Protein and Your Horses Nutrition
There may be a number of different reasons that you are reading this article, but primarily people are looking for soybean meal for their horse because of protein. It’s either you just want more because the hay supply you have may not have enough, or your vet has recommended increasing the amount your horse is getting.
Horse’s don’t always get the required protein from their roughage and hay supply. Even though hay producers are getting high-quality hay to horse owners, sometimes there are deficiencies.
Products You can Try. The first product will also help your horses hoof and coat. People would supplement their horses with soybean specifically for their coats. The first supplement has soy oils in it.
The second supplement contains soybean meal as the main ingredient. Although used for calves and lactating horses it can also be used to add additional protein to your horse’s diet.
- GROWS NEW HOOF STRONGER & FASTER - includes 100 mg of biotin plus methionine, zinc & amino acids.
- PROMOTES LONGER, THICKER MANES & TAILS - includes select aminio acids including lysine which support the structural proteins in hair making it super strong
- "SHINES A HORSE UP" thanks to soy protein and oil
- EASY TO FEED, ECONOMICAL & HIGHLY EFFECTIVE - formulated by certified equine nutritionists, Hoof & Hair Guard will make a huge difference to the look of your horses coat & the conditions of his hooves
- PROVIDES YOU PIECE OF MIND - We use only the highest quality (pharmaceutical) grade ingredients which are selected for their bio-availability
- Multi-species supplement - horse, cattle, goats, rabbits and swine
- Use through all life stages
- High quality proteins results in more growth
- Animals gain more energy from the digestible carbohydrates
- Palatable flavors of anise and brewers dried yeast added for better taste and easy digestion
Supplementing with Soybean for Protein
Just saying more protein may not actually be the right answer, and may not actually tell the story of equine nutrition needs. Many vets and equine nutritionists agree that more protein may be needed based on the activity and age of your horse, but it’s also more granular than that.
The amino acid lysine, followed by threonine and methionine, are the key amino acids that are most limiting in equine rations. Soybean meal contains more lysine and threonine compared to other common protein sources (canola, cottonseed and linseed meals).
The quality of the protein is also something to consider when you are supplementing your horses. The ability to digest the protein, specifically in the small intestine of the horse, is critical. The ability to digest the protein does depend on the quality and source of the protein.
As you might expect digestibility also has a relationship to other items in the horses diet, the frequency of meals and the concentration of protein in each meal.
Soybean is generally available in two different formats one is 44% protein meal and the other is 48% dehulled meal. The later is lower in fibre and typically better suited for younger horses. Raw Soybeans should not be fed to horses, it will interfere with digestibility.
Is Soybean Meal Good for Horses?
Soybeans have not always received a great review in the equine community. They are, however, considered a great cool feed that you can give to your horse.
Soybeans provide a great source of protein and fat for a horse, and when processed and fed correctly are safe and healthy. Soybeans are also good sources of phosphorus and are highly digestible. They are low in fibre which sometimes is exactly what a horse needs based on its other feeding regiment.
The main reason that soybean meal is so widely used in animals is that we have a long history of clinical and anecdotal evidence that it is safe and supports overall health and desirable muscle development. It has the preferred ratio of essential amino acids and provides the vest sources or dietary, digestible protein.
What type of Soy Should I Feed my Horse?
Soy is soy, but how it is prepared and processed does matter when it comes to supplementing your horses feed.
To get the most benefit for your horse, consider what type of soy you are feeding your horse. For the greatest benefit to your horse, make sure you are feeding full-fat extruded soybeans.
As mentioned above you don’t want to feed you horse full soybeans as that will not be good for them. There are a number of companies now that are making supplements with soy in them and we will recommend them.
Other forms available are soybean flour, roasted soybeans, micronized soybeans, soybean flakes, or extruded soybeans with all the natural fats. Horses generally like these products but these products only have 30-35% protein.
Typically you can also get soybean meal at your local feed store, or speak with your vet.
Symptoms of dietary protein deficiency in horses
Protein deficiency in horses is an interesting science. There is a certain amount that they need, and getting that right can be a bit of a challenge. It also greatly depends on what your horse is doing, and what you are doing with your horse.
Is your horse pregnant?
Is your horse competing?
Is your horse aging?
Is your horse lactating?
All of these things will change the protein needs of your horse.
Along with this you need to check for visible signs of bones, and withers. The horse’s topline and general muscle mass over their whole body. These things might indicate that they are not getting enough protein. Other symptoms may include lethargy towards eating and exercising, poof hoof quality and poor coat quality.
Growing horses and feeding mares have the highest protein needs. It is important that you monitor their growth rates and weight so that you can make a good adjustment if needed. It is also worth getting the hay you are feeding your horse tested so you know what percentage of protein is in the hay.
Is Soybean Bad for Horses?
Whole soy beans should not be fed to horses, it changes the amino acid digestion and can be harmful. It is only after the soy has been cooked or processed that it becomes safer.