These comments are prompted by a recent conversation that Jos and I had, after answering questions about consumption of 1 to 1 and 2 to 1 Free Choice. What do these two questions have in common:
"My horses used to eat a lot of the Free Choice 1 to 1, but now they don't eat it at all. Did the product change? What is wrong?"
"My horses never used to eat the Free Choices, now they have eaten a whole bucket in just a few weeks. What's wrong?"
The answer is the same: "That is perfect! They are doing exactly what nature is telling them to do!"
We have found wide variations in the rate of consumption of the 1 to 1 and 2 to 1. Times of stress or injury, hard work, parasite challenge, onset of cold weather, barometric drops, growth spurts and more will trigger consumption of these products. The horses might ignore them for months, then suddenly will empty the feeder. Once they are balanced, they will tend to just take a little once in a while. Until they are balanced, they may empty the feeder daily. It is important to not "ration" the products when you start horses on them. Start with 8 ounces per horse per day, and if the feeder is ever empty, use more, until there is always a little left in there. I compare the horse to a leaky bucket. If the bucket has a hole in the bottom and you just trickle water in, you will never get it to fill up. If you turn on the hose full blast, you will fill the bucket and just then a trickle will keep it filled.
Regarding the philosophy of free choice mineral supplements, authors Philip A. Wheeler, PhD., and Ronald B. Ward state, in The Non-Toxic Farming Handbook, "Free choicing of minerals and additives is a controversial concept. It is said to be impossible by some experts for an animal to choose, free choice, what it needs. Why then, do animals chew bark, eat dirt, drink from corral urine pools, and crib? Why do they stop that activity when given specific supplements? There is a strong case for free choicing, and a producer should explore it for himself.". We have chosen to restrict our horses to stalls, paddocks or pastures with limited forage options, where in nature they would roam many square miles in search of natural clays, mineral deposits and herbs/plants. A study was done by Dr. William Tyznik of Ohio State University, whereby he put out four options for horses: plain salt, trace mineral salt, limestone (a calcium source) and phosphorus. These were widely spaced out in the living area and rearranged weekly, and dependent upon ration changes during the week from high to low calcium, the horses would eat the corresponding supplement to maintain blood and tissue balance.
Silica can actually transmute into calcium, if needed. The atomic weight of silica (28) plus the atomic weight of carbon (12) equals the atomic weight of calcium (40). Also interesting, is the observation by Harvey Lisle in The Enlivened Rock Powders that transmutation is not much recognized by science and yet happens continuously in the plant, animal, mineral and human kingdoms. He says, "Transmutation is not hard to understand if you consider the elements not so much material, as spiritual with strong enzymatic forces." Biological Transmutations by Kervran, a French scientist, is the classic work on the subject and is available from Acres USA (800-355-5313 or www.acresusa.com) if you would like to research more fully.
Here are some comments from Jim Zamzow, in response to questions about the 1 to 1 and 2 to 1 Free Choices. "First of all, remember that 1 to I and 2 to 1 are designed to assist in balancing the calcium and phosphorus in the ration. They are not complete supplements by themselves, they are intended to be offered free choice to horses already being supplemented with either DYNAMITE®, DYNAMITE PLUS(tm) or TNT. It is important that 1 to 1 and 2 to 1 not be force fed because only the animal, through its instinct, will know how much to eat. I have heard reports of depleted brood mares consuming as much as 75# of 2 to 1 in a couple of months, before becoming balanced and voluntarily reducing consumption to a couple of ounces per day. There are other horses who will never touch the product, and many who seem to cycle off and on depending on estrus, season, work load, growth rate, parasite load, etc.
If I to 1 is intended to be a phosphorus supplement, why does it contain calcium? I know people who feed just plain phosphorus, which is much cheaper.
Phosphorus is very readily absorbed, and it is easy to create an imbalance toward the side of phosphorus, especially if you are force feeding a phos supplement. A phos excess can also be created by feeding high levels of grain and by feeding bran. Remember that the ideal ratio of calcium:phos in the total diet is 1.5 to 1 for a young horse: in other words, one and one half parts calcium to one part phosphorus. In addition to the ratio, the quantity of each element also needs to be considered. As long as the amount of phosphorus in the diet is adequate, the horse can handle the calcium level being higher. Also, 1 to 1 is recommended when the diet contains alfalfa hay, which is often at a ca:ph ration of 5:1 or even higher, but this calcium is not in a really usable form for the horse. The body has a self-limiting mechanism to keep the blood pH balanced, and when there is too much calcium circulating in the bloodstream, the body kicks it out via the organs of elimination (kidney stones??) before the calcium has a chance to become bone. So we add some chelated calcium even to the 1 to 1 to insure adequate available calcium.
As for the price of 1 to 1 and 2 to 1, people need to consider the long term health and soundness of the animal that they are feeding. We add nutrients like chelated copper and zinc which are necessary for proper bone and tendon development, and ESTER C® calcium ascorbate to enhance collagen formation. A study done at the University of Kentucky showed that the addition of yeast culture to the ration increased the absorption of phosphorus. Have your customers study the booklet Minerals: Right on Target and the information on ESTER C®, and let them decide if these nutrients have merit in their feeding program. Excellence costs a little more, and I will not apologize for the cost of that quality. Your customers will readily pay the difference if they are properly educated. Besides, we offer them the option of becoming a Distributor to pay wholesale or even get the product free by selling to their circle of acquaintances.
I noticed calcium carbonate in the list of ingredients, which I understand to be inorganic rather than chelated. I also noticed the term "proteinate" - how is this different from a "chelate"?
In your first question regarding calcium carbonate -please be aware there is a distinct difference between how humans and animals deal with this mineral. For example, calcium carbonate is an alkali mineral which has a neutralizing effect on hydrochloric and other acids. In humans, this can prove disastrous, especially in geriatric cases where there is usually not enough stomach acid to start with. Yet many medical practitioners recommend commercial antacids as a calcium source! Herbivore animals on the other hand, horses and especially ruminants, will seek out lime and other mineral deposits and eat them readily to balance their body pH. Mono- (meaning one) and di- (meaning two) calcium phosphates are commercial defluorinated phosphates and while like other inorganics could be harmful to humans, provide reasonably available sources for these animals.
The term "amino acid complex" relates to the tying of amino acids to a mineral that cannot be truly chelated because of their chemical makeup, like phosphorus or potassium.
The term "proteinate" refers to a simple mix of amino acids with a mineral - the mineral is not truly bound to the amino acid as in a true chelate. For years, the feed industry controlling agencies would not accept the term "amino acid chelate" as a feed additive. So we had to use "proteinate" and some of these terms still hang around. Frankly, we use only amino acid chelates, so the term will be updated on our labels. On the other side of the coin, many manufacturers are using only mineral proteinates but labeling then as amino acid chelates. "Caveat Emptor" (buyer beware!)
One of my customers heard that horsetail rush is poisonous to horses - so why is it in 1 to 1 and 2 to 1?
First of all, horses would have to consume vast quantities of horsetail rush over a considerable period of time for it to be toxic. We use minute amounts of an extract of the plant, also known as equisetum arvense, as source of organic silica. French studies by Dr. Jacques Kervran, detailed in his book Biological Transmutations, explain the process by which organic silica can be transmuted to calcium by the body. Recent studies at Texas A and M University have documented what ayurvedic medicine in India has taught for thousands of years: that organic silica greatly enhances the uptake of calcium into the bone. Silica is routinely given in India for healing fractures. Also, springtime growth of horsetail is totally non-toxic, it is the later growth that may cause problems. We use only the springtime horsetail, which horses will readily and voluntarily consume if available in the pasture during that season.
Diatomaceous earth and clays are two additional silica sources in our 2 products.
In summary, we have endeavored to formulate the finest calcium/phosphorus balancers and bone, tendon and ligament nutritional support on the market. As usual, 'The proof is in the puddin'. Review the ingredients, description and directions for these products from the Dynamite Products and use them with the confidence that you are providing the best for your animals."
Dynamite now offers a Free Choice Start Pack that contains 5 lbs. each of the Free Choice Minerals as well as two 2 compartment mineral feeders for your convenience.
Dyanmite Free Choices for Horses can be used with other feeds.