We are proud to announce that as of 1st October 2021 we will be using Green Energy which is 100% renewable electricity that has zero carbon dioxide emissions.
The switch to Green Energy is part of Dengie’s continued commitment to sustainability including our recent accreditation with the prestigious Investors in the Environment scheme. This formalises and builds on initiatives that Dengie have instigated as part of our Royal Warrant holder status. Other recent sustainability achievements include introducing hybrid and fully electric cars into their small fleet of company cars, installing solar panels on new office buildings, and introducing the maximum amount of recycled plastic into our packaging.
We are currently using about 60 tonnes of recycled plastic material in our feed bags per year. This equates to approximately 150,000 4 pint milk bottles. Since the solar panels were installed in 2019, the excess energy generated has put enough energy back into the grid to supply the average household with electricity for four years.
At the heart of Dengie is the strong ethos in producing sustainable feeds, growing as many of our own ingredients as possible. Our alfalfa is grown within 20 miles of where it is made into the finished feed and so has one of the lowest ‘feed miles’ of any horse feed ingredient and provides the best traceability possible. This means that every bag of Dengie feed can be traced back to the field it was grown in.
You can find more information about sustainability at Dengie here.
The most commonly asked questions relating to veteran horses on the Dengie Feedline are weight loss, what to feed a horse with PPID and alternatives to forage for those with poor teeth? This is our advice as to how best to manage these issues.
If your veteran horse starts to lose weight it is important to try to establish the root cause and not just assume it is due to “old age” as this will help determine the best course of action for managing the situation. Many senior mixes and cubes have higher levels of starch than would be suitable for some horses and ponies, especially those with a history of laminitis. Protein is a nutrient that receives lots of attention when it comes to maintaining top line and muscle mass in the senior horse. Remember that the quality of the protein is just as important as quantity. Alfalfa and soya are rich in lysine and methionine, the essential amino acids which have to be supplied in the diet, and both are commonly used in feeds for older horses. Alfa-A Oil is Dengie’s highest calorie fibre feed and is based on pure alfalfa with a high oil coating and so has a calorie level equivalent to a conditioning mix or cube but without the high starch levels. This makes Alfa-A Oil a suitable feed for older horses that need to gain weight but that require a low sugar/starch ration. It can also be fed alongside Dengie Alfa-Beet if extra condition is needed.
Another element to consider is that the population of bugs that live in the horse’s gut are more vulnerable to disruption in older horses and so if your horse has had loose droppings or a history of colic, it is worth trying a digestive aid supplement. Live yeast or prebiotics are both approved for use in horses and help to create the right conditions in the gut for the fibre-digesting, beneficial bacteria to thrive. This usually helps the horse to get more from the fibre they are fed which aids their weight and condition too.
The underlying endocrine problem of PPID (Cushing’s Disease) can increase the risk of laminitis in horses and ponies. Those that have Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS), as well as PPID are at an even greater risk of laminitis. The trigger that ultimately results in the clinical signs of laminitis is often diet-related and is usually due to excessive consumption of sugar and starch. Therefore, when looking for suitable feeds for horses and ponies diagnosed with PPID, the advice is to choose products that are low in sugar and starch. The recommendation is that the non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) content, which is a combination of water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC, or ‘sugar’) and starch, is less than 10-12% when combined.
At BEVA Congress in 2021, the use of medications for PPID such as pergolide was discussed. You may be interested to know that there is no evidence that pergolide improves insulin sensitivity or therefore reducing the risk of laminitis. Another really useful piece of advice was that pergolide shouldn’t be left in feeds made up to be fed at a later time. As soon as it is exposed to air and/or water in the feed, the pergolide will deteriorate and so may therefore be less effective when it is consumed.
When horses are stabled hay and haylage are usually their main fibre source. The long length of these forages can sometimes cause a veteran horse problems, as their teeth become less effective – they can spend hours chewing only to create balls of forage that they then drop (quid). The reduction in forage intake can result in weight loss or if too much partially chewed food passes further into the digestive system the risk of impaction colic increases significantly. If your veteran has lost weight in previous winters then taking action early is key to try and avoid it happening again – it’s a lot easier to maintain weight in winter conditions than to promote weight gain!
In a trial comparing the amount of 3 different types of fibre (hay, Dengie Hi-Fi Senior and Dengie Alfa-Beet) horses with poor dentition were able to consume within a certain time period, the reduction in intake was most significant for hay. Those with poor teeth consumed up to two-thirds less hay in the same time period as those with no dental issues. The smallest difference was with the soaked product and a slight reduction was seen with the short chop product. Some of those with dental issues declined to eat the hay completely, whereas the soaked product was not refused by any of the horses.
Dengie’s range of fibre feeds, both short chopped and soaked, are all sympathetic to the horse’s digestive system and several of the products can be used as partial or full hay replacers for veteran horses to overcome the challenges of poor dentition. Hi-Fi Lite, Hi-Fi Senior and Pure Grass can all be used as a full hay replacer by simply replacing weight for weight with the hay. All hay replacers can be fed from the floor or in a large bucket rather than a net. However, like a haynet, larger quantities of these hay replacers can be left with your horse for them to “graze” on over a longer period of time.
The fibre particles in soaked products such as Dengie Alfa-Beet tend to be ground much smaller which makes them even easier to chew and improves digestibility too. If a horse can manage some short chop fibre, then it is beneficial to feed some alongside the soaked feeds to help increase chew time but only if it doesn’t cause the horse to quid more.
*Terms & Conditions: This competition will close at 11.59pm on 31st October 2021. One entry per person. One lucky winner will be selected from the correct entries and be notified via email within 7 days of the competition closing. No cash alternative available. Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Open to UK mainland residents only. Click here for full terms & conditions
Dengie’s new Green Cross logo, has been added to Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free. Our new eye-catching logo has been added to help horse owners easily identify the right feed for their laminitis-prone horse or pony and is accompanied by an endorsement from The Laminitis Site. “We are delighted that The Laminitis Site feed and recommend Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free and it was a natural progression to add their endorsement to our packaging” commented Katie Williams, Dengie’s Technical & Product Development Manager.
Laminitis is often the symptom of an underlying metabolic or endocrine problem such as EMS or PPID. One of the biggest risk factors for laminitis is obesity and levels continue to rise in the UK equine population; a recent study conducted by Carslake et al (2020) found 75.2% of horses and ponies in livery yards and riding schools were overweight.
Although Hi-Fi Molasses Free features the new Green Cross logo, there has been no change to the product itself. It still contains just 2.5% naturally occurring sugar which is between 5 and 10 times lower than average grass hay. Hi-Fi Molasses Free is low calorie making it ideal for good doers and overweight individuals and is high in fibre, providing the horse with slow-release energy that takes longer to chew than mixes and cubes. This provides a more natural form of nutrition for horses and ponies who have evolved to spend 16-18 hours of everyday eating.
Look out for the new Green Cross logo on Hi-Fi Molasses Free packaging appearing in stores this month!
For more information about The Laminitis Site visit: https://www.thelaminitissite.org/
To celebrate 10 years of collaboration with the British Hen Welfare Trust and the development of Dengie Fresh Bed For Chickens, we have made a donation to help support the charity at this difficult time. Like a lot of charities, the British Hen Welfare Trust have had to curtail a lot of their great work which is immensely frustrating for them.
Jane Howorth, MBE, founder of the British Hen Welfare Trust said “We were thrilled to receive the kind donation from Dengie, who have been supporters of our charity for a number of years. We are staunch advocates of Dengie’s Fresh Bed as we think it’s the ideal product for our hard-working hens as they start their well-deserved retirement. Dengie’s kind gift will enable the many hens who pass through our caring hands on their way to their new adopted homes to experience the pleasures of soft, sweet-smelling bedding for the first time in their lives. Thank you so much to Dengie for making that happen!”
Fresh Bed for Chickens is made from naturally soft, dust extracted straw with a pine oil coating, providing anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Fresh Bed helps to absorb any moisture, droppings and smells as well as providing cushioning for your hen’s feet. It can also be used to line nesting boxes with a soft and dry bedding to provide comfort for hens when laying and also help protect your eggs.
Sales of Dengie Fresh Bed For Chickens have been flying off the shelves as the product has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. The avian flu outbreak has also meant poultry have had to be kept indoors resulting in an increase in demand for bedding suitable for chickens.
The Dengie helpline has also experienced an increase in the number of enquiries about Fresh Bed for Chickens as well as its suitability for other birds such as ducks, geese and pheasants.
For more information about Dengie Fresh Bed For Chickens or for help and advice call the Dengie Helpline: 01621 841188.
In a year like no other, what were the most common feed related questions that horse owners asked the Dengie Feedline? Well quite surprisingly, given that many horses had a reduced workload, the most commonly asked question related to underweight horses. Dengie’s Technical Manager, Katie Williams explains “There was a definite shift in horse owners looking for safe ways to promote condition in their horses. Conscious that workloads could vary due to all the uncertainty and disruption that we experienced in 2020, horse owners were keen to avoid or reduce the amount of cereals their horses were consuming and so looked for high quality fibre and high oil feeds instead. Condition safely was definitely the number one theme in 2020!”
As expected, the poor forage harvest resulted in an increase in the number of enquiries relating to forage replacers and how to make reduced forage stocks last longer. “The drought of 2018 resulted in a huge uplift in enquiries about hay replacers,” Katie comments “but the number of enquiries nearly doubled in 2020, suggesting it is a really significant issue for people. Since we launched our range of grass products we have been able to give people really practical and cost-effective ways to extend their forage supplies”.
Overall the Dengie Feedline saw a 30% increase in the total number of enquiries, which reflects the fact that people used their time in lockdown to review their horses rations and make the changes they might not have had time to consider previously.
For further information or friendly feeding advice, contact the Dengie Nutrition Team on 01621 841188 or click here to complete our Feed Advice Form.
We are proud to announce our new partnership with Writtle University College as their ‘Official Fibre Feed Provider’. Dengie have collaborated with Writtle for many years providing students with an insight to the feed industry through lectures and hosting tours to see the “field to feed” process that is unique to Dengie.
Established in 1893, Writtle University College, also based in Essex, is one of the oldest providers of specialist education in the UK, offering a wide variety of different courses including a range of equine degrees. Equine Resource Manager, Dan Cook, said: “We were looking to secure a partnership with a company that shared our enthusiasm and vision for the physical supply of feed to both our bespoke sports horse stud and equine training and development centres, along with helping to facilitate and enhance the student experience and learning opportunities along the way. We are very much looking forward to working together and to the opportunities the partnerships will afford.”
Dengie will also be working with the academic team to explore new, practical research areas and on-going feeding trials. “I am delighted to be able to formalise our long-standing relationship” Katie Williams, Technical Manager at Dengie commented “Many of our team have studied at Writtle and it is very exciting to be working with students who could be part of our team in the future.”
Dengie have a strong ethos in producing sustainable feeds and we have recently been looking into ways to develop our packaging to ensure it is as environmentally-friendly as possible. Building on trials with carbon-neutral packaging for our Hi-Fi Original product, we are proud to announce that we have now introduced recycled plastic into our packaging. Dengie’s highly popular Hi-Fi Lite feed will be the first in our range to appear in the new recycled packaging which contains as much recycled plastic as it is currently possible to use. It is all the more impressive as the Hi-Fi Lite packaging can still be recycled (LDPE 4) where facilities exist.
By including recycled plastic in their packaging, Dengie are providing an outlet for used plastic. This is important in helping to manage plastic waste; an issue that has attracted huge interest over the last few years. Katie Williams, Dengie’s Technical Manger highlighted the importance of packaging for horse feed, “The plastic packaging is vital for ensuring Dengie’s feeds remain fresh and protected from the elements as well as reducing the risk of contamination – a particularly important consideration for those feeding competition or racehorses. To achieve this for paper packaging it is often coated with wax or lacquer which prevents the packaging from being recycled after use”.
Whilst many Dengie bags are re-used for rubbish or selling manure, it is comforting to know that when they do reach the end of their lifecycle they can be recycled and could ultimately end up in another Dengie bag!
Look out for the new Maximum Recycled Content logos which will appear on the back of packs during the summer 2020.
For help and advice on all aspects of feeding call the Dengie Feedline: 01621 841188 or fill out our feed advice form.
A rare opportunity has arisen for a sales professional to work within the Dengie Sales Team in the North of England.
The role is predominantly;
The successful candidate will have a proven track record within a field sales environment, previous experience of Account Management and Category Management, a confident influencer, target driven with a strong background in equestrian, flexible and self-reliant. Previous experience of telesales would be most advantageous, as well as a familiarity and working knowledge of Excel and spreadsheets. The candidate needs to be confident working with stats and numeracy as part of their responsibility.
A degree in Equine Science or Equine with Nutrition modules would be a distinct advantage.
Full training will be given. Applicants need to be based within the area and must have a full clean driving licence. The area includes Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cleveland, Durham and Tyne& Wear.
We offer a competitive remuneration package including a full expensed company vehicle.
To apply, please forward a letter and CV detailing current salary level to – [email protected]
The current situation we all find ourselves in has created uncertainty for all industries but we want to reassure you that Dengie is fully committed to the manufacture and supply of our products into the market during this time.
Our two UK sites are producing products 24 hours a day to ensure we have as little disruption as possible. We are working closely with our distributors to keep the supply chain moving, however as you can appreciate with the unprecedented demand we are all experiencing there may be a short hold up on certain lines. Please bear with your retailer as we continue to provide as much stock as is possible.
We would like to remind you that we do have Area Managers and a Nutrition Team who are all working remotely and more than willing to help you with any feed-related questions.
Should you need to contact your local stockist click here.
Got a feeding question? Do not hesitate to get in touch we’d be happy to help call: 01621 841188 or click here to fill out our Feed Advice Form.
Should you need to contact your Area Manager, you can find their contact details here.
Dengie are delighted to announce that from 2020 they will be supporting Cool Earth – the charity that works with local people to halt deforestation and climate change.
Effective conservation is only possible when local people who are uniquely suited to manage, protect, and restore rainforest, are put first. This ethos resonates with everyone at Dengie as we grow rather than buy the majority of the ingredients we use in our feeds and our success is determined by how we nurture our alfalfa and care for the environment it is grown in. Our farmers know their soil better than anyone and can see the benefits alfalfa has for the crops that follow it too.
Back in 2014 we moved away from using soya products in our feeds as we could see the damage soya production was causing to the rainforest in Brazil. Since then we have been trying to source as many ingredients from the UK as possible. We are now very proud to say that our top 3 ingredients are sourced 100% from the UK.
Dengie’s support for Cool Earth came about following a suggestion by the Royal Warrant Holders Association. Cool Earth is a partner in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative to protect all forests – the Commonwealth is home to one fifth of the world’s total forest. Dengie will be sharing updates on this and all Cool Earth’s work in addition to our own endeavours to be more sustainable via their social media and website.