Constant Nutrition vs. Least-Cost vs. Fixed Formulas for our Horses

July 1, 2019


Horse owners have a wide array of options when it comes to feed programs. Plus, many of the sales tactics become confusing when trying to make the decision of which brand to purchase. Here, I hope to give readers a better understanding of their options and explain why our feed team at Central Valley Ag believes in Purina's research and their idea of Constant Nutrition.

As you shop, the first thing to remember is your horse's nutrition requirements. By working with your feed sales specialist at CVA, we can help you review the guaranteed analysis and determine if a feed is appropriate for your horse. Determining age, body condition, and activity level will help narrow down the wide variety of options. However, a label only provides a small amount of information, so please consult with a feed specialist when in doubt. Different feeds may have a similar amount of protein and fat, but the formulas could be completely different.

So how do you know what formula is the best for your horse?  There are three types: Fixed formulas, least-cost formulas, and constant nutrition formulas. Fixed formulas use the same ingredients in the same amount for every bag. This sounds like an excellent idea until you study the differences in content between ingredient loads. Oats, for example, have a vast array of variations when they come into a mill. Weight, quality, and cleanliness may change per region and season. These differences vary enough to alter the nutrient quality per bag.
Least-cost formulas have an appealing ring, but keep in mind you get what you pay for. What least-cost formulating means is that the feeds are adjusted based on ingredient cost. So even though they are still required to meet the guaranteed analysis, the changes in ingredients can affect taste, and may even cause digestive upset, which is something we all fear as horse owners.

The last formula is what our Purina partners recommend and is what CVA have found to be the best option. Constant nutrition formulas provide consistent nutrition in every bag. With the standards Purina places on their suppliers, all ingredients are inspected, sampled, and analyzed. Minor adjustments are made to keep feed accurate and ensure consistent nutrition in every bag.

As a horse owner, I personally understand the importance of awareness when it comes to the differences in formulas and the nutrition value they offer. And I rest assured knowing my horses are getting the most consistent product for my dollar by using Purina feed that is formulated using the idea of constant nutrition.  If you would like to learn more, visit a Central Valley Ag feed location near you or reach out to me at brandi.salestrom@cvacoop or our Purina Equine Specialist, Lindsey Kester at ljkester@landolakes.com.  

by Brandi Salestrom
 
Posted: 7/1/2019 3:02:28 PM by Kristin Petersen | with 0 comments