Hot Summer Conditions Cause Feed Risk for Horses
All horse owners must check their feed, especially pellets, in the summer for evidence of potentially dangerous molds.
[ClickPress, Tue Aug 01 2006] Virginia Equine Research implores all horse owners, who give their horses a feed containing pellets, to find out from the manufacturer if the pellets contain a mold inhibitor.
In the sultry, humid Virginia summers, untreated pellets can develop potentially dangerous molds. “We saw this ourselves, several years running, in sweet feeds we had mixed for us by large manufacturers,” stated Karl Donaghy of Morgan Mills, in Jeffersonton, Virginia. “After several years of the same problem we have eliminated all pellets from our products. The feeds are more labor intensive to make, as we roast all the grains - but we feel the safety level achieved is worth it.”
This mold problem begins in the pelleting process, itself. Steam is introduced to form the pellets, which elevates the moisture level of the ingredients. If this moisture level is not precisely corrected, or moisture is reintroduced by way of humid weather conditions, it creates the perfect growing conditions for naturally occurring molds.
Horse owners can check their feed tags for mold inhibitor. Donaghy adds, “The most common would be propionic acid. However, if your manufacturer buys his pellets from another source, the inhibitor may not be listed. If you are at all uncertain, phone your feed store and ask. It is better to be safe than sorry.”