I am looking for an all natural "free choice" mineral/probiotic/enyzme for my herd of 17 (some aging) horses who are on 360 acres of pasture 7-8 months of the year. I have used SweetPro (EquiLux 125 from Harvest Fuel, Inc in ND and KS), but it has 4 ingredients that I have heard are bad: diatomaceous earth, copper sulfate, sodium selenite and potassium chloride (which I thought was just salt?). What do you know about these ingredients or this product? Do you have any other suggestions?
Hello and nice to meet you.
This information hopefully will be beneficial to your decision-making process for your 17 horses.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
I am a fan and a user of DE. It is chemical free and known to be totally safe. I have never found anything particularly alarming about DE and find that most bad press could stem from those who benefit more from your buying much more expensive products when this simple product, which should be used in an ORGANIC and Food Grade variety, is an effective and inexpensive option for regular support from parasites.
That is not to suggest DE should be the ONLY wormer; it is what I call a "tween time or in addition to," as it is not proven to be thorough enough to battle all parasites or even a large infestation. It does represent an option for daily support from parasite exposure which your horses face. That is why it is so widely used with other farm animals as well!
It is also used as an anticaking agent for manufacturing livestock feeds. It should never exceed 2% of a total diet. Absorbent out of Kamloops, BC Canada makes an OMRI Certified 40-lb bag that your feed store should be able to bring in. The company’s number is 1-800-667-0336 if you want to talk to them directly. I like this brand because it also has calcium bentonite in it which changes its normal (odd white powder) texture to a dirt colored more substantial substance easier to add to feed or free choice bulks.
Calcium bentonite (also organic) is not to be confused with sodium bentonite which is used to seal ponds and or potassium bentonite which is used extensively in drilling and also as a binding agent. Calcium bentonite is known to absorb ions in oils and fats, as well as to absorb radiation enabling such poisons to be eliminated (as a poison or toxin). This neutralizing feature is an added benefit which acts as a healing clay often reflected in healthier skin for your horse.
On the contrary I would not use Copper Sulphate, a known addition to herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. It’s the stuff you or your kids may have used to “grow crystals” in chemistry class. It is so toxic it cannot be used with small children. It is known to irritate the eyes and is such a strong irritant that it can cause vomiting. It acts as a poison in the human GI tract.
Sodium Selenite is really only toxic in high concentrations which likely your horse would not be exposed to (such as 2,400-3,000 mcg human maximum). I would not seek it out, but to me it is a neutral ingredient best eliminated, but not enough to do away with an otherwise perfect formula. It is inorganic, typically a white powder-water soluble crystals used in glass manufacturing and to decorate porcelain. It is also a bacteriological reagent and has been used in livestock and poultry to promote growth. It would be on my don’t use this list, but not at the top.
Potassium Chloride has many known uses. I am not sure what form is in the product you are referring to. It is potassium and chlorine, a chemical compound metal halide salt used in fertilizers (the muriate of potash and white potash varieties). The KCl variety is actually used in medicines, but potassium chloride is also used in water softeners and LETHAL INJECTIONS. Actually it occurs naturally as sylvite, but can be extracted from salt water or as a byproduct of nitric acid. There is a product on the market using it to melt ice: plant and people friendly touted and it is actually in some bottled water. We all know water bottles contain harmful estrogens and much of the water is plain everyday tap water originating from human sewage; hence, take it all with a grain of salt (so to speak).
Your order for a mineral, probiotic, enzyme free choice might best be met by a quality product called: RUSH CREEK (Free Choice) MINERALS. (Advanced Biological Products carries it 1-800-373-5971, as do many companies I assume.) It contains a variety of valuable minerals, many beneficial herbs and the following good bacterial enzymes:
Dried aspergillus Niger fermentation, along with the Oryza and also the Bacillus Subtilis varieties, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Lactobacillus Plantarum and the Acidophilus variety along with Enterococcus Faecium
Not knowing what enzymes are deficient in your horses’ environment I could not say this product will meet all your horses’ needs, but it is a very good product to support good bacteria in the GI tract.
The challenge here is FREE CHOICE.
There are many good probiotics in the marketplace. The key is to identify the genus species and strain your horses need, identify the manufacturer’s process to assure production does not render the formula inactive. Absolutely activity will decrease over time; other hindrances to the microflora are worming, antibiotic use, severe weather changes, illness and old age. You may want to seek out temporary feed additions to support during specific higher risk times. PrePro, by Equilite has both Pro and Prebiotics 1-800-942-5483. Probios 1-888-873-9719 has a good formula, as is ABC Plus (digestive Microflora Enzymes 1-800-373-5971).
It is impossible to be “up” on all products in the marketplace. I invite you to come back and let us know if/when you run across a product which you feel meets all your needs in one handy free choice product. I’m certain many horse lovers would want to know about it, including myself.
Here’s to the continued good health of your horses. Thank you for caring enough to seek out quality products to support your horses’ needs.