Heidi asks, so here's more about distiller's grain…

I received this in response to another recent posting about distillers grain in Red Cal and am posting my response. As Always… Thanks For Asking!


I also have concern with the distiller’s grain in the Red Cal product.

First of all, I have insulin resistant, laminitic-prone horses whose diet must be very low in sugars and starch in order to control symptoms. Any sort of grain is out of the question.

Second, there’s an article from Kansas State University recommending against feeding distiller’s grain to horses. The article can be found here: http://www.extension.org/pages/K-State_Equine_Scientist_Does_Not_Recommend_Feeding_DDGS_to_Horses
According to this article, there is a risk of fumonisin poisoning among other potential problems.

My questions for Dr. Dan:

1) Is your source of distiller’s grain tested for fumonisin contamination?

2) I appreciate your policy of full disclosure. So in that light, will you disclose the percentage of dry matter of distiller’s grain in Red Cal? If it’s such a little amount, why even put it in there at all? What specific nutrients does it contribute?

I am a former customer, and will consider buying Red Cal again if you answer my questions thoroughly and truthfully.

Thanks so much,

Hello Heidi…

There is less than 10 percent distillers in it. As for not enough used to know its effects…we have sold hundreds and hundreds of tons of Red Cal for close ten years now and used in all species and never had the first reported adverse event.

We have also been using from the same source for over 10 years and never an issue. We could test for many different "potential" problems but relying on "good" sources and not testing for everything under the sun has served us well and kept costs down for us and customers. Ours does not come from commercial alcohol production but rather from a brewers source.

It is used for taste and quite honestly I would say that our extensive use "trumps" an ivory tower simple opinion not based on evidence. I find nothing wrong with it in any way. Though…. I would NOT feed it exclusively as is done with cattle (which by the way is what is the article you mention appears to really be referring too as evidenced by the inference to phoshorous, calcium ratios etc.)

As for insulin resistant, laminitis probe, again I have hundreds and hundreds of such patients with such that have benefited greatly from our feeding program www.feedforsuccess.com of which the free-choice fed Red Cal is a significant part of. (No Salt Blocks!)

Also oats and NOT commercial feed is suggested. Also, Please don’t think commercial feeds for such are "grain free" either. Oats are a seed head and the closest to what a horse would get in the wild. If you feed any grain I would suggest oats and I have no problem feeding it in IR or laminitis horses. No horse, much less IR, laminitis horse, in my opinion is meant to have commercial mixed feed full various grains varying even batch to batch disguised in pellets, beet pulps (which really suck the nutrients and personally I wouldn’t feed to a guinea pig) etc. etc.

In addition, a big problem with commercial feed is the hydrogenated fats contained in them. Even the so called low starch diets often utilize hydrogenated fats instead of starch. These are killing us and killing our horses. Sort of like margarine was for people before we knew better. The horse industry just hasn’t recognized the problem yet. Personally I see it as THE problem.

I hope all this helps and I appreciate your questions.

Rest assured that we use the best ingredients available and yet affordable too. We go as "overboard" as we can with quality in all products. We are also always continually looking for better. For instance, our Weight check oil is GMO free. It is not that our older version of oil called H2oil contained GMO’s …it is just that we can say that Weight Check FOR SURE doesn’t. It took me 3 years to find the great source but thanks to clients like yourself asking for such we persisted in looking and finally found.

So again, thanks for asking!!

Dr Dan