3.5oz serving.

                          Pure Lysine (product) is, iirc, 6-7gm lysine in a serving (small small scoop) for literally a few pennies.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks JB, that's good to know.

                            In the mean time though, I do have quite a large amount of roasted soybeans left, so I might as well use them up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I do have a mare and her 2 daughters with a legitimate soy issue. I'm not going to list all the problems as it's been hashed to death. When my mare went away to her trainer I said I would be bringing her food. Only one product he used contained soy. At any rate that was all fine. One day barn help messed up and gave her the normal ration. Next day she went to be ridden and he couldn't ride one side of her with the head shaking. Instead of getting after my mare he stopped and asked barn help what she got fed the previous day. The soy food. She had to have a couple of days off to settle again. I goofed this summer and bought a bag of oats which I thought were just oats but were covered in soy oil. Next day same thing for me unrideable with the headshaking. Then I realized my mistake. When not on soy she never has an issue. I guess we could chalk it up to coincidence and I could spend loads of money for someone to tell me she does indeed have a real soy allergy, but this works fine for me.

                              At any rate, like I've said, I still use an RB and other foods with soy because it is very good at it's job. Thankfully I have other options for the horses that used to be condemed to life of a dry lot, soaked hay, and 1pd a day of a RB. No more IR symptoms and get to graze normally. So I can take the "oh just another soy crazy bat" because at least my horses are happy. Oh and this way my horses aren't on quite pricey IR meds either. As another side note, does not affect the geldings from the mare, only the fillies. So maybe not so much an intolerance or allegery but maybe the soy mixed with their hormonal somethiing or other. I don't know, just thankful they're happy.

                              Terri

                              Terri
                              COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                              "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                              • #16
                                - to the crazy soy peeps -
                                After reading a few soy threads - I suspect there may be more than one issue/problem that is seen w/ soy products. Therefore, it becomes a little confusing and/or impossible sounding.

                                From what I've gathered there are several possible problems with soy:
                                1) a real allergic reaction to the soy proteins. This would likely be most observed feeding whole soybeans (roasted to denature the protease inhibitor present in raw soybeans) or soybean meal (or products which contain it).
                                2) overfeeding a high protein or high octane food. What is recommended by the feed producer may not be what your horse really needs in part because the more you feed your horse, the more money they make.
                                3) sensitivity to the fat soluble phytoestrogens - aka plant hormones. this would be primarily found in the soybean oils.

                                Now there has been some discussion about phytoestrogens not being real estrogen. That's fine. No argument - but molecules do not necessarily have to 'look' like the molecule that they are mimicking in biology - all they have to do is interact/affect the receptor that is the target of the original hormone. I do not know if phytoestrogens have a biological effect similar to estrogen, which is the real question, IMHO.

                                Now, next question - are these potential effects common? I have no idea. I would hazard a guess that no, they are not - because otherwise feed companies would discontinue their use. Are the effects real - quite likely, given enough anecdotal evidence. But it would be very interesting to have someone really investigate this (on the biochemical level).

                                [really, I'm not trying to be a bossy know-it-all - I just find these threads rather compelling and interesting on a biochemical level so I ponder the problems]

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  No actually I appreciate your insight. Because in reality I don't have any answers, I just have my experiences which may be nothing or something. I wish there were some studies going on because I personally would like to know why this seems to affect the females in this particular family and not the males. And in my case it is 3 related horses. I wasn't just clutching at straws. The particular diet I have them on works well for them only. Tried the whole non soy thing with the others and they didn't do well. So they went back on the RB and I am happy for the ease of feeding with the RB.

                                  I did want to hate "evil soy" but then I realized I was being a tad silly. I do think it's rather funny how we get labled soy nut jobs yet gluten free people and the likes don't get labled nut jobs. I don't have a problem with gluten food and other things people do but I don't think their nut jobs. I don't shout, "just eat the wheat, it's all in your head nutjob!" But those same people will tell me it's all in my head with the soy. Nor does anyone seem to mind when horses have alfalfa issues or corn issues. Mention soy and Katie bar the door!

                                  Terri
                                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think millerra is SPOT ON. It is worth emphasizing that there is a very big difference between "allergy" and "intolerance".

                                    Allergies are typically manifested by rash, itching, GI upset, or specific symptoms.

                                    Intolerance can manifest in a lot of ways, including bad behavior, etc. to include some things (like GI symptoms, loose stool, etc.) that may overlap.

                                    Every SINGLE day I meet people who state categorically that they are "allergic" to things like codeine, aspirin, penicillin, etc. The nature of the allergy? "It upsets my stomach" or "it gave me a nosebleed" or "I got real sick" or "I don't remember"! This is NOT enough to designate true allergy. Intolerance, perhaps, but when you're contemplating using a drug that might have huge benefits, it's kind of important to know if the "allergy" was anaphylaxis or a tummy ache.

                                    It's also worth pointing out that big changes in feeds can often be accompanied by lots more calories than a horse is used to, new settings, new herd, new management, time of year, etc. and these things might also have an impact on behavior. If you move your horse to a new barn in the spring with new hay, new feed, new grass, new management, new herdmates, new schedule . . . it's really, really hard to know what is causing new behaviors.

                                    As usual I'm too wordy. Read what millerra said. Personally I'm extremely skeptical about the whole "phytoestrogen" thing and think it's a bit of a bandwagon phenomenon, but that's just me. Many people describe very well things that sound like real allergy in their horses: head-shaking, rash, diarrhea, etc. But intolerance vs. a multifactorial change in behavior -- that is a LOT more vague.

                                    Re: the "gluten free" thing. At least with the most obvious and manifest form of gluten sensitivity/allergy, there is a legitimate blood test or biopsy that can confirm this. But make no mistake, this sphere also has its fringes, too. People blaming gluten for everything from autism to schizophrenia . . . not all of it is solid, to say the least.
                                    Click here before you buy.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by millerra View Post
                                      Now there has been some discussion about phytoestrogens not being real estrogen. That's fine. No argument - but molecules do not necessarily have to 'look' like the molecule that they are mimicking in biology - all they have to do is interact/affect the receptor that is the target of the original hormone. I do not know if phytoestrogens have a biological effect similar to estrogen, which is the real question, IMHO.
                                      Yes, they have a definite estrogen like effect and can affect menstrual cycles in women for example. Phytoestrogens evolved as a defense mechanism in plants...certain legumes like soy have a lot of them. Clover can be a problem at times also if overgrazed. Soy does however contain some very biologically active phytoestrogens. Grazing animals that consumed the plants can have lowered fertility in females and there is some evidence of decreased libido in males. I've read studies I've found on research of phytoestrogens on cattle and sheep but never anything on horses.

                                      One thing you missed in your summary are the various antinutrients found in soy. They are a problem apart from the phytoestrogens. The Asians who first used soy got around the toxic substances in soy by special processing like fermentation to create tofu and soy sauce. Those are thought of as "traditional" uses of soy and are also thought of as much safer for people to consume than the western uses of it like soy milk, soy cheese, etc....which are not fermented and still contain significant amounts of the phytoestrogens and antinutritients.

                                      I used to love soy sauce but I can't use it anymore as it also has wheat in it. I have Celiac Disease so no wheat or gluten for me at all. Oh, and I was tested. I'm not making it up. I've had it my entire life, suffered from IBS, and went undiagnosed by doctors who believed it was such a rare disease and I was "not sick enough." Don't even get me started on that... Statistically, 1 out of 133 people are believed to have the gene so don't laugh at folks who really find relief by staying away from gluten.

                                      http://celiac-disease.com/facts-stat...eliac-disease/

                                      Originally posted by millerra View Post
                                      Now, next question - are these potential effects common? I have no idea. I would hazard a guess that no, they are not - because otherwise feed companies would discontinue their use. Are the effects real - quite likely, given enough anecdotal evidence. But it would be very interesting to have someone really investigate this (on the biochemical level).
                                      So far as I know there are no independent studies done on horses in feeding soy. Sure, feed companies surely fed it to horses as a test but I have no idea for how long, what breeds were used, etc... and many problems that we often see like obesity, behavior problems, laminitis, etc...are often blamed on something else. I will tell you that I once asked a certain feed company to share their research on soy with me and I was ignored. My vet was also told NO when she asked. So much for that...sometimes I wonder how much research has really been done.

                                      My vet was just telling me of a true soy intolerance that they found. Very sore footed horse, mild laminitis, and nothing resolved it until they pulled her off soy. That was my experience also with one of my mares.

                                      There are different levels of tolerance in horses just like in people. Some people have thyroid damage from soy products and some don't, some horses can tolerate it and some can't. Until there are real studies, we are only guessing at what the issue is or multiple issues.

                                      I'm not saying that soy is an evil plant or bad always but I do think it's overused by many people who mistakenly believe it's a super health food (which it is definitely not) and by feed companies. Soy is one of the three big crops (corn, wheat and soy) grown in the US and it's very plentiful and they are always looking for more ways to use it and it's byproducts. If you buy any processed feed (with VERY few exceptions) it's impossible to avoid. I think it's also significant to consider that nearly all the soy consumed in the US is GMO.

                                      I choose not to feed it to my horses in any form based on my previous problems. Any time I have done so, I've gotten rock hard crests and bloating...so I just avoid it.
                                      Last edited by Ridge Runner; Jan. 17, 2011, 07:21 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        I know next to nothing on this topic, but after reading threads, I decided to try my now 21 yo mare on a soy-free diet. She has always had a cresty neck, got sore feet usually each July, and is not an easy breeder. I made the change after she slipped this year's pregnancy, last August (in spite of Regumate supplementation).
                                        Any differences?? I think her neck is less cresty, and she seems to have more energy and sass -- has moved up the pecking order, and is more inclined to gallop or trot, than walk. Coat good, eyes clear.
                                        I hope this might lead to an easier breeding season. Just clutching at straws...
                                        Sunny Days Hanoverians
                                        http://www.sunnydayshanoverians.com

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