California Riding Magazine • January, 2008

KING Brand Feeds
Improving the lives of horses
one bag of feed at a time.

The secret to KING Feed’s success is in their formulas. Unlike many feed companies, KING feeds are made from “fixed” formulas. This means that KING never changes their feed because the price of an ingredient changes. There is no “best-cost” formulating with KING. They only change their feeds to improve the formula.

Fixed formulas help guarantee a consistency in color, texture, taste and, most importantly, nutritional value; hence, what a KING client feeds their horse today is essentially the same nutritional product they will feed their horses six months from now, thus ensuring a safe and consistent diet for their animals.

“High standards of customer satisfaction and a strong dedication to producing top quality feeds have always been most important to the company,” explains Larry Uelk, sales and marketing manager. Family owned and operated since 1938, KING Feeds has been supplying Californians with livestock and equine feeds from their mills in Monterey County for almost 70 years. Other products manufactured by KING plants can also be found in many countries throughout the world.

In four generations of family a lot has changed at the KING plant in Monterey, but their commitment to excellence hasn’t. Not only does KING screen their pelleted feeds (so there are limited fines), but their plants contain absolutely no Bovatec, Rumensin or Paylean. Bovatec and Rumensin are dangerous to horses, and can cause sudden death if they were to accidentally find their way into a bag of grain. Paylean is a “nutrient partitioning” agent, used for production animals, with very restrictive usage.

General Manager Mike Hearne says that is all to be expected. After all, using the highest quality ingredients and keeping their factories hazard free, are all part and parcel of KING’s commitment to providing their customers with safe and healthy feeds. Another way KING strives to fulfill this commitment to their consumers is by staying on the cutting edge of animal nutrition.

Larry credits animal nutritionist, Dr. John Throckmorton, with bringing KING’s feeds to a higher standard of excellence. “I can’t say enough about John,” says Larry. “He really is exceptional and the best animal nutritionist with whom I have worked in my more than 30 years of being in this business. He has done extensive studies on the horse’s cecum, and he has this saying ‘take care of the bugs in your horse’s cecum, and those bugs will take care of your horse.”

Of course, Dr. John isn’t referring to internal parasites, but the good bacteria which live in your horse’s cecum and are vital for a healthy digestive tract and necessary for breaking down food. His research in horses and rabbits (which also have cecums and easily-disrupted digestive tracts), led him to determine that both horses and rabbits aren’t intended to have large amounts of starch in their diet. KING is very open about calorie and starch levels in their feed.

“Too much starch in the diet can upset the delicate balance in the cecum,” explains Larry. “It can actually create an environment (in the cecum) where bad bacteria thrive, pushing out the good bacteria and, in essence, destroying them.”

Because of John’s input, none of KING’s equine feeds contain over 38 percent starch, many contain less than 20 percent. As a means of reference, oats contain 44 percent. Eight years ago KING also developed, a low starch feed (4 percent), KING Equine CarboRaider Complete, which is designed for horses that react negatively to starch and sugar carbohydrates. Larry says KING was one of the first companies to put a low starch feed on the market.

Dr. John also hunted down heat-stable probiotics; the same good bacteria that are naturally in the digestive system and some foods such as yogurt. Heat kills most bacteria, good and bad, but heat-stable probiotics are able to survive the heat of the pelleting process. John will be talking more about his latest research in equine nutrition and low starch diets at Equine Affaire, Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at the Pomona Fairgrounds.

“I’ve worked for a lot of big name feed companies and none of them compare with KING,” says Larry.

For more information about KING Feeds visit or call 800-253-7346.