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Horse Feed with a side of glyphosate

Food for thought on this rainy afternoon for my horse peeps: Have you heard about what glyphosate herbicides can do to the gut microbiome (brand name Roundup)?

"the heavy use of glyphosate may have a strong impact on the species diversity and composition of microbial communities via (1) the purifying selection against sensitive bacteria, (2) the rapid adaptation of some bacterial groups to become resistant to glyphosate, and (3) the potential glyphosate-related multidrug resistance in bacteria".

We (mammals) have thousands of different species of microbes and bacteria living in our gut. They are crucial to more processes in our bodies than we even know about at this point. So glyphosate may or may not directly affect mammals when we eat foods that have been sprayed with it, but it is nearly guaranteed to affect the beneficial microbes in our gut. Mostly I've thought about the implications in humans, but one day I was thinking and thought "horses and most livestock only eat plant matter, why aren't we looking at how glyphosate is affecting them?". That line of thought led to thinking about the frequency with which colic occurs in horses. I have no idea if colic frequency has increased in recent decades but it sure seems to happen pretty frequently to people with any larger amount of horses (more than 2-3). What I also know is that we lost our first horse Diva to colic, and nearly lost Argo to colic 4 years ago. Since then, after changing some horse management practices, we have only had two scares with colic and had up to 9 equines at a time. The two instances were Tori, (when she was heavily pregnant with Dutton and one dose of banamine took care of it) and Ember, which turned out to be stress ulcers. She's just a ball of stress over every little change and we know how to manage it now. Beyond that, we have not had any colic issues for nearly 4 years and we are attributing that to our herd management and now more recently the feed and hay we're choosing.

Last October, we bought our last "conventional" feed for our horses. We were huge fans of a local mill that is very well known in the southeast when we lived in Ocala since it was a locally milled feed and the horses loved it. However, when we came to NC and we were suddenly on a pristine property that had purposefully been regeneratively and organically farmed for at least the last two owners and nearly 10 years, we couldn't in good conscience knowingly bring residual herbicides onto the property through conventional feeds and forage. Upon checking out the ingredient label on our old feeds, the first few ingredients are soy, wheat, beets, and flax. Take a look and see what crops are most treated with glyphosate. I did for you: corn and soy, but also wheat and beets all rank near the top treated crops. So we were unknowingly feeding our horses a big old dose of glyphosate with their dinner every night. Since we now planned to use their manure in our compost, and healthy compost relies on a full microbiome of healthy bacteria and fungal activity, we knew we had to source feeds and hay that couldn't negatively impact our new pristine land. After a few orders from New Country Organics, we decided that we were going to try to become dealers so that we could spread the word of this amazing feed to as many people as possible. Most of our customers to this point have come to us already as NCO customers but finding that they had a new, closer source of the product. I'm hoping this long winded, overly wordy post can help get the word out to a few more. Even if you don't buy New Country Organics , seek out an organic (or at the very least non-GMO so that the crops can't be indiscriminately sprayed due to genetic modifications) feed source for your horses.

P.S. Check out the images of the feed - you can actually tell what ingredients are in the feed rather than a smushed up mess of molasses or an unidentifiable grayish pellet.

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