Firstly, the protein in both these balancers is fed in grams not kilograms so the amount does not equate to an extortionate amount of protein, just the amino acids that the horse requires on a daily basis. Secondly, there is also a difference between crude protein and digestible protein. Digestible protein is the figure we are interested in and Fibregenix balancer supplements are formulated to ensure that the balance of digestible protein to carbs and fats is correct.
The “percent crude protein” found on the labels of feeds and supplements is a calculation of the nitrogen content of the product. Nitrogen is contained in the amino acids that serve as the building blocks of proteins. The word “crude” means that not all the protein reported by this number is digestible.
It’s estimated that between 2% – 5% of many common protein sources are not absorbed. While the percent crude protein number is helpful, it shouldn’t be the sole piece of information used when choosing a feed or supplement for your horse.
For instance, crude protein percentage does not tell you the source of protein contained in the feedstuff or the amino acid makeup of that protein, so is more useful when combined with information on the type of protein included in a product.
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle and are essential in a horse’s diet and the horse will only use what it needs and the excess will be passed in urine, but this depends on the horse’s ‘system’ and how well it is absorbed and utilized etc. However, as with most other things it is not just the quantity that is important but also the quality, and a quality protein source will be easily digested and have an amino acid profile similar to that needed by the horse.
Fibregenix contains high quality protein sources with the best amino acid profile and availability for horses derived from Full Fat Soya and dehulled soya bean meal. Knowledge of the lysine and methionine content (the essential limiting amino acids) of a protein source is necessary when properly balancing your horse’s diet. Some labels will include these percentages but knowing what ingredients are good sources of lysine and methionine and identifying those sources in the ingredient list will also help to make an informed decision.
Fibregenix will not make horses ‘hot’ – the main reasons being 1) it is whole-cereal and molasses free so contains super low levels of sugar and starch (which are the 2 main ingredients that cause fizzy behaviour), 2) each balancer contains generous levels of magnesium – the anti-stress mineral – to help keep horses and ponies settled and relaxed, and as each balancer contains digestive aids they help to soothe from the inside-out (a lot of ‘hot and fizzy’ behaviour is caused by poor digestive health).