July 2024 Competition

Brighten up your feed room this summer with a set of Red Gorilla‘s new brightly coloured bins! Available in 5 colours and 3 sizes: 30L, 50L, and 80L, these bins are perfect for storing your horse’s Dengie feeds and treats in, whilst making your feed room look fab! They are also frost proof, UV-proof and super sturdy with two strong clips to keep contents secure.

Reed Gorilla Bins

This month we are giving you the opportunity to win a complete set of bins in the colour of your choice and a selection of other feed room essentials from Red Gorilla (feed skip, shallow bowl, breakfast and dinner tub covers, stirrer and bucket brush). Plus the winner will also receive £50 of Dengie feed vouchers to make sure their feed bins are full of your horse’s favourite feed!

How to Enter

Simply fill out the form and answer the following question about Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free.

    Hint: The answer can be found on the Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free Product Page.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

If you would like further information on any of the Dengie products or a personalized diet plan for your horse please call our feedline on 01621 841188 or click here to fill in our feed advice form.

Terms & Conditions: This competition will close at 11.59pm on 31st July 2024. One entry per person. One lucky winner will be selected from the correct entries and be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing. Prize consists of: a set of 3 bins, 1 of each size (30L, 50L, 80L) in the colour of your choice (red, yellow, blue, pink or purple), a small shallow 15L, TubCover breakfast & dinner pack, gorilla scoop, stir up stirrer and bucket brush plus £50 of Dengie feed vouchers. No cash alternative available. Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Open to UK mainland residents only.  Click here for full Terms & conditions

Founded in 1968 as a farmers’ cooperative, Dengie is still run today with the same ethos of supporting the local farming community. Most of Dengie’s employees live locally with many having worked at the company a long time. 17 members of Dengie’s current staff have worked at Dengie for over 25 years, two of whom completed 37 years service in May 2024 – a phenomenal achievement! Dengie’s longest serving employees are Helen Smith, Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, and Alan Tyler, Logistics and Bale Movement Operative, who both started back in 1987.

Long Service Celebrations

“I have certainly seen a lot of changes within the Company since starting as a school leaver” says Helen. “Luckily, I have had the privilege of meeting most of the founding farmers who created Dengie in my younger years and it’s wonderful seeing their families still being part of it to this day. The company has grown immeasurably over that time with many new products and members old and new. I can honestly say it definitely doesn’t seem like 37 years ago that I started!”

Left to Right: Ian Hassard (Managing Director), Angela Downs (Company Secretary), Sheena Vella (Site Operations Support), Helen Smith (PA to Managing Director), Michael Pudney (Chairman)

Other members of staff celebrating ‘big’ Dengie anniversaries this year include Trevor Robinson who works in production and has been at Dengie 35 years, David Vince in site hygiene is celebrating 30 years, and Sheena Vella, Site Operations Support, and Julia Sheppard Office Administrator who have both been at Dengie for 25 years.

Long Service Celebration

“My job has been varied over my many years at Dengie ranging from Secretarial to Customer Service to Sales Support and now to the Health & Safety Office” explains Sheena. “I have always felt part of a team and have seen the development of new products, new harvesting techniques, more training both in-house and external to deliver the best quality products that we can with the safest methods. We strive to work more sustainably achieving significant reductions in fossil fuel usage and recycling as much as possible”.

Dengie are devoted to creating the best and healthiest horse feeds possible and it is clear that every member of the team is working to this goal and clearly enjoy doing so!

If you would like to find out more about Dengie feeds for your horse or pony, please contact the Dengie Feedline and speak to one of our team of qualified and experienced nutritionists.

June 2024 Competition

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

Win a Quick Chill Cooling Rug, plus a bucket full of summer essentials and £50 of Dengie feed vouchers!

Warm sunny days, shows with friends, long hacks and beach rides means that summer is here!

Up for grabs this month is a fantastic bundle of goodies essential for any horse or rider, including the NEW Equilibrium Quick Chill Cooling rug plus £50 of Dengie feed vouchers!

The Equilibrium Quick Chill Cooling Rug is the perfect solution to cool the temperature of your horse. This advanced rug utilises water-activated conduction technology to draw heat away from your horses’ body, promoting optimal comfort and cooling during warm weather.

Ideal for:

For further information and guidance on how to use the Equilibrium Quick Chill Cooling rug visit: https://www.equilibriumproducts.com/product/quick-chill-cooling-rug/

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

If you would like further information on any of the Dengie products or a personalized diet plan for your horse please call our feedline on 01621 841188 or click here to fill in our feed advice form.

Terms & Conditions: This competition will close at 11.59pm on 30th June 2024. One entry per person. One lucky winner will be selected from the correct entries and be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing. Prize consists of: 1 x Equilibrium Quick Chill Cooling rug (worth £120) – sizes available subject to stock, LeMieux 500ml drinks bottle, LeMieux Footsies (Adult), NAF Silky Mane & Tail D-Tangler, NAF Off Citronella spray, NAF Off Citronella wash, NAF Cooling wash, Roma Soft Grip sponge brush, Roma Massage glove, 2 x sponges, Bridleway Spotless Sweat Scraper, weigh tape, Dengie drawstring bag, NAF Hedgy treats, small Gorilla TubTrug plus £50 of Dengie feed vouchers. No cash alternative available. Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Open to UK mainland residents only.  Click here for full Terms & conditions

May 2024 Competition Banner

 

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

Win a Nose Bagz Stable Set worth over £120 plus £50 of Dengie Feed Vouchers!

Spring is finally here and now is the perfect time to spruce up your stable and tack room. We’ve teamed up with Nose Bagz offering the winner a handmade large corner hay feeder, stable organiser and BB bag, all available on classic black.

Nosebagz BB Bag

Nose Bagz BB Bag

The Nose Bagz large corner hay feeder is suitable for a large cob/horse and easily holds 2 x 8kg hay nets worth of hay. The corner feeder is designed to keep your horse in a more natural feeding position. Made from durable, mesh fabric the feeder is flexible, breathable and see through. It can easily be removed for cleaning and mucking out.

The Stable Organiser is great for storing grooming kit, boots and bandages, ideal for use on the yard or keeping your stable necessities to hand.

The BB bag is perfect for storing bits and bobs, brushing boots, bandages and even brushes, it could even be used in your trailer.

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

If you would like further information on any of the Dengie products or a personalized diet plan for your horse please call our feedline on 01621 841188 or click here to fill in our feed advice form.

Terms & Conditions: This competition will close at 11.59pm on Friday 31st May 2024. One entry per person. One lucky winner will be selected from the correct entries and be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing. Prize consists of 1 x large corner hay feeder (RRP £69.99), 1 x stable bag (£35.99) and 1 x BB bag (RRP £19.99), all in classic black, plus £50 of Dengie feed vouchers. No cash alternative available. Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Open to UK mainland residents only. Click here for full Terms & Conditions

Well, your hay samples at least! Have you ever wondered what happens to your hay after it has been sent to us to be analysed?

At Dengie, we offer a range of forage analysis services and packages which will provide the nutritional profile of your forage to help us prepare personalised feeding plans for your horse or pony. We analyse over 100 forage samples every year for customers and always retain some in case the lab need more for a re-test. As soon as we know the spare hay is surplus it can be disposed but instead of it going to waste on the compost heap, the hay samples are given to guinea pigs Pumpkin and Spider who absolutely love it!

guinea pig eating hay

A typical guinea pig will eat roughly 3-4kg of hay per month which is considerably less than most horses eat per day! We suppose it’s not surprising really- when you consider the size difference!

As you can see, Pumpkin and Spider love eating their hay as well as using it to keep warm and snuggle into when its colder!

Guinea pig snuggled under hay

Alongside their hay, leafy greens and balanced guinea pig food, Pumpkin and Spider also enjoy chopped grass and grass pellets as an additional treat, particularly when the weather is too cold or rainy to enjoy their time out in the garden.

If you would like further information on the different types of forage analysis we offer, click here.

For friendly feeding advice or information about our call our Feedline on 01621 841188 or click here to fill out our Feed Advice Form.

April 2024 Competition

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

The countdown to Badminton Horse Trials begins here…

…and to celebrate we are giving you the chance to win a pair of season member tickets plus you will have the opportunity to join Alex Bragg on a XC course walk on Friday 10th May and also receive a Dengie Goody bag containing a £50 feed voucher!

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

If you would like further information on any of the Dengie products or a personalized diet plan for your horse please call our feedline on 01621 735812 or click here to fill in our feed advice form.

Terms & Conditions: This competition will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 28th April 2024. One entry per person. One lucky winner will be selected from the correct entries and be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing. Prize consists of: 2 x season tickets which provide admission for Wednesday 8th – Sunday 12th May, access to the members enclosure, 1 x car parking pass and 1 x Dengie goody bag which includes a £50 Dengie feed voucher which will need to be collected from the Dengie stand in the World of the Horse Pavilion. No cash alternative available. Accommodation and travel to / from the event is not included. Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Click here for full Terms & Conditions

Our nutrition team have recently carried out a preliminary study comparing the accuracy of 3 different weigh tapes. The initial finding is that they vary by 20% or more from weighbridge readings, generally underestimating bodyweight especially on bigger horses.

Weigh tapes are an easily accessible way to monitor a horse’s weight and a survey of 650 people we carried out in 2021, found that 72% of respondents used a weigh tape on their horse. Of these, 25% used them weekly and 26% monthly. Regular monitoring is important as part of a weight management plan to help horse owners track changes in their horse’s bodyweight. If tapes are generally underestimating a horse’s weight it may well be contributing to the difficulties horse owners have in recognising obesity which is why we wanted to explore this area further.

Nutritionist weigh taping a horse

Three different brands of weigh tapes, each with varying scales, were compared with weighbridge readings. 29 horses were used in the study ranging from 13hh to 17.2hh with body condition scores 2.5-4.5 on a five-point scale.

Larger horses tended to be underestimated to a greater extent than ponies, with the biggest difference recorded for a 17.2hh mare who was 138kg less on one weigh tape reading compared to the weighbridge, a 21% difference! The closest weigh tape reading was still 104kg less than her actual bodyweight.

Overestimating bodyweight on a weigh tape was much less common with only 5 readings from the entire study being overestimated, some of which being the same horse. The greatest overestimate of the study was only 19kg, a 5.4% difference. This is in line with results from Grimwood et al. (2023) which found that the weigh tape used in their study typically underestimated bodyweight, more so for bigger horses. This is particularly interesting as the Dengie study used three different types of weigh tape rather than just one used in the 2023 study.

weightaping a horse

Different tapes were found to vary by up to 10% in their readings for the same horse at the same time which would equate to a difference of 50kg for a 500kg horse. Although the study was done on a relatively small scale, it provides further support for the importance of horse owners using the same tape every time when monitoring changes in bodyweight. The graph indicates all three weigh tapes showing how they compare to the weighbridge value for each individual horse. Each coloured dot represents a weigh tape reading with different colours representing different tapes used. The red diagonal line is the identity line which shows the point at which an identical reading would be seen between the tape and the bridge.

weigh tape graph

At Dengie, we provide a weighbridge service which can be a great opportunity for horse owners to compare their own weigh tape with the weighbridge reading. Interestingly, 56% of horses and ponies who attended a Dengie weighbridge clinic in 2023 were overweight which reflects levels of obesity regularly cited in the literature. Whilst weight is just a number and body fat/condition score is arguably more useful in the context of obesity issues, a correct weight is important for ensuring sufficient forage intake is maintained and determining feeding rates. Further work is planned, particularly looking at the accuracy of tapes for those that are overweight.

For more information about Dengie’s weighbridge service click here. If you would like information about our feeds or help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.

March 2024 Competition

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

Win a Complete Solar Electric Fencing Kit worth £355 plus £50 of Dengie Feed Vouchers!

Managing a horse’s grass intake is fundamental to managing their weight and therefore laminitis risk but it isn’t always easy to do. Strip grazing is one method which involves reducing the size of the horse’s grazing area by putting electric fencing across a strip of the field. As the grass is grazed, the fence is moved to gradually allow more grass access and to move the grass strip up the field.

This month one lucky winner will receive a complete solar electric fence kit worth £355 plus £50 of Dengie Feed Vouchers to redeem against their horse’s favourite low calorie feed!

Included in the kit is a Hotline Fire Drake 67 solar energiser which has an output joule rating of 0.5 Joules and will power up to 5km of fencing at 3,900v. The 12v battery is integrated into the base of the unit, behind the angled solar panel and there’s a sturdy carry handle at the top making this a well balanced and easily portable unit. The On/Off switch lights up when switched on and it’s about an inch across so you can see it from a distance as it flashes with every pulse of the energiser. There is a low battery / pulse indicator so you can easily tell if the energiser is getting enough power and the output can also be adjusted with High or Low settings to suit your fencing. The unit also comes with a mains adapter which can be used to help keep the internal battery fully charged during the winter months.

The kit includes a 1m long earth stake, 200m green 20mm poly tape, 20 green 4′ plastic fence posts with double footplates, a gate handle, ring insulators, a warning sign and an 8-level voltage tester.

**COMPETITION CLOSED**

If you would like further information on any of the Dengie products or a personalized diet plan for your horse please call our feedline on 01621 735812 or click here to fill in our feed advice form.

Terms & Conditions: This competition will close at 11.59pm on 31st March 2024. One entry per person. One lucky winner will be selected from the correct entries and be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing. Prize consists of a solar electric fence kit worth £355 plus £50 of Dengie Feed vouchers. The kit includes a Hotline Fire Drake 67 solar energiser, a 1m long earth stake, 200m green 20mm poly tape, 20 green 4′ plastic fence posts with double footplates, a gate handle, ring insulators, a warning sign and an 8-level voltage tester. No cash alternative available. Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Open to UK mainland residents only. Click here for full Terms & conditions

This week we donated feed to Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in Essex with the help of wholesaler Essex Animal Feeds. We have been working with Remus for over 15 years, supporting their team offering nutrition advice and evaluating the horse’s diets.

“This donation of Dengie feed couldn’t have come at a better time. The recent wet and windy weather have reduced our turnout time, so we’re using more hay and bedding which has had an impact on our funds” says Sue Burton, Founder and Manager of Remus Horse Sanctuary. “The donation of Dengie’s Hi-Fi Molasses Free and Alfa-Beet has helped to ease that financial burden a little. Thanks Team Dengie for making this possible and to the team at Essex Animal Feeds for organising a swift and seamless delivery”.

Katie with Daisy and Aleisha with Tiffany

Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free and Alfa-Beet are fed to a wide range of different horses, ponies and donkeys that live at Remus, many of which have dietary related issues such as PPID, EMS or poor dentition. This combination of high fibre feeds provides the horses and ponies with a low sugar and starch ration and can easily be eaten by those that struggle to chew.

“I have worked with the team at Remus for many years, they were actually one of the first places I visited when I joined the Dengie Nutrition team” says Tracey Hammond, Nutritionist at Dengie. “For me, beyond helping the horses, I have found it very rewarding supplying Sue and her team with the tools to make decisions on what and how much to feed, which means it’s only the really tricky cases they need to consult me on now”.

Minstrel and Monty enjoying the Dengie feed

When Dengie first started working with Remus, they had a very elderly population including many animals with dental problems. Finding an appropriate alternative to hay that these individuals could chew was key to helping with weight gain and maintaining digestive health. Some of the horses were later involved in a Dengie funded study by a Writtle College student to assess the impact of poor dentition on forage consumption. It was found that those with poor teeth consumed 2/3 less than normal horses. When the fibre format was changed to a completely soaked fibre source, Dengie Alfa-Beet, there were no feed refusals at all showing that for the older horse, supplying fibre in a format they can easily chew is vital.

Pony eating Hi-Fi Molasses Free and Alfa-Beet from bucket

Over the years the population of horses at Remus has changed and the number of younger horses that are laminitis prone due to Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) has increased. The facilities at Remus have changed to reflect this and they now have some superb woodchip areas to manage those that have to have restricted or no grass access. With the cost of living crisis the demands on Remus have significantly increased. Not only are their own costs to run the charity increasing, but the requests to help horses has multiplied as well. It is wonderful that Dengie have been able to make a contribution of Hi-Fi Molasses Free and Alfa-Beet that the majority of the horses eat to help lighten the load.

For more information about Dengie’s feeds or for help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.

At the end of each year Dengie’s team of nutritionists look back at the number and nature of the enquiries they received to their helpline over the last 12 months.

Data collected from enquiries made by horse owners has shown that promoting condition safely remains the topic most frequently asked about, accounting for over 15% of enquiries. Many horse owners were keen to avoid or reduce the amount of cereals their horses were consuming and so were looking for high quality fibre and high oil feeds, such as Dengie Alfa-A Oil instead.

Unsurprisingly, given the much-publicised issue of obesity, the number of enquiries relating to Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) in 2023 had increased by 1/3 compared to 2022 and was almost 3 times the number of enquiries from 2020. It can be a fine balance to provide enough fibre without promoting weight gain, particularly with trying to reduce the risk of gastric ulcers at the forefront of many horse owner’s minds. This was one of the issues horse owners highlighted in a survey Dengie carried out in 2021. The Dengie Feedline team have also seen an increase in the number of enquiries regarding good doers or overweight horses prone to or being diagnosed with gastric ulcers breaking the stereotype of the typical ‘skinny’ ulcer prone individual. It was these findings that resulted in the launch of Dengie Ulser Lite in 2022.

young horse grazing with mother

2023 also saw a 20% increase in enquiries to the Feedline regarding breeding and youngstock ranging from questions about weaning to how to ensure a broodmare is receiving enough nutrients to support a growing foal.

What may surprise horse owners is the wide variety of animals the Dengie Feedline team are asked about so whilst not the most numerous, they are often the most unusual and test the team’s knowledge. The fibre feeds Dengie produce are suitable for a wide variety of species and so enquiries come in for everything from rabbits to elephants! Dengie Alfa-A Original is fed to many of the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park including zebra, tapir and camels.

Lowland Tapier checking out bale of Alfa-A Original

The top 5 topics that horse owners enquired about in 2023 were:

  1. Promoting condition safely
  2. Providing sufficient fibre for good doers without resulting in weight gain
  3. Enquiries relating to gastric ulcers
  4. How to extend or replace hay
  5. Fibre feeds for horses with dental issues

The Dengie Nutrition team are on hand to answer any feeding queries horse owners may have from what to feed a recently weaned foal to fuelling energy in the competition horse or providing fibre for a veteran who struggles to chew hay.

For more information about Dengie’s feeds or for help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.

Dengie Nutrition Team