Archive for the ‘Horse’ Category

Outlast Supplement pH Experiment

Friday, July 14th, 2017

See Purina® Outlast Supplement in action. Watch as Dr. Robert Jacobs, Purina PhD research equine nutritionist, demonstrates how a horse’s stomach would respond to a feeding of Outlast Supplement.

In this short experiment, Purina® Outlast Supplement raises the pH level of a simulated equine stomach environment from a harmful pH of 2 to a safe pH level of 6.3 in just two minutes, outperforming alfalfa and competitive products on the market. Ready to put Outlast Supplement to the test? Start your Feed Greatness™ Challenge at

Welcome to the Equine Research Unit here at Purina Animal Nutrition Center. My name is Dr. Robert Jacobs, a research equine nutritionist, and today, I’m here to demonstrate our new gastric support supplement, Outlast.

Outlast is designed to provide gastric support and help comfort the horse’s stomach. The horse is an herbivore, designed to consume forages eighteen to twenty hours a day. Modern management practices, however, require that we feed our horses concentrate and meal feed them throughout the day. Outlast is designed to support the overall health of the gastric environment in the horse.

So today what we’re going to do is we’re going to demonstrate how the horse’s stomach would respond to a feeding of Outlast. In this beaker here we have a constantly churning fluid at a pH right around 2, which is the constant pH of the horse’s stomach when they’re at a fasting state. Additionally, we’ve heated this environment to approximately 37 degrees Celsius, which would be the internal body temperature of the horse.

So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take Outlast, our gastric support supplement and grind it up as you can see what we’ve done here to stimulate the chewing that the horse would do before this supplement would reach the gastric environment or into the stomach of the horse, and we’re going to put this into that gastric environment, and we’re going to show you exactly what happens to the pH.

So what I want to do is focus on this pH meter. We put this gastric buffer into this gastric environment. So what we’ll do is we’ll simply put this in here. We’ll give it a little bit of a mix, again to help stimulate what would happen in the horse’s stomach, and we’ll set this timer here to about two minutes.

We’ve done a significant amount of lab work here at the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, as well as at universities throughout the country to better understand how Outlast buffers the equine stomach. We’ve done in vitro trials similar to what you can see in this setup here as well as in vivo trials, in which we’ve fed this supplement to hundreds of horses and examined what happens with the pH of the gastric environment as well as what happens to the overall health of the horse’s stomach.

So what we’re going to do is we’ll wait until this gets to its buffering capacity at about two minutes and we’ll take another pH reading to see exactly how this gastric support supplement works.

So you can see here, after two minutes we’re going to take another pH reading on our simulated gastric environment. So, we look here at this pH meter, and you can see after only two minutes, the pH has already risen to approximately 6.3. Well above the threshold of four which we generally consider a buffered stomach environment.

Now remember, a higher pH is indicative of a lower acidity in the stomach which is what we would want to see to provide the gastric comfort and the support that Outlast is designed to do.

Outlast gastric support supplement is different from some of the other products that are currently on the market, in that it acts quicker, in only two minutes you can see the pH rose substantially; it acts longer, as we saw in our in vivo as well as our in vitro trials; and has a significantly higher buffering capacity and buffering ability, as is demonstrated here in these test tubes.

In these test tubes, you can see a representation of how much acid a single serving of any one of these supplements including Outlast is able to buffer in a simulated gastric environment. You can see here in these tubes that Outlast is able to buffer a significantly larger quantity of acid than even alfalfa or some of the other competitive products on the market as is demonstrated by these different colored tubes.

Extreme Weather Conditions and Reduced Production May Affect Hay Quality, Availability and Price

Saturday, March 24th, 2012
A freshly baled round bale in Montana

Unfavorable weather conditions last fall and winter meant more hay was fed than normal causing last year’s hay supplies to be running short.  Unprecedented weather extremes through the spring are affecting the quality and availability of new hay for 2011.  Whether you are suffering through the extreme drought in south Texas, excessive rainfall in the Midwest, or unseasonably cool temperatures in the Northwest, harsh weather conditions have affected hay production in many regions of the country.  Pressure from high grain prices and government support of biofuel production is also causing some hay farmers to shift acreage from hay production to corn, switchgrass and other crops.  Projections are that 2011 may be lowest hay production year since 1994. Short supply and high demand could lead to record hay prices in 2011.  -quality hay will likely be hard to find and/or very expensive.

In one year, the average horse eats one ton of feed and nearly four tons of hay (or pasture equivalent). Due to the high moisture content of green pasture, horses must eat nearly six times the weight of pasture to provide the same amount of dry matter as hay. For example, 25 pounds of hay at 12% moisture represents about 22 pounds of dry matter.  Green pasture is often 85% moisture so it will take 147 pounds of pasture to provide 22 pounds of dry matter.  In some regions, pastures are burned up, dry and non-existent.  These pastures are a place to stay, but will not support grazing. Horses must consume a minimum of 1 pound per 100 pounds of body weight of hay or the equivalent in pasture to meet their fiber needs (10 pounds of hay for a 1000 pound horse).  Variations in quality or type of hay fed are significant risk factors for digestive upset in the horse.

When hay or pasture is poor quality or in short supply, there are hay replacement options available to help stretch how long the hay will last or even totally replace hay when needed.  Purina® manufactures several complete feeds which contain appropriate amounts and types of fibers to consistently and effectively replace hay or pasture.  Complete feeds not only have adequate amounts of total fiber, but actually must have the right combination of digestible fibers and indigestible residue to properly replace the type of fibers provided in hay or pasture.  Purina® Horse Chow has been the hay replacement option many horse owners have turned to for over 40 years.  The Purina® Equine Family products of Equine Senior®, Equine Junior® and Equine Adult® all contain quality hay replacement ingredients and can be fed to supplement hay or as the entire ration, replacing hay and grain, when needed.  Purina® Omolene #400® contains specific fiber sources, primarily beet pulp, to replace hay or pasture and is formulated for performance horses.  The product you choose will depend on your horse’s age and activity level. Your Purina® Certified Expert Dealer can help you determine which complete feed best fits your horse’s needs and your forage situation.

To stretch your hay supply out to last longer, replace 50% of the hay with an equal amount of the appropriate complete feed.  If horses are eating grain, reduce the amount by ½-1 pound per day.  When replacing the entire hay portion of the diet while feeding grain, feed the same amount of the complete feed as you were feeding of hay and reduce the amount of grain by 2 – 3 pounds.  To use the complete feed as the entire ration, simply follow the directions on back of the bag.  Horses should continue to be evaluated on an individual basis and minor adjustments can be made to these recommendations based on the body condition of the horse.  Reducing the amount or eliminating hay from the diet represents a major diet change and should be made gradually over several days.  Since horses will eat a complete feed faster than long-stemmed hay, it is beneficial to divide the total daily ration into 3 – 4 meals per day to spread out feeding times.

Complete feeds are not only a very consistent source of fiber and balanced nutrition; they are also easy to use.  With no mess or waste, they can often be economical compared with hay.  Thanks to complete feeds, horse owners are no longer limited to conventional baled hay, but instead have a number of options from which to choose.

Karen E. Davison, Ph.D.
Equine Nutrition Specialist
Land O’Lakes Purina Feed