I am so excited to introduce Dove Performance Nutrition (formerly D & D Nutrition) here at Big Dee’s Tack and Vet to our customers. Dove Performance Nutrition produces some of the best grain free “grain” there is. While I was cleaning stalls and listening to a podcast out of The Ohio State University, I became convinced that Big Dee’s needed to pursue this product line as an offering to our customers.
First, grain free, forage-based diets are closer to the way horses were intended to eat. By moving away from cereal grains as a basis of the horses’ diet, we can return the horse to a more natural feeding regimen. Combined with free choice hay, these products help mimic what the horse is designed to eat, and digest.
Secondly, alfalfa is a great buffer for the stomach and hind gut. Horses that are experiencing or at risk for digestive issues could greatly benefit from an alfalfa-based ration.
Is Forage Based Feed Right for Your Horse?
Here are some specifics as to what sets this feed apart and why it could be right for your horse. All offerings from Dove Performance Nutrition feature proteinated minerals. Most people are familiar with the term chelated or organic minerals. When minerals are chelated, they are attached to another particle to improve the digestibility of the mineral. By combining minerals with proteins and amino acids, it vastly improves the bio-availability of that mineral by opening up more “channels” through which the mineral can be absorbed. Proteinated minerals are a big deal in horse feeds, and many top companies that have chelated minerals do not have proteinated minerals.
Some additional key components are:
Rice bran is another key point to these products. Rice bran is a fat or energy source and features over 120 known antioxidants. The entire product line features rice bran as one of the ingredients.
These feeds have a high amount of flax seed as well, which is a great source of Omega 3’s and can improve the digestibility of other fibers.
Another major selling point to these feeds is the inclusion of CoolStance Copra coconut meal. This ingredient is extremely low in NSC (under 12%) and provides a highly digestible fiber and energy source. CoolStance is high in medium chain triglycerides which are more immediately digested and used by horses. Additionally, those MCT’s are thought to help maintain a healthy gut. CoolStance is included in everything Dove Performance Nutrition offers EXCEPT for Simplify CP.
The inclusion of is a huge reason these feeds are so successful. Bio-Mos, developed by Alltech, has been independently proven to aid in the reduction of ulcers and diarrhea. Bio-Mos also can bind undesirable bacteria, such as salmonella, and allow the horse to excrete it. Another Alltech product that contributes to the efficacy of these products is Sel-Plex. Sel-Plex is an organic selenium yeast culture that is highly bio-available and can help prevent horses from tying up.
HSCAS (Naturally Occurring Clay)
Yet another reason to be excited about this feed is the addition of Hydrated Sodium Calcium Aluminosilicates or HSCAS. This is a naturally occurring clay that has the ability to bind mycotoxins and other toxins in the body and allow the horse to excrete them.
Any of the Dove Nutrition feeds would be great for a variety of horse, however, here are some guidelines on each option:
Simplify CP – Does not have CoolStance Copra. Would work well on an easy keeper, a retired horse, or a horse in lighter work. Overall fat content is 4.5%, so this feed is not especially high in energy.
Fortify – Increased fat content of 6%. I would recommend this to horses in light to moderate work, or a little bit of a harder keeper. Pleasure horses should do well on this feed.
Magnify – (While it is a minimal amount, this option is NOT soy free) Increased fat content of 8%. This would be the go to choice for hard keepers or horses in pretty good, moderate to heavy, work. It could also be used for horses that really need an extra boost to maintain a shiny coat. Also, just because it is higher energy does not mean that it will produce a “hot” horse. NSC value is still only 15%, so this is a cool energy source. Magnify does have soy oil in it.
Exemplify – (This is the one offering that is NOT grain free) Exemplify has oats added to it. It has a 6.5% fat content, and an NSC value a little higher than the others after the addition of the oats (18%) but is still a low NSC feed. I would not necessarily recommend this to a metabolic horse, as the other feeds are all 15% NSC. I would feed this to a racehorse, a barrel racing horse or any other horse in a high level of work.
OMG (Oh Mega Goodness) – This offering is different from the others as well. It is a 14% protein, like all the other feeds, but it is a 12.5% fat content. It can be fed at a lower rate as a top dress to really bloom out a coat. It can also be fed as a maintenance feed. This feed will have a higher amount of flax. I would recommend this to any horse as a top dress for coat or weight gain. I would recommend this to horses with a moderate to heavy workload as a normal feed.
Simplify CP, Fortify, Magnify, and Exemplify – feed at a rate of 0.5-1.0% of body weight as needed per the individual horse if you are also feeding hay (5-10 pounds per day for a 1000-pound horse). Feed at a rate of 1.5-2.0% of body weight if you are not feeding hay and are using the feed as a sole ration.
OMG – feed 1-2 pounds as a top dress. Feed 1-2 pounds for a horse in no to minimal work. Feed 2-3 pounds to a horse in moderate work. Feed 3-5 pounds to a horse in heavy work.
All feeds are 14% protein. Fiber content varies from 17%-20%, NSC is 15% on all but Exemplify which is 18% and still considered low by industry standards.
-Showroom Manager, Grant