- Best Trait = low cost
- Worst Trait = low vitamin-mineral density compared to other products
Consider this product if…
- You would like to provide a trace mineral supplement over a ration balancer because you know that your forage is providing plenty of protein.
- You have an overweight/obese horse or generally easy keeper and do not need to add calories into their diet.
- You want to provide one simple, well rounded vitamin-mineral product to keep the diet simple.
Why Review this Product?
No matter where you are in the United States, it is very rare, if not completely impossible, to find hay or pasture that meets all of the vitamin and mineral needs of horses. This is especially true for the essential trace minerals selenium, zinc and copper. *Note that there are places in the U.S. with high levels of selenium and selenium accumulating plants. Therefore, it is paramount that horse owners provide sources of these trace minerals in some form; fortified feeds, ration balancers, pelleted supplements, loose/granular supplements, or lick tubs. Of these forms, the pelleted or granular vitamin-mineral supplement is probably the most common. The Cal Trace, Vermont Blend, MVP Mega-Cell and Platinum Performance Equine are all good examples of this category. Let’s compare their advantages and disadvantages.
The Actual Review in 5 Parts
Company Information & Communication
Med-Vet Pharmaceuticals has been in business for 27 years and sell equine supplements in every category from joint to metabolic, calming to hoof supplements. They proudly market the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal which stands for something. Their website is clean, easy to navigate, and doesn’t over promise. Overall, the company seems legit and trustworthy.
A 2 ounce serving is recommended for horses between 900- 1,100 lbs. There is no further detailing which is disappointing. However, I do appreciate how the caution statement says not to feed greater amounts due to selenium.
The ingredients list starts with alfalfa meal, soybean meal, wheat middlings, dried distillers solubles and rice bran as carriers of the vitamin-mineral which is interesting, because it reads like a performance or senior feed. It isn’t until the 9th and 13th ingredient that we get into actual trace elements like Vitamin E and zinc. That doesn’t leave much room for the important ingredients we’re feeding for in 2 ounces.
There are, however, several organic minerals, selenium yeast, vitamin E, and biotin. It would be nice to know what percentage of the zinc and copper is organic versus traditional inorganic. I’ll ask!
The guaranteed analysis is long but mostly meaningless as the primary reason that we feed this type of product is for the trace minerals zinc, copper and selenium. They go to a lot of trouble guaranteeing nutrients that aren’t in high enough doses to be meaningful. MVP Mega Cell is trying to be too many things in one little scoop. For example, the essential amino acids lysine and methionine are listed, but there is only 0.85 g (horses need 30+g) of lysine and only 0.425 g (horses need multiples of that) of methionine per 2 oz serving.
Copper and zinc are relatively low compared to the other vitamin-mineral products that I’ve reviewed recently, but they are adequate for horses at maintenance with low requirements.
A ten pound bucket of MVP Mega-Cell will cost me $49.85 plus $6.95 to ship to Montana. That’s $56.80 for 80- 2oz servings. That means a 2 ounce serving will cost $0.71 per day. If I fed 3 ounces per day to get a little more trace mineral nutrition, it would cost $1.07 per day. That’s quite inexpensive, but also appropriate considering the low dosage of trace minerals present.
I would recommend this product for horses with easy, stress free lives as it just meets requirement at a very competitive price. I would not, however, use it for performance horses as the nutritional value is poor. I can get a LOT more in a ration balancer or one of the other vitamin-mineral products reviewed.