Mike Jerina: Good evening, welcome to the
Purina® Outlast™ Facebook live event. My name is Mike Jerina, I manage Purina’s horse
research facility which is where we are this evening. Wanted to take a couple of minutes
to tell you about what we do here before we get into the rest of our program. We currently
have about 80 horses here. We’ve got a mixture of registered American
Quarter Horses and registered Thoroughbreds also and we kind of stick to three major types
of research when it comes to developing feed. We look at taste testing or palatability,
eating behavior-type patterns of horses, we look at exercise physiology projects where
we run horses on our high-speed treadmill. We also look at growth and development of
young horses to try and develop equine athletes to their full potential for their customers.
We’ve got an active breeding program here where we breed Quarter Horses every year,
we have a foal crop of about 10 to 12 babies each year that then become our research horses.
When they’re done doing research projects for us here, we sell them at Private Treaty
to people on the outside so we’ve got some pretty good bloodlines. We’ve got a fair number
of people that are wanting to buy horses from us at any given time. You can see I’ve got
one of our research team with us here this evening. This is Tank, he’s 15 years old.
We bred him here at the farm, foaled him out here and he has been a taste tester his entire
life. Actually, about four hours ago, he was working really hard and doing a little bit
of work for us looking at a new product and tasting it so he did his taste testing this
afternoon. We brought him out to talk a little bit about this new product that we’ve got
out on the market. I’d like to introduce Dr. Robert Jacobs. He’s going going to talk to
you a little bit about this new product that we have.
Dr. Robert J: Hey, so my name is Dr. Robert Jacobs. I’m a research equine nutritionist
here at Purina. What we’re going to talk about tonight is our new gastric health program
and the centerpiece of that which is our new Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement.
As Mike mentioned, Tank has been doing a lot of palatability and eating behavior research
for us but recently, he actually worked on this new product, our Outlast™ Gastric®
Support Supplement. He’s really a fan of this, he really appreciates
the benefits that it provides him for his gastric comfort and his health. What we’re
going to do now is we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to head into our lab and talk
a little bit about the research and the science behind this new gastric support supplement.
For about five years now, we’ve been developing this new equine gastric support supplement
called Outlast™. We’ve been doing research here at the Purina®
Animal Nutrition Center, as well as the universities around the country. Our horses here, like
Tractor and many of our other horses, have done a lot of research to help us to better
understand how we can improve the gastric health of our horses through different nutritional
programs, through different nutritional protocols. I’d like to welcome everybody now to our equine
lab here at the Animal Nutrition Center. Today, what we’re going to focus on is the science
behind our new gastric support supplement, again, Outlast™. A little bit of background
is important before we start talking specifically about this product. We know that horses are
herbivores, they’re designed to consume forages about 20 to 22 hours a day.
However, modern managing practices and different nutritional needs of our horses require us
to feed them different meals of concentrate and to feed them at different meals. What
happens is we have these times during the horse’s day-to-day living in which they actually
have an empty stomach. That empty stomach and those times that that horse does have
less feed in their stomach that can actually cause the pH of the stomach to drop.
When the horse’s stomach is empty, the pH of the horse’s stomach is right around two,
so very acidic. However, what we want is we want that pH of the horse’s stomach to rise.
Now, we don’t want it to rise above too high of a point so we don’t want it to get too
high of a pH of seven but what we do want is we want to limit the amount of time that
that horse’s stomach spends below a pH of four.
The European College of Veterinary Medicine, a few years back, came to a conclusion that
said if we’re able to control the pH in the horse’s stomach, we can actually control the
amount of ulceration or control the amount of gastric discomfort that a horse has. As
a nutrition company, here at the Purina® Animal Nutrition Center, we heard that and
we said, “Okay, what can we do nutritionally to support the gastric health of horses?”
That’s where our Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement was born. Again, what we’re going
to talk about is we’re going to talk about, not only what Outlast™ is, but we’re going
to talk about the ingredients in Outlast™, we’re going to talk about why those ingredients
are special but more specifically, we’re going to talk about how they work. Let’s get right
down to the science. What we have here in this setup is we have
a simulated gastric environment. Here in this beaker, you can consider this beaker in the
inside of the horse’s stomach at a resting, fasting state. As you can see here, we have
a gastric environment. It’s a fluid environment, very similar of what would be in the horse’s
stomach right around the pH of two as you can see here on this pH meter.
Now, again remember, what we want to do is we want to figure out a way, nutritionally,
to keep that pH above a pH of four which is where we would consider it buffered. Again,
what we’re going to do here is I’m going to show you a little bit of a demonstration on
how we actually tested the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement and what it actually does
in the horse’s stomach. What we’ve got here is we’ve got a feeding of Outlast™.
This is a feeding of Outlast™ that has been paired down to actually be similar to the
size of the horse’s stomach. Typically, a horse’s stomach is about seven and a half
liters when it’s full but what we have here is we have a one liter beaker paired down
to what a feeding of Outlast™ would be to a horse with a stomach that would be a one
liter size. What I’ve done here is I’ve ground this Outlast™ up to simulate the chewing
that would occur prior to this feed entering the horse’s stomach.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to put this into the gastric environment and we’re
going to wait two minutes because our research here at the Animal Nutrition Center has shown
that after only two minutes, Outlast™ was able to buffer that horse’s stomach above
that pH of four. Now, remember, that pH of four is where we consider the horse’s stomach
to be buffered, where we consider the horses to be less at risk of developing gastric discomfort.
Let’s go ahead and see what happens. We have this Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement,
again, grounded to simulate chewing. We’re going to put this into a gastric environment,
we’re going to give it a real quick mix here. Again, just to simulate what would happen
as that Outlast™ or as that feed were to enter the horse’s stomach. What we’ll do is
we’ll set this timer here to about two minutes. During this two minutes, I’ll talk a little
about some of the trials that we’ve done both here at the Animal Nutrition Center, as well
as at farms around the country in our field trials, as well as universities that have
helped us to conduct a research to better understand how the Outlast™ Gastric Support
Supplement works. One of the studies that we did was with a group of highly stressed
traveling horses. This was a group of horses that worked and
moved all over the country again, who were exercising and were working very hard. We
wanted to understand, specifically, in these highly-stressed individuals how this Purina®
Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement would help to support their gastric health. What
we did is we put these horses on the gastric support supplement.
We actually investigated the health of their stomach using a veterinarian before, as well
as during and after these horses were on the supplement. What we saw was that the horses
that were on the Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement were able to maintain a
healthier gastric environment and less discomfort while they were on the supplement as opposed
to the horses that were not consuming Outlast™. In a real-world environment, in an in vivo
experiment in a horse, in very stressed and hardworking horses, we’re able to actually
demonstrate that the Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement supported the overall health
of the horse. Another thing that we did is we wanted to understand, specifically in the
horse, how this affected the pH of the gastric environment, so the environment of the horse’s
stomach. Again, we went to a university and we decided
to partner with one of our partner universities and said, “Okay, how can we test this? How
can we understand how this gastric support supplement is impacting the health of the
horse’s stomach.” What we did is we actually fed this supplement or the active ingredient
of the supplement which we’ll talk about here in a little bit.
I see Sarah has a question about our ingredients in Outlast™ and I’ll tell Sarah, hold on
for a couple of minutes and we’ll cover that for you here in a couple of minutes. We fed
the active ingredient here in Outlast™ to those horses and again, we saw that those
horses were able to maintain a higher pH in their stomach. Now, remember, a higher pH
is indicative of a lower level of acidity. We got our timer going off so we’ll stop that
timer. Time out on that study and what we’ll do is we’ll take a reading on our pH. Now,
you can see here, after only two minutes so incredibly, quickly, very hastily the pH rose
to about six point two. Now, remember, we want to make that this pH still says acidic
to maintain the function of the horse’s stomach but is well above that pH of four that we
considered a buffered gastric environment. Back to that study that we did and it kind
of goes right along with what we were talking about here. That study showed that when the
horses were consuming Outlast™, they were able to maintain a pH well above a pH of four
for a period up to and including four hours after they consumed the Outlast™ Gastric
Support Supplement. Again, we can show that not only are we improving
the gastric health of our horses, but we’re doing that through the modulation and through
the alteration of the pH in the horse’s gastric environment. Again, this is a really innovative
type of a technique here in which we’re able to support the gastric health of the horses
through a nutritional program. I see a question here from Linda talking about
if this is a nationwide supplement and absolutely, this is a supplement that is available through
the dealer network, our Purina dealer network all around the country. For those of you that
have questions about that dealer network, I urge you to go to Purinamills.com and take
a look at that. Linda, absolutely, this is a supplement that’s available nationwide.
When we talk about the way that Outlast™ works, the question that comes up is okay,
what are the ingredients in Outlast™? What we did is we went and we tried to understand,
specifically, what ingredients are associated with gastric health in the horse. The active
ingredient in Outlast™ is actually a calcified seaweed that’s harvested off the coast of
Iceland and Ireland. The reason that it’s able to work so well
and the reason that’s it’s able to have such a high buffering capacity, so the ability
to buffer a large amount of acid, can be really highlighted by this pretty simple sponge right
here. Just like a sponge has all these little nooks and crannies and openings in it, the
active ingredient in Outlast™ has a very honeycombed-like structure.
That honeycombed structure actually slows the breakdown of that active ingredient but
in addition to slowing that breakdown, it increases the surface area. Increasing the
surface area, actually increases the buffering capacity. Now, how can we test buffering capacity?
That’s a great question. One of the things that we did is we actually did a test just
like this in vitro trial. We evaluated the Gastric Support Supplement Outlast™ in this
simulated gastric environment. Then afterwards, we realize that the stomach
of the horse is a very dynamic environment. Everything is changing. There’s always acid
being secreted so what we did is we wanted to go back and then, challenge that Outlast™.
We said to that Outlast™, “All right, how well can you buff more acid?” What we can
do is we can actually highlight that by these test tubes right here.
We took this simulated gastric environment and we added acid back into it to test how
long and how much acid we can add back into this environment before we raise above a pH
of four. You can see here, they were able to add a significantly higher amount, a quantity,
a volume of acid into the gastric environment as compared to alfalfa, a very good gastric
buffer that is one of the ingredients in Outlast™, as well as a lot more acid as compared to
some of our nationwide competitors as highlighted by these tubes here.
Again, not only is Outlast™ able to raise the pH of the horse’s stomach above that pH
of four, it’s able to do it for a longer period of time, as well as able to buffer a lot more
acid than some of the other ingredients. When we go and we formulate a product like Outlast™,
we include products in there that help to improve the life of the horse so good high-quality
ingredients like wheat midds and alfalfa, as well as the active ingredient in Outlast™
which is that calcified seaweed. Those ingredients, again, is listed on the
bag and it’s important to always understand that just because the ingredient may not be
the first ingredient listed on the tag, it’s not necessarily not doing anything. Altogether,
the Purina® Outlast™ is formulated to support the gastric health of horses. We have a question
here from one of our viewers named Kelly who wants to understand how this would affect
horses who already have gastric issues. I think that’s really important to understand
because as I mentioned, the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement is formulated to help support
gastric health and gastric comfort in horses. In addition to developing Outlast™, here
at Purina working with our staff veterinarians as well as the rest of Team Purina, we actually
developed our Purina® Gastric Health Program. This gastric health program here actually
highlights ways that you can recognize, treat and then, support the health of the horse.
Altogether, all of the different aspects of gastric health, needs to be supported. If
you have a horse that already has diagnosed gastric ulcers, these are gastric ulcers that
have been diagnosed by a veterinarian using gastric endoscopy, you actually need to make
sure that you treat those ulcers pharmaceutically working with your veterinarian.
Then afterwards, once those ulcers have been treated, once the health of that horse’s stomach
has been addressed, the supplement like Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement can
very easily help to support that horse’s gastric health. I want to just point that again, if
your horse has gastric ulcers and has been diagnosed with gastric ulcers by a veterinarian,
it’s very important that you first treat those ulcers.
Then use a product, Gastric Support Supplement Outlast™ here, to help support the gastric
care of those horses. In addition to developing our Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement,
we’re well aware that horses that were in competition or horses that were performing
or athletic horses also underwent different stressors.
We wanted to make sure that we were addressing those different stressors specifically related
to the immune system of the horse through the development of two brand new feeds from
Purina which I’m going to show you over here. In addition to our Outlast™ Gastric Support
Supplement, we also have our brand new Purina Ultium® Gastric Care, as well as our Purina
Race Ready® GT. Ultium® Gastric Care and Race Ready® GT
both have the Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement incorporated into their
formulas. In addition, they have optimal fuel sources for horses that need that fuel for
the exercises that they’re being asked to do, the performances that they’re asked to
do, as well as a specialized yeast-derived beta-glucan that helps us support the immune
function of the horse. We have a question here from Britney who wants
to know what’s the recommended amount of feeding per day. What we’re going to talk about here
is specifically how to feed the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement and then, I’ll
talk about how we can feed Ultium® Gastric Care and Race Ready® GT. To highlight and
kind of bring all these together, Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement has
a very flexible feeding rate. In order to get the full dosage or the full
recommended serving of Outlast™, we recommend a 200 gram feeding. As you can see right here
on our supplement cups that have our Outlast™ line right there, a full recommended serving
of Outlast™ is 200 grams for a 1,000 pound horse. Now again, based on the overall size
of your horse, you can adjust this to meet those specific needs of that horse.
For a 1,000 pound horse, we recommend a feeding rate of about 200 grams for that horse. Now,
this feeding can be accomplished and top-dressed onto the daily ration of the horse so during
their AM and PM ration. In addition, this can also be fed as a snack by itself. As you
saw outside, Tank really likes this supplement. We tested the palatability of this supplement
here on the Animal Nutrition Center, as well as in trials all around the country with all
different types of horses. What we saw was this is a very palatable supplement
so you can actually feed this right as a snack by itself. We typically recommend, in feeding
the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement, is to feed this during the AM feeding, feed
it again during their PM feeding if you’re feeding your horses twice a day. Then, if
you’re tacking up your horse for riding or if your horse is undergoing a stressful event
like getting onto a trailer, we recommend that you give your horse another snack of
the supplement as well. We actually have a local user of Outlast™
who actually takes a bucket of their Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement on their trailer
and every time they go out and see their horses when they’re traveling, they give their horses
a handful of their Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement. It’s a very flexible feeding rate
that we can have when we’re feeding the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement.
Now, when we talk about the Ultium® Gastric Care and the Race Ready® GT, the horse will
receive a full serving of the Outlast™ active ingredient in four pounds of the Ultium®
Gastric Care or five pounds of the Race Ready® GT. Now, we get the question all the time,
“Well, I’m not going to feed my horse four pounds at once.”
Well, that’s where the flexible feeding out Outlast™ comes into play. If you’re feeding
your horse less than the overall recommended or the overall minimum requirement for the
dosage of Outlast™ in the Ultium® Gastric Care, for example, you can then top-dress
with a half serving of our Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement.
All of these together here, really, when we take all of what we’re doing together, we’re
really demonstrating that the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement can support the overall
health of the horse’s stomach through modulating the pH that we see during the changes in pH
that we see during the day and through different management practices. We have a question here
from Laura about how this product has different effects with different forages.
That’s a really good thing to point out and I’m really happy, Laura, that you pointed
out the forage component of a horse’s diet. Forage should be the number one component
of a horse’s diet as long as they’re able to consume that forage and get the nutrients
that they need out of that forage. As we’re keeping forage in front of our horses, whether
that’s a forage in the form of pasture or forage in the form of hay, that forage is
keeping the horse’s stomach buffered. It’s keeping the horse’s stomach at a higher
pH. Outlast™, when fed in conjunction with any of those forages, can still help to support
the gastric health in the horse’s stomach. What we saw, again, what we thought and what
we’ve heard from our customers and through the literature is that alfalfa, again, is
a pretty good forage that people have used to help support the gastric health of horses.
Well, that’s why we included alfalfa in the Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement. As
you can see, again, by these test tubes down here, Outlast™ was still able to buffer
to a higher level as well as more acid so it outperformed alfalfa. There’s a lot of
different ways that you can feed forages to horses but again, forages should be the major
component of a horse’s diet. When you look at the gastric health program,
you can see that that is definitely a component of treating a horse or maintain the gastric
health of a horse. When we’re talking specifically about Outlast™, again, I do want to highlight
the flexible feeding rates that you can have with Outlast™. Outlast™ can be top-dressed
onto any of the feeds that you’re feeding with whether it’d be Purina feeds or not.
We do recommend they be fed with Purina feeds but they can be top-dressed onto any of the
feeds that you’re feeding and they can be fed at that amount, that 200 grams per 1,000-pound
body weight, per feeding. Again, you can feed this during their AM feedings, during their
PM feedings, as well as giving them a snack during different times during the horse’s
day. We’re really excited about this supplement.
We’ve heard from horse owners all over the country how happy they are with how this supplement
is performing in their horses. They’re seeing different things. Gastric discomfort manifests
itself in horses in a lot of different ways. We can have horses that are very stoic and
won’t necessarily show that they’re in any type of gastric discomfort.
You can also have horses that may show you that they’re in incredible amounts of gastric
discomfort. These can be horses that have chronic colic, horses that may actually be
difficult keepers or horses that you can’t actually keep weight on, horses that may be
cribbers or wood chewers, things like that. What we’ve seen and we’ve actually heard from
our customers and heard from our field trials is that this Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support
Supplement is actually able to reduce some of those negative behaviors. More importantly,
it’s really able to improve the lives of these horses through easing that gastric discomfort.
Again, as we look here, you can see that this Outlast™ is still functioning in the simulated
horse’s stomach. You can see here, we’re still buffering to
a level well above that pH of four so again, that buffered capacity in that horse’s stomach.
You can see, again, Outlast™ really does help to support the health of the horse’s
stomach through modulating specifically increasing the pH or decreasing the acidity. With that,
I’m really excited to be able to talk to you about this new product that we have.
This is a really innovative new product. It’s been about four and a half to five years in
the making. We’ve done a lot of research here at the Animal Nutrition Center, our horses
here at the farm, all 80 of them, really do love this gastric support supplement. We have
horses all over the country that are eating this, competing on this supplement and really
improving their lives. If anybody has any questions, we’d be more
than happy to answer any of the questions that you have. Also, if you have any questions
about the farm or any questions about the Animal Nutrition Center as a whole, we’ll
bring Mike Jerina back in here as well so we can kind of go through those questions
as well. I see, we’ve got a question here from Britney asking, “Is there beet pulp in
it?” Beet pulp is a great source of fiber in horse’s
diets. We include beet pulp in a number of our different feeds and there actually is
beet pulp formulated into both Ultium® Gastric Care, as well as the Race Ready® GT. You
can actually see that beet pulp in the Race Ready® GT and so you can actually understand
that that beet pulp is there as a good fiber source or a source of energy for those horses.
Those horses are able to metabolize that energy and so, when I talk about the horses needing
specific fuel sources, that’s one of those specific fuel sources that we’re able to utilize.
What else? We got some more questions here. We got a question here from Kelly wanting
to know what studies we’ve done on long-term effects of a higher pH in the horse’s stomach.
That’s a really good question. When we talk about raising the pH of the horse’s stomach,
the horse’s stomach is acidic for a reason. We want to make sure that we’re maintaining
the function of that horse’s stomach so the enzyme activation, the enzyme activity, things
like that and the start of digestion in the horse’s stomach and if you improvethe digestion
of the stomach, you can actually improve the digestion in the rest of the horse’s tract.
When we talk about what happens when we increase the pH of the horse’s stomach for a long period
of time, that was definitely a research question that we had. We actually did a research study
here at the Animal Nutrition Center in which we used over 40 horses and fed them the Outlast™
Gastric Support Supplement, we actually fed them the Ultium® Gastric Care as their base
feed, as well as some controlled diets that had the sources of calcium that were similar
but from a different source to understand over a long period of time what effects this
actually had on the health of the horses. We actually collected a number of different
samples from a number of different time points. We collected things like blood, fecal samples,
urine samples, all of these to help us to understand how this can improve the health
of horses and is there a detriment to the health of the horse if we keep that pH at
a higher level for a prolonged period of time. All of our research showed that the only benefits
when we fed this supplement, that the horse is able to both utilize this supplement, utilize
the calcium and magnesium and phosphorus that is in the supplement, but there was no detriment
to the horse’s health. We have another question up here on the farm and I’m going to toss
this one over to Mike. This is a question from Jennifer asking, “Talk to me about the
babies on the farm and talk to me about some of the things that you do with your babies
on the farm.” Mike Jerina: We have foal crops like I stated
earlier every year. We use these babies to help us understand how to grow foals to their
full genetic potential. When someone wants to use one of those horses, whether they’re
going into the cutting pen, they’re going to go to a rodeo, they’re going to work a
dressage pattern, whatever they’re going to do with their horse, we want to take that
horse from when it’s foaled to when it’s fully usable by that person and take it to the maximum
capacity of what it’s capable of doing. In order to do that, you have to have a very
good understanding of how you grow these young horses. We’ve actually been registering foal
crops here for over 50 years now but each one of those foal crops over that period of
time has been utilized in different growth and development studies to try and grow those
babies big and strong. A typical growth study for us is not looking
at a small window of growth on those young horses, it’ll typically be looking at a two,
sometimes three, year period of how we grow those foals from when they’re still inside
the mare to when they’re actually large enough to be utilized by someone when they’re showing
the animal there. Those horses grow up and they become treadmill horses for us, they
become taste testers for us, they might become a replacement breed mare for us.
We do sell a lot of those horses like I mentioned earlier, a Private Treaty. Our breeding program
is only with our Quarter Horses and we work with a ranch called 6666 Ranch so they’ve
got 6666 bloodlines were people are actually looking for those bloodlines and wanting to
buy horses from us on a pre-regular basis. We’ve got age ranges here from foals that
have just come out of the mare to 21, 22 year old animals and then, everything in between.
We sell and find homes for those guys when we’re done using them here for research projects.
Dr. Robert J: Having those horses here on the farm in all of those different age ranges
really allows us to understand how products, like Outlast™, can help horses of all different
ages, all different breeds, all different types of work. We’ve got a question here from
Lisa who’s wondering, “Does the Ultium® Gastric Care contain Amplify?” Yes, our Ultium® Gastric
Care, as well as our Race Ready® GT does contain Amplify. For those of you who are
not aware, Amplify is our high fat supplement that’s included in a number of our feeds as
a source for calories for the horse. It’s a balanced supplement so all the nutrients
are balanced in that feed or in that supplement as well. The Ultium® Gastric Care, as well
as the Race Ready® GT does contain that Amplify nugget because it is, again, a source of really
good calories for that horse to be able to use. We’ve done a lot of research here to
understand the palatability of Amplify as it relates to different fat sources. Again,
yes, Ultium® Gastric Care and Race Ready® GT do have Amplify in there as well.
Got a question here from Danica wondering, “Does molasses affect gastric health? How
much and what kind of molasses do we use in our feeds?” I think that’s a really great
question because that goes back to all of those different causative factors of gastric
discomfort in horses. There’s just so many different factors to mention, whether they’d
be things like stress, travel, feed withdrawal, water withdrawal or new environment for our
horses. There’s a lot of different things that cause
gastric discomfort. One of those things is non-structural carbohydrate levels so high
levels of non-structural carbohydrates in a single meal have actually been shown to
increase the chances of gastric discomfort in horses through their ability to decrease
the gastric pH in the horse. Molasses is a source of those non-structural carbohydrates.
However, when we utilize molasses in our feeds, we utilize, typically, two different types
of molasses, either cane molasses or processed molasses.
This processed molasses is a unique form of molasses for us here at Purina and we use
a very small amount of molasses in our feeds. Molasses helps us to increase and improve
the palatability of our feeds. We do know that horses do really like the flavor of molasses
so including that in the feeds is really important for us, as well as it helps our textured feeds
bring those ingredients together into a more uniformed environment, sort of like a granula
for horses. We do utilize molasses in our feeds but, again,
when you consider the very small amount of molasses that we feed, as well as the smaller
amount of non-structural carbohydrates, the overall effect of the molasses on the gastric
health of the horse is very minimal when you’re feeding it appropriately. We’ve got a question
here, I’m going to turn this one over to Mike as well because I think this is a really great
question from Sarah. She’s wondering what the role of the treadmill is on our research.
Mike Jerina: The treadmill is actually a very critical part of what we do here for our research
program because it allows us to have a very controlled environment in which to exercise
our horses. It may not be exactly the way you ride your horse at home or exercise your
horse at home but it allows us to take a large group of horses and exercise each one of those
animals in a very exacting way. We can do the same exact exercise test on each one of
them to see how a product might perform and we’ve got several different things that we
use with that treadmill to measure performance of the horse.
We measure their heart rate, we measure gas exchange so they can see how much oxygen it
actually takes to power the horse, how much carbon dioxide they put out. We can take blood
samples while the horse runs on the treadmill and we can do all those things in a climate-controlled
environment where the horse is working in the same environment at the exact same speeds,
over and over and over again. That lets us see very minute differences in
how the horses actually perform and will we make changes to things like carbohydrates
or proteins or different fat sources to try and see how those influence performance of
the horse. That’s kind of how we use our treadmill. Those studies are typically also fairly long,
those can last 14 months. Some of the shortest ones we’ve done are nine to 10 weeks to see
if we can see performance difference on those animals. That’s a very good question.
Dr. Robert J: Thanks, Mike. It’s really important for us and I do want to welcome everybody
who hasn’t really been on the Facebook Live presentation here since the beginning. We’re
going to highlight our Purina® Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement but you guys are
all really lucky because you are getting kind of a behind-the-scenes view here of the Animal
Nutrition Center and the Equine Unit specifically. This is the lab of the Equine Unit at the
Animal Nutrition Center. As our unit manager, Mike, highlighted before, we got 80 horses
on property. We do nutrition research as it relates to a number of different areas of
physiology and tonight, we’re really focusing our Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement.
We got a question here from Alicia and she is wondering, “Can you feed Outlast™ while
treating for ulcers?” I think that’s a really good question as well.
Going back to the gastric health program that we mentioned before as we kind of developed
this gastric support supplement. We thought, again, it was very important for us to monitor
and manage the gastric health of horses but understand that this was a veterinary consideration.
It’s very important that the veterinarian is involved in the treatment of gastric ulceration
and gastric discomfort. Typically, and the only approved way, to treat
gastric ulceration in horses is through a drug called omeprazole. The active ingredient
in drugs like UlcerGard and drugs like GastroGard. For horses that are currently under treatment
through GastroGard or through omeprazole, under the advice of a veterinarian, it’s recommended
that you go through and complete the GastroGard treatment or the recommended treatment by
the veterinarian before starting your Outlast™. Once you’ve completed that treatment, Outlast™
Gastric Support Supplement can and should be a major component of that horse’s nutritional
program to help support the gastric health of that horse. We understand that there’s
a lot of causative factors but in addition, there’s a lot of different things that we
can do nutritionally, specifically feeding Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement, to
help support the gastric health of these horses. We’ve got a question here from Robin who wants
to know about field trials and how these works with Standardbreds. I’m actually going to
turn this over to Mike to talk a little about some of our field trials here and a little
bit about the research process. Right, we do a lot of research here at the farm, anywhere
between 25 and 30 research trials a year but we also work a lot in the field with our customers
in different aspects and different areas of the sport, different breeds, as well as different
universities and different things like that. I’m going to turn it over to Mike to talk
a little bit about some of our field trials that we do.
Mike Jerina: It’s important to point out and it’s something that we do that’s a little
bit different than what most research facilities do but we do our initial product development
here at our own research farm with our own horses. When we’ve been able to initiate some
kind of change or something that we want to see in those products, and things don’t always
work the way that we want them to, sometimes things pencil out on paper very nice but the
horse winds up telling us otherwise. That’s our job to go back and figure out how
to make those things work. We spend a lot of time making things work here at the farm
and when we have things whittled down where we think they’re going to be a highly effective
product, we will go to the field and try those products in real world environments. For us,
Outlast™ is a very good example of that. For Outlast™ field trials, when we’d completed
the four or five years of research here at this facility, we went out for another year
and a half. Our count got up to like 168 horses that we
were shipping this product to before it was actually released on the market. These are
horses that included horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby, we had horses that were competing
at NFR, we had horses at the Rolex Three-Day Event, all eating this event before it was
actually released with people competing at a very high-level like that.
A 168 horses, we covered some Standardbreds, Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Draft Horses,
Warm-bloods, the whole gamut was covered looking at how this product performed. We got pretty
much no negative feedback from any of those customers. They are all buying Outlast™
now, today, as it’s actually offered on the market and sold. We consider that a success.
When people competing at very high-levels along with every other customer that we have
can feed this product and they’re happy with it and buying it from our dealerships. Very
good question. Dr. Robert J: Yeah. Thanks, Mike. A really
important part of our research here is doing the field trials because we do very much understand
that our herd of Quarter Horses and our herd of Thoroughbreds doesn’t necessarily kind
of represent what you all, our customers, have out in the field. What we do know is
that the research that we conduct here on the farm is very controlled and it takes into
account a lot of the different variables that we would see out in the real world.
The controlled research combined with the field trials that we do is all a component
of developing innovative products like our Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement. We’ve
got a question here from Britney and I think it’s pretty important, talking about studies
with hindgut, hindgut studies of horses. The horse’s GI tract is pretty unique as it relates
to some of our domestic farm species. The horse is a hindgut fermentor. Basically,
in the stomach of the horse, in the small intestine of the horse, they’re just like
me and you. They have an acidic stomach, they have a small intestine that’s responsible
for the enzymatic digestion of the feed stuff but different from you and I is that the horse
has this hindgut area in which they’re able to utilize the fiber components of that horse’s
diet, so the forages that we feed that horse. All of those indigestible things that you
and I can eat like hay and grass, the horse is able to consume those because of the hindgut
environment and specifically, because of the bacterial population, the microbes, that are
present in the hindgut of the horse. Now we talk, specifically, as it relates to Outlast™
and the gastric support supplement, so gastric environment being that stomach environment.
Now, there are reports and there are different studies that have been involved with hindgut
ulceration in a horse. I do want to point out that hindgut ulceration and gastric ulceration
are very different from each other both in what the causative factors are and the way
that you treat those ulcers. Hindgut ulcers are relatively not as well understood as gastric
ulcers in a horse. I want to point out that Outlast™ Gastric
Support Supplement is just that, a supplement to help support the gastric environment of
the horse. As it relates to the hindgut of the horse, we do research here on the farm
with a specialized group of horses that allow us to obtain sickle fluid and sickle contents
of those horses to understand how our feeds impact the hindgut health of the horse.
Specifically, as it relates to Outlast™, this is not something that we’ve designed
to support the hindgut health of the horse. However, if we improve the gastric health
of the horse, the whole tract digestability, the whole tract’s health is something that
can be improved if you helped to improve the gastric health of the horse. We’ve got a question
here from Kristen and I think it’s great, “How many researchers work here at the farm?”
When we talk about Team Purina, we’re a team. We’ve got a great team of researchers and
a great team of technical support individuals, as well as our amazing team of research technicians
here on the farm. We have a group of two PhDs, myself, as well as Dr. Mary Beth Gordon who
direct and work on the research program here at the farm.
As well as our group of technical solutions nutritionists including our veterinarian,
Dr. Kathy Williamson who work to understand and to help support the dissemination of this
research to all of our customers all over the country. Specifically related to research
and the horse unit, we’ve got myself and Dr. Mary Beth Gordon, as well as Mike and his
team here of research technicians, of which we have five people, that work here and care
for those horses, all 80 horses, on a daily basis and also conduct all the research that
we do here on a year-round basis. It really is a team effort to conduct all
of these research because, again, anyone of you out there that knows feeding one horse
can be kind of a challenge. Feeding and caring for 80 horses, of all differing ages and activity
levels and then coupling on top of that, the research, can actually be quite challenging.
We’ve got a team of individuals to help us to do that.
We got a question here from Candice wondering, “Is this safe to use on a young horse that’s
getting ready to be broke?” Getting ready to be broken and riding for the first time
or anything new in a horse’s life can actually be really stressful on that horse. That stress
can manifest itself in a number of different ways and one of those different ways can be
gastric discomfort. Absolutely, feeding Outlast™ Gastric Support
Supplement to young horses. Now again, feeding it based on the body weight of that horse.
Remember, a 200 gram feeding rate for a 1,000 pound horse so if you pair that down, and
all those feeding directions and instructions are on the back of the bag out Outlast™
or at FeedOutlast™.com, all of these information is there as well. If you pair that down to
the body weight of the horse, you can absolutely feed this to young horses.
We’ve actually got one of our ambassadors who has weaned a number of horses on Purina®
Outlast™ Gastric Support Supplement and he claims that he’ll never wean another one
of his horses without utilizing Outlast™. We’re really happy about that because of the
benefits that he was able to see in those highly-stressed young horses. Amanda, we got
a question here, “Wondering would Outlast™ be a good option for a horse that does not
have ulcers,” and I like that you put in there that it was proven by scoping, ” But does
have an off pH in their stomach.” I think it’s important to understand that
just because a horse doesn’t have ulcers, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have
any gastric discomfort. Remember, gastric discomfort can manifest itself in a lot of
ways. Again, ulcers can be a causative factor in gastric discomfort but a low pH in the
horse’s stomach can actually make that stomach uncomfortable, can produce a lot of gastric
discomfort, a lot of instability and things like that.
Absolutely, feeding Purina® Outlast™ is something that you can feed to a horse that
doesn’t have ulcers. Now remember, we feed to horses after they’ve been treated for their
ulcers so most of the horses that are on Outlast™ don’t have ulcers to begin with but it helps
them maintain the gastric health of the horse, supporting that gastric health. We got another
question up here, I’m going to turn another question over here to Mike, “Can you talk
to us about some of the palatability research that we do here on the farm?”
Mike Jerina: We do palatability almost constantly. Our average for us is, in a yearly span, we’ll
cover 40 to 45 weeks up with palatability trials. We look at everything from taste to
texture to odor to the horses to see what they like and what they don’t like. We have
stalls setup specially where we can make multiple offerings to the horses and we can let them
go in to eat their breakfast, eat their dinner and they can tell us which one of those diets
they do like. We basically measure how much of each one
of the diets the horse will eat, take the horse back out to the stalls, measure that
on a daily basis and try and figure out where the taste preferences might be. It’s amazing
some of the things that you see, some of the things that you’ve heard from the very beginning
that horses like, things like sucrose or sugar, that sometimes they don’t necessarily like.
It’s very interesting to us but it’s also very important to find out what the horse
will actually eat. We can formulate some dynamite diets but if the horse won’t eat it, it won’t
do your horse any good. It’s very important to us to get it to a point where the horse
really likes it and the horse wants to go after it and consume it day-after-day especially
when they have to eat a lot of calories to keep up a high level of performance.
Dr. Robert J: Thanks, Mike. That’s really great. Palatability is something that’s pretty
important. We know that we provide and produce diets based on research for our horses and
we really do believe in supporting the health of our horses. The research-based diets is
database diets for all of these horses but if the horse doesn’t eat it, it doesn’t really
matter. The palatability research is incredibly important for us. We’ve got one last question
here from Heather, “How long do you do research on these products before they become available?”
I like that question. It really is variable, Mike talked before about some of our growth
and development research. Growing horses take a long time to grow and develop. Some of our
horses, depending on the breed and depending on the horse, they don’t stop growing and
fully developing until they’re four years of age or older. In order to fully understand
how these products are affecting the overall health of the horse, how these products are
really improving the lives and improving the health of our horses, it’s really important
for us to do long-term studies. A product like Purina® Outlast™ Gastric
Support Supplement, we actually did research on it for almost five years before it ever
went to the market. We wanted to make sure that we understood how the product worked,
we wanted to make sure that we understood that the product would work in a variety of
different horses and a variety of different environments and under a bunch of different
stressors. Again, that kind of research takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of investment.
Again, a product like Outlast™ can take between four and five years, a product like
Ultium® Growth or Omolene 300, those products that are specifically related to growing horses,
may take even longer than that. What we can say is that we will know, when we put a product
in a bag, the research and the data that we have behind that, we’re very confident in
saying that that’s how that product is going to work and that’s how that product is going
to function in the lives of the horse. We’re really excited to be able to bring all
of you guys here to the farm, show you a little bit about the research that’s done here at
the Equine Research Unit, introduce you to Tank, one of our researchers that’s been here
for a long time doing a whole lot of research. Most importantly, we’re really excited to
show you guys Outlast™, the new gastric support supplement from Purina. If you guys
are interested in learning more about this supplement, I urge you to go online to Purinamills.com
or go to FeedOutlast™.com to learn about the new product.
Learn about more of the research that went behind the product, learn about all of the
different things that we did to develop a product like Purina® Outlast™. Go visit
your local dealers, they’re all incredibly excited about Purina® Outlast™ Gastric
Support Supplement, as well as the Ultium® Gastric Care and the Race Ready® GT products
because they know and we know that these products really will help to improve the lives of our
horses, improve the gastric comfort of our horses. Thank you all, again, for joining
us here tonight. Again, if you have any questions, Purinamills.com or FeedOutlast.com. Thanks
for joining us and have a great night. Mike Jerina: Thank you.