Coconut or copra meal for horses
What is coconut (copra meal)
Coconuts are grown in tropical countries including Pacific Ocean Nations, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Coconuts are manually harvested and the outer husk removed. The coconut is then split in half and the white "copra" removed from the shell. The copra is dried, transported to the coconut oil mill, where the coconut oil is mechanically extracted, leaving the brown co-product called coconut or copra meal. Copra meal does not contain any husk or shell.
Over the years, horse owners have come to trust quality copra meal as a source of "cool', affordable energy for their horses. Its low sugar and starch levels and high content of oil and digestible fibre have made copra meal a low NSC feed, popular with horse owners from a wide range of disciplines. Copra meal has been used to assist with weight-gain, conditioning and maintaining a glossy coat.
Be Sure to Choose Premium Quality Copra
However, not all copra meal is the same. The processing methods and quality of the copra meal produced can vary considerably. For instance, poor-quality Asian copra meal is mostly chemically extracted, direct (smoke) dried and can contain high levels of aflatoxins. Hence it's imperative that horse owners ensure they only buy premium quality, mechanically extracted copra meal from a reputable source.
Why is Copra Meal a Unique Feed?
Copra meal contains 8-10% oil as coconut oil, only 11% NSC and 15 MJ DE which makes it a unique feed for horses. Coconut oil is very different from many of the other vegetable oils commonly fed to horses. Coconut oil is highly saturated, which makes it very stable (ie. not prone to rancidity). Coconut oil also has a high content of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), which provide a ready source of non glucose energy for exercise. Coconut oil is also rich in the fatty acid "lauric acid".
Copra meal can be fed to all classes of horses ranging from breeding and growing horses, to aged horses, leisure-pleasure mounts, pony-clubbers and performance horses.
Key Benefits of Premium Coconut: