Whether your horse is grazing in the pasture, eating hay, or getting pelleted feed, the quality of his diet is of utmost importance. Arriving at a quality diet is different when you feed your horse hay pellets, however. How does Sacate ensure quality in our feed? Here is everything you need to know about the pelleting process.
The most important thing about the pelleting process is starting with high quality ingredients, primarily the alfalfa hay that makes up the bulk of our pellets. To ensure our feed gets the best possible start, we inspect our growers’ fields regularly. Hay must meet a certain quality standard to make it into our pellets. Once it’s harvested and baled, we inspect it again and test it to verify the nutritional content. Other ingredients will need to be added to the feed in order to achieve the guaranteed nutritional content, especially the higher performing feeds for broodmares, nursing mares, young horses, and horses in demanding work programs. These ingredients may include Bermuda hay, wheat bran, cracked corn, molasses, and vitamin and mineral supplements, all of which also has to meet our high standards.
The next part of the pelleting process is preparing the ingredients. You can’t make pellets out of tall stems, so the hay must be cut down to size. We do this by grinding the hay using large hammers. The ingredients are then mixed together, adding bran, corn, and supplements to ensure the final product will contain the guaranteed nutritional content. Our pellets are a complete feed, designed to be able to be fed by themselves, so it’s important that they contain all the nutrients a horse needs for good health. Molasses added to the mixture will help to hold the mixture together when it reaches its final pelleted form.
As the mixture is blended together, it probably doesn’t resemble anything your horse would eat in the pasture, but it’s in the process of becoming something much better. The mixture is heated and pressed through a die to form pellets. They still need to cool and dry, but as they do so, they become a very different type of feed, one that can be stored well, fed without mess, and doesn’t need any supplementation to provide the average horse everything he needs to maintain his health.
The best thing about the pelleting process is the versatility and convenience of the final product. Our pellets are not only guaranteed to be a nutritionally complete feed, they’re also convenient to store and feed, with little or no mess and a long shelf life. In addition, they can be fed a variety of ways, such as dry for a quick and convenient meal, or soaked in hot water for an easy-to-chew mash or a warm treat on a cold day.
Is pelleted feed right for your horses? For more information about the pelleting process and the advantages of feeding pellets, contact Sacate Pellet Mills today.