Let’s do a little test. Grab a handful of horse feed: pellets or muesli. You have it?
You now have15 different ingredients in your hand! The main ingredients for horse feed are grains, especially oats, barley, wheat, corn and spelt.
From the field to the factory
Horse feed consists for 40 to 60% of grains and grain bi-products.
Before these ingredients reach your barn, they’ve already made a long journey, by truck or boat, from the country were the grains were harvested (France, Spain or Germany) to the transit harbour, where the first quality control takes place. Samples of the ingredients are taken and tested in the Pavo laboratories the next day. The results of the tests, such as nutritional value, the amount of moisture and the protein content, will be verified even before the ingredients arrive at the factory.
In the factory
In the factory the ingredients are kept in large silos. The factory has a recipe for all its horse feed varieties. The computer selects the main ingredients for each recipe from the different silos.
To manufacture pellets, the first step is to ground the ingredients into flour. By way of a micro-measuring system the smaller ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, are blended in. All the ingredients are mixed together and - when needed - vegetable oil is added. Before the pellets are pressed, Pavo subjects the ingredients to a special process called expanding, which is very similar to making popcorn. Following the eXpanding process, the pellets are pressed into their final form. The standard measurement of the Pavo pellets is 8mm, which is a little bigger than your general pellet. Pavo made a conscious decision for this size, because tests have shown that horses need more time to chew a larger pellet than a small pellet, and thus produce more saliva. And a larger pellet motivates a horse to chew. Eating slowly and chewing well is beneficial for the health of a horse. After they are pressed, the pellets cool off until they are ready to be bagged in bags of 25 kg.
The ingredients for muesli’s don’t need additional handling after processing. After the ingredients have been measured carefully, the muesli’s are blended together and bagged.
The composition of our horse feed is no secret. Every ingredient is mentioned on the labels. Pavo has a number of golden rules that must be met by every ingredient:
This seems obvious, but practical experience teaches that this is not self-evident. It means that the horse feed must be free of ingredients that swell greatly, such as beet pulp.
Drug- and bone-meal free
Pavo is the only manufacturer of horse feed who guarantees to be completely drug free. This means that the feed is free of theobromine, theophiline and caffeine, which also means that we don’t use ingredients such as palm nut flakes and coconut scrap in our recipes.
bone-meal free is obvious, because a horse is an herbivore. Pavo guarantees that all its products are completely free of animal products (no animal protein or animal fat).
Healthy and energy-rich
Concentrated feed is healthy and energy-rich and therefore not just a stomach filler. Pavo is well known for its quality, and not merely because of the high energy-value from pure grains and vegetable oils of its products. As a result your horse will stay in great physical shape with a small ration of concentrates. For the composition of our feeds this means that hard to digest ingredients such as residual products from oat meal are not used in our products.
The use of many grains in the composition of a horse feed is no warranty for a healthy product. Too many hard to digest grains cause health problems. That is the reason why the ingredients go through the process of eXpanding before they are pressed in the form of pellets. In muesli’s the ingredients cannot be expanded. Pavo muesli’s contain a large amount of popped grains, so you can clearly see what you feed.
Fibres are great! But they must be easy to digest. Fibres are necessary in concentrated feed. They promote the stability of the digestive process. Obviously Pavo doesn’t add just any fibre to the feed. The added fibers must be easy to digest, and contribute to a healthy and natural bio flora of the horse. For this purpose Pavo uses alfalfa, dried grass and soy hulls.
Usually horses have a low need for proteins. Therefore horse feed contains only a small amount of protein. However, pregnant or lactating mares and growing foals require extra protein and high-quality fatty acids. Therefore Pavo uses ingredients with high-quality protein in its breeding assortment. In its breeding products, Pavo consciously makes a choice for high-quality toasted soybeans instead of the lesser quality soy scrap. The toasted soybeans not only contain a high-quality protein but also more essential fatty acids for an optimal development of the foal.