While I believe that following fads in equine nutrition is all too common and sometimes risky, every once in a while, something comes along that has the potential to really add to value. Coconut meal and oil is such a product.
What is it and where does it come from?
Copra meal, or Coconut meal, is a feed ingredient that is the by-product of the oil extraction from dried Coconut kernels. It comes from the white part of the Coconut, not the shell or husk. The nut is split and the kernel is removed and dried to below 6% moisture.
The dried Coconut is ground, flaked and cooked until moisture is brought down to 3%. The oil is mechanically extracted from the flakes using an expeller machine, resulting in low-colored oil and a copra cake containing about 7% oil.
Coconut meal is rarely a main ingredient in horse feed. Currently it seems to be fed primarily as a supplement in regions where Coconuts are grown and processed or where the product is easily available.
Coconut meal can be pelletized and used as a feed or be used as a protein supplement for grass-fed animals, either alone or in combination with other protein sources.