All About Pea Hull Fibre
At Dengie we use a range of ingredients to supply fibre for horses. The latest ingredient to be introduced to our portfolio of ingredients is pea hull fibre. As the name suggests, the fibre comes from peas and is the hull from the pea itself rather than the pod.
Benefits of pea hull fibre for horses
Pea hull fibre provides a mix of different fibre types whilst being very low in sugar and starch. Of the fibre content, around 20% is pectin which is a highly digestible form of fibre for the horse. There is also a very low level of lignin which means the fibre that is present is very easy for the horse to access and utilise – in contrast to more lignified forages like straw and late cut hay.
The hulls of legume seeds such as peas are a good source of natural anti-oxidants too in the form of poly-phenols such as flavonoids. These are one of the reasons humans should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day as it means we consume these natural nutrients that are beneficial for health. As good doers are typically on limited pasture, they miss out on many natural nutrients and so using a wide range of ingredients in the bucket helps to counteract the lack of pasture.
Why have we included pea hull fibre?
Pea hull fibre is featuring in Meadow Lite with Herbs which is based on straw with a very small proportion of grass to try and keep the sugar and energy values low. Straw is a great source of fibre but it doesn’t contribute many other nutrients and so pea hull fibre has been included to supply some minerals such as calcium and potassium. Meadow Lite with Herbs is still a straight feed but supplements and balancers are designed to be fed alongside ‘average’ forages and rations. Good doers are often fed restricted amounts and when straw makes up a significant proportion of the ration, levels supplied by the forage are lower than average. The addition of pea hull fibre helps to counteract that.
FAQs about pea hull fibre
Do horses like pea hull fibre?
The pea hull fibre has been tested with a wide range of horses and ponies during the development trials of Meadow Lite with Herbs. The feed has been eaten up well and so we can conclude that pea hull fibre is palatable when included as part of the ration.
Is pea hull fibre high in protein?
No, in fact it is very low in protein as it is just the fibrous hull from around the pea. Pea protein has become a popular source of plant protein in recent times but that comes from the pea itself. The demand for the protein has made the pea hull fibre a more abundant ingredient available for use in animal feed.
Is the pea hull extracted using chemicals?
No, the hull is removed mechanically using a gentle brushing and rubbing technique. Air is then used to move the fibre through a grinding process to create a flour-like texture. Heat is applied to ensure it is free from any microbes and therefore safe to use as a feed ingredient.
For further advice on pea hull fibre for horses or to receive a personalised ration plan for your horse call the Dengie Feedline on 01621 841188 or complete our Feed Advice Form.