- Best Trait = Company transparency and communication
- Worst Trait = Limited offering for the cost and hassle
Consider this product if…
- You know that your forage quality is poor for the activity level of your horse.
- You can not purchase better forage.
- You are not feeding recommended levels of a fortified feed product.
- You can’t feed a ration balancer for some reason.
- Your horse’s exercise demand is very high, but your forage is grass hay based.
Do you really need this or can you go back to basics?
Why Review this Product?
This product certainly has received a lot of attention by the “voices” of the internet. I’ve seen it recommended time and time again in forums discussing equine myopathies, metabolic disease, and other health issues. This is one reason that I wanted to investigate Uckele Tri Amino as my first Rate My Horse Supplement review. But then, I was sincerely impressed with the company’s transparency online. So, I reached out to Uckele, and I’d like to share with you what I learned.
Early in my career, I used to think that protein was a non-issue. I believed that the vast majority of forages provided adequate protein, and more specifically amino acids, for the vast majority of horses. I was living in the Pacific Northwest at the time where high quality forage is a top exporter and where the diversity of forages is a huge bonus! But as I developed my career and experienced the transformative health of many horses receiving amino acid supplementation, I changed my mind. There’s many ways to increase essential amino acids in your horses’ diets; feed higher quality hay, feed a fortified feed (i.e. senior, performance, mare/foal) at recommended levels, or ration balancers. And then there’s supplements like Uckele Tri Amino that offer very specific amino acids all by themselves. The only ingredients in this product are L-Lysine Mono Hydrochloride, DL-Methionine, and L-Threonine. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of feeding this product for protein deficient diets.
Let’s start with the not-so-obvious, shall we. I like to start from the bottom-up on a feed tag. This is where the “secrets” of the industry lie and where we can learn the most about a feed or supplement company.
Company Information & Communication
As I mentioned earlier, the first thing to strike me in my research was the transparency of the company’s ingredient and manufacturing information- both online and via email correspondence. A representative replied to my email request for interview within hours. That same representative replied a day later with answers to my questions from the company owner and on-staff veterinarian. Not only was the company happy to answer some tough questions, but they also partner with multiple third-party regulators to ensure quality and safety. I give Uckele Tri Amino 5 out of 5 stars for safety, transparency, and ease of communication.
This product is recommending one to two 20 gram scoops per day. What size, activity level or age is that for… we don’t know. Everyone gets the same amount I guess regardless of size or activity level! This is a little concerning. I know how much people hate reading the directions, but some additional guidance would be appropriate.
Are these ingredients worthy of your consideration? In short, yes, IF the quality of your hay/pasture is in question. For example, if you’re feeding a ‘local’ grass hay that is very stemmy, has lots of mature seed heads, your horse leaves a lot of it on your stall floor (assuming NDF% is high), and you work your horse more than 3 times a week, there’s a good chance that your horse’s essential amino acids are suffering. Your horse may be telling you that he/she needs amino acid supplementation IF no matter how well and long you train, you’re not getting the muscle development or stamina appropriate for your horse’s conformation, skill and breed.
Each of the ingredients supplied by this product have peer-reviewed evidence to support their use in horses though the results of these studies are mixed. However, ANY equine research on ingredients is impressive for a supplement on the market today. In addition, the product supplies meaningful amounts of each ingredient.
If we compare the amount of amino acid provided in this supplement to the requirement of an average 1,100 lb horse in moderate work, we calculate that this product is offering 29% of your horse’s lysine requirement. Is that enough…yea probably for the vast majority of horses on poor to average quality hay.
The Uckele website is selling this product at $49.95 to $54.95 per five pound bucket depending on how many you purchase (yes you can always get it cheaper on other sites, but I think it’s only fair to start with the company’s recommended price). Let’s assume that you buy one bucket at a time- so $54.95 before shipping. That’s $0.49 cents per serving assuming that your horse is a mature, low activity/at maintenance, middle age beast.
How does that compare to other products on the market? Well, a ration balancer containing the same amino acids will cost you about $0.75-0.90 per day, but also includes a vitamin-mineral balance. So, if you assume that $0.49 of the daily serving of Uckele Tri Amino is the cost of protein, then you are left with about $0.30 for a vitamin mineral which is reasonable. It’s only a little inconvenient to buy two supplements instead of one.
Uckele TriAmino is made by a reputable company with solid ethics. Uckele Equine Tri Amino is an excellent choice where/when essential amino acid supplementation is warranted, and it won’t break the bank either!
Question the need for this supplement, however, if your forages’ protein quality is known and adequate (a forage test costs you less than one month’s worth of this supplement), your horse is sedentary, or your horse already receives recommended amounts of other amino acid fortified feedstuffs.
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