To create our unique high fibre oat straw range we only use the very best natural ingredients.
The way we source our ingredients is extremely important to the quality of our Honeychop range; we source all our ingredients to ensure that your high standards are always met. Only ingredients that are sourced from approved suppliers, with full traceability, are used in our range. We regularly visit our suppliers to make sure our high environmental standards are being adhered to.
We also manage the full production of our products on site, so we can be sure that we know exactly what goes into every bag we produce; this means we are able to trace every bag right back to the field in which it was grown.
Stringent control measures are in place to reduce the risk of contamination with substances that are prohibited under competition rules. We do this by sourcing all our materials from companies that comply with quality assurance schemes, UFAS and FEMAS. We evaluate the risk of NOPS contamination during every step of the sourcing, storage and transportation process and manufacture to a strict code of feed safety monitoring all ingredients.
The oat straw we use in our Honeychop range is either home grown or locally sourced from Conservation Grade farms who produce and grow under ‘Fair to Nature’ standards. Conservation Grade farming means we have a proven commitment to farming that lets nature flourish – a commitment to being Fair to Nature.
We know all the farmers personally and have been working with them over the past 20 years, which means we are able to achieve outstanding quality in every bag. With this strong link we are able to track the progress of all our oat straw (not just the straw grown on our farm), which means we are able to trace every bag of Honeychop right back to the field in which it was grown.
This also means we understand how the crops are grown and what products are used during the growing process. For example, we can assure you that glyphosate is not used on any of our products.
Whilst glyphosate is an approved herbicide and widely used in UK agriculture, we do not use it as a desiccant to help wilt, or dry the oat straw that is used in Honeychop; we simply rely on harvest timing, sunshine and the heat of the summer months.
The only application of glyphosate that we occasionally use in growing oat straw is one small application pre-planting to kill any emerging weeds in the seed bed. This has no effect on the crop, or seed and there is no direct contact with the growing crop. The use of glyphosate at this timing reduces the need for using additional herbicides in the growing crop.
We know that using oat straw is important, which is why we use it as standard rather than cheaper cereal straw, such as wheat, or barley. Oat straw is softer, more palatable and has a lower lignin content which makes it the easiest straw for a horse to digest. This is why it is always the primary ingredient of any product in the Honeychop range.
But don’t just take our word for it, read what Dr Teresa Holland (BSc(Hons),MSc(Animal Nutrition), PhD,RNutr, Senior Teaching Fellow (Nutrition)) has to say on the subject in her article: “Do you know what’s in your fibre feed” click here
Growing lots of oat straw to make Honeychop means we have lots of oats leftover as a by-product, so we thought you might like to know what we do with them. All the oats are grown to a human grade standard and are sold to a well-known breakfast cereal producer. So perhaps, maybe both you and your horse, or pony will be eating Honeychop oats for breakfast.
In addition to our primary ingredient oat straw, we add other ingredients to enable us to make our full range; these ingredients are naturally nutritious and help our products to remain fresh. They
also provide variety and a range of benefits for your horse, or pony.
We use grass which is sourced and grown in Eastern England. A mix of perennial grasses, it is high in quality protein which is great for muscle development and helps with overall condition.
The grass is dried at high temperatures killing any bacteria and spores, but whilst preserving the nutrient value and leaving the forage clean and nutritious.
We source our Alfalfa from fully certified farms that specialise in growing and drying the crop.
We audit and visit all our farms to make sure they provide the Alfalfa to our exact requirements. Alfalfa, also called Lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family that is packed with nutrients and rich in protein, calcium and vitamins. It also provides high levels of digestible fibre, which makes it an excellent source of slow release energy.
Alfalfa is higher in protein than grass and hay, making it ideal to improve condition. It is also a rich source of calcium and has a higher overall vitamin content than regular grass, or hay.
This is a special blend of herbs made just for us and contains mint, basil, oregano and thyme which are all herbs known for their therapeutic properties to horses and ponies.
Thyme is an anti-spasmodic and can help inflammation or infection of the respiratory tract, ideal for coughs, cramps and chest infections due to its antiseptic properties. It stimulates circulation, digestion, nervous responses and secretion of hormones aiding metabolism. Whilst being an insecticide it keeps away insects, pests and can be effectively used to deter parasites such as fleas, lice and flies.
Oregano contains elements that help with digestion and stimulates the immune system. It also aids in the smooth running of the cardiovascular system which helps in fighting diseases, stabilises body temperature and maintains PH balance.
Mint is germicidal and a breath freshener. It takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth by cleaning the tongue and teeth. Mint is a good appetiser and promotes digestion.
Basil is a natural antiseptic and known for being an antioxidant that aids digestion.
Please note that the herbs are only added in small quantities and to achieve maximum benefit you may need to provide extra herbal supplements to your horse or pony.
We use the dried Camomile flower heads as they are known to soothe the nervous system and helps horses, or ponies relax and sleep better.
It is great at soothing an upset stomach by helping to relax the muscle and lining of the intestines. Camomile can help with poor digestion and can calm muscle spasms. It induces a calming effect which helps relieve stress, tension and settles nerves.
Camomile is not only great at calming, but it has an antibacterial property that can help protect against bacterial related illness, or infection. It also promotes a healthy coat with its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and can help in clearing up skin irritations and allergies.
Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees, rich in volatile oils and tanins, cinnamon has also been shown to act as an antioxidant which can lead to improved health. Although no specific trials have been performed on horses cinnamon may prove to have beneficial effects in laminitic equines.
We use real crushed dried mint leaves in our products, not artificial mint aromas, or flavours, so your horse will get all the benefits from this herb.
Mint is a good digestive aid and an excellent appetiser making it very appealing to fussy feeders. It also acts as a breath freshener, as mint is germicidal and can take care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth by cleaning the tongue and teeth.
The Marigolds we use are dried flower heads and you will be able to see them clearly in the product. They are known to contain antioxidants, which help against digestive inflammation.
Marigolds are also a rich source of vitamins A and C and are high in oil. This means that not only will your horse, or pony benefit from external coat shine, but they will also receive internal benefits from these little yellow flowers.
We use natural garlic cloves which have been crushed and include them at a rate of 30 grams per kg. This means by feeding just 1kg a day of Honeychop Plus Garlic you are feeding the recommended amount of garlic for an average horse in light work in a moderate climate, which eliminates the need to buy extra supplements.
Garlic is believed to be one of the most effective natural healing substances in the world and is used by many horse and pony owners as a regular equine feed supplement. Over the years garlic has been shown to relieve pain and reduce inflammation; as well as being rich in sulphur, which is recognised as having blood cleansing properties and has also been used to aid circulation. It is also ideal for keeping flies away during the summer months, or to mix with supplements or medications as the strong aroma can mask unpalatable smells and flavours.
We have done the hard work so that you don’t have to!
Feed our Honeychop Plus Garlic and take away the extra cost and hassle of buying garlic supplements.
Every year we use enough crushed garlic to make over 2 million loaves of garlic bread (Imagine that!)
Apple Pieces & Apple Flavouring
We use real human grade apples that have been dried and diced into pieces. You may never find them in your bag as they are diced to 10mm squares, but we can assure you that they are there and your horse or pony will always find them.
We also use a natural smelling apple flavour, which is the wonderful apple fragrance you and your horse love so much. With both the apple pieces and apple flavouring even the fussiest of feeders will be tempted.
Linseed oil is rich in natural omega-3 fatty acids, mainly linolenic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. A horse’s diet is generally high in omega-6 fatty acids, often found in cereal grains, pulses, corn and soya oil but often relatively low in omega-3. Linseed oil helps to redress this balance and is also associated with improving skin condition and coat shine and improving general well-being in the equine. Linseed oil is the best plant source of essential fatty acids, second to fish supplements which contain the highest balance of omega-3 and omega-6 oils.
Rapeseed oil is known to be one of the healthiest oils available and like all oils provides an excellent source of slow release energy. Rapeseed oil is a source of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, it is also a source of vitamin E. Easily digested and absorbed rapeseed oil maintains condition and coat shine.
Oil helps horses and ponies maintain strong hooves, glossy coats and better all-round condition, as well as being an important aid to digestion.
Soya oil has been proven to be the most beneficial of all the vegetable oils. Being predominantly rich in natural Omega fatty acids it promotes good skin and coat condition. Soya oil is a source of slow release non-heating energy that can help to improve your horse, or pony’s stamina and is also known to have beneficial effects for horses with stiff joints.
Limestone flour is a calcium supplement for horses, or ponies,which is an essential mineral, vital for healthy growth, strong bones, teeth and hooves.
We source our limestone flour from Derbyshire, which has the purest deposits of natural carboniferous limestone found in the UK. The kernel limestone is extracted from the quarry face by blasting, it is then loaded into huge dump trucks and hauled to the crushing process. From here the limestone is successively reduced in size by further crushing, milling and screening until it is less than 6mm. The next stage in the production process is drying in order to reduce the moisture content of the material to less than 0.1%. The fluidised bed dryers used in this operation are fuelled by natural gas, low in contaminants such as dioxins. Fines extracted from the drying process are then air classified to produce a consistent flour grade material. The limestone flour is stored in dedicated silos, before it is then packed into convenient 25Kg sacks and delivered to us for inclusion in our products.
More often than not a horse, or pony is deficient in salt when it is in work and this deficiency will only grow worse in warm weather. The impact on performance may not necessarily show as a problem, your horse, or pony may just knock the odd pole down show jumping, or have a lack of energy in a dressage test, but when it makes a difference to competition results it is a problem worth addressing.
Supplementary salt should be provided daily in a ration and not just prior to or during competitions. Unfortunately palatability can often be a problem when adding salt to the diet, especially with a fussy horse, or pony, so we have overcome this issue by adding salt at a functional rate of 25 grams per kg in our highly palatable oat straw range. 25grams is the recommended amount for an average horse in light work in a moderate climate.
The salt we use is PDV salt which has been produced from solid deposits located in mid-Cheshire. The extraction process involves injecting hot water into these underground deposits of salt and pumping out the resulting concentrated brine solution. By carefully controlling the rate of extraction, the ultimate size of the resulting caverns, and by leaving them full of saturated brine when extraction is completed, poses little risk of environmental damage. The saturated brine is then boiled in large vessels called effects. Steam is used to heat the brine in chambers called calandrias. By linking several (up to six) effects together, the steam produced from the boiling brine in the first effect is transferred to heat the brine in the next effect. The linking of effects leads to the process being called multiple effect evaporation. As the initial steam input often comes as a by-product of the electricity generation process, the production of salt by this method is energy efficient. Because of the physics involved in the process, multiple effect evaporation leads to a fall in pressure through the series, until the final evaporation is under vacuum. For this reason, the salt made in this process is called vacuum salt. The first product of the evaporation process is a mixture of salt in brine. This is then dried further to give Pure Dried Vacuum Salt (PDV). PDV is the highest quality salt and the one we use in our products. Animal grade salt is available, but we only ever use human grade standard salt as we want your horse, or pony to have the very best.
Our natural preservative is a very sophisticated mould inhibitor which is safe for use in animal feed.
It is a formulated blend of organic acids and their salts which all have natural characteristics that help the preservative to distribute evenly and effectively. All raw materials used in our natural preservative go through comprehensive quality control checks, with every load being sampled and tested for its quality.
Each organic acid naturally targets a different group of potentially harmful microbes. The specific organic acids in our natural preservative work in synergy to control mould growth, providing a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect. This antimicrobial effect ensures that you will always get the fresh Honeychop you are used to, even in the summer months when conditions are optimal for mould growth.
Low Sugar Molasses Blend
Sugar is a vital energy source for horses and ponies as the brain and the central nervous system require glucose for energy.
Sugar is therefore useful in moderation and the addition of our bespoke coating to our chaffs keeps our sugar levels as low as possible whilst providing a palatable feed. Horses are very well adapted to digest and metabolize sugar, as long as it is trickle fed as it would be in grazing and not offered in one large meal. Here at Honeychop we use a bespoke low sugar blend, which means our fibre is only lightly coated and the total sugar content is low. We do not solely use raw cane molasses as our coating.
We have been busy making some changes to our recipes to gradually reduce sugar levels, whilst still meeting our high standards and great taste we have been able to reduce total sugars on average by 2%. We use a unique blend which has been specially designed just for us and is now even lower in sugar.
Here at Honeychop HQ every intake of our blend is tested before it is deposited in our tank, to ensure that the product has the specific dry matter and analysis we require. We continue to test the blend over its use, to ensure that the blend maintains the desired level as we manufacture our Honeychop range.