Written by Darlene Ricker
Equine feed manufacturers go green By Darlene Ricker Environmentally friendly products are seen as inevitable as these feed companies map out a green road to the future.
Manufacturers are looking at how to make equine feed more environmentally friendly, from packaging to ingredients, while not sacrificing nutrition.
In the 1970s, The Greening of America topped the bestseller lists. Fast-forward 30 years, and now the horse feed industry finds itself in its own greening process. The term "green horses" has taken on a different meaning than untrained or young stock, and it carries far more panache with today's consumers.
The question of the day is: Should the equine feed industry "go green?"
That issue was front and center at the equestrian competitions of the 2008 Summer Olympics, which touted itself as the first "Green Olympics." From environment friendly horse feeds to arena footing to recycling of stable waste, the equestrian venue last summer in Hong Kong was a model of green awareness.
During site construction, 90% of trees at the Hong Kong Sports Institute were retained in their original positions, while others were transplanted. At both the cross-country and core venues, 500 new trees and 17,000 new shrubs were planted, while fewer than 50 trees were felled. Building work inside Penfold Park was sequenced to minimize the impact on the habitat of its resident bird population of egrets during their breeding season, and energy-saving lighting systems were installed in the stabling area as well as the main and training arenas.
This goes without saying, but purchasing from socially and environmentally responsible sources is one of the few ways we can each do our part to encourage these practices.
They can cost more sometimes, but they cost more to produce, and in the long run the cost is small to support sustainable and organic farming.
Free feed natural and/or organic sea salt or rock salt instead of processed blocks of salt.
Do not supplement your horse with sodium chloride (table salt), all of the beneficial elements have been removed. Horses need un-refined, un-processed real salt.
Feed grain that still looks like its original ingredients like barley, flax, oats corn, etc. . rather than processed pellets and sugar coated mixes . All ingredients should be listed.
Be creative with ways to re-use your feed bags: winter blankets/sheet storage? Re-use and recycle supplement buckets.
SmartPak is another alternative.