Wha’t the difference between Activated and Non-Activated Charcoal?

charcoal for dogs, charcoal for horses, charcoal for chickens. non-activated charcoal

Nutritional charcoal comes in two forms – activated charcoal and non-activated charcoal. But what is the difference?

Activated charcoal is where ordinary charcoal has been treated to increase its surface area. This may be carried out by physical activation using gasses and super high temperatures or chemical activation. The result is a highly porous charcoal with a massive surface area which acts a bit like a sponge. As activated charcoal is so porous there is a danger that it will take out some of the good stuff as well as the bad. This includes medicines as well as vitamins and nutrients which could have a detrimental effect if fed long term. 

Non-activated charcoal is exactly how the carbonated wood comes out of the kiln. By it’s very nature, it is still very adsorbent, but not as porous as the activated version. This means it can be fed on a more long-term basis without the risk of flushing out important nutrients in the diet. 

What makes our Pure Devon Charcoal different?

1 – Pure Devon charcoal is not activated. It is a traditionally made, natural product without the involvement of chemicals or modern science. Therefore, it has a more gentle, natural, effect and is more suitable for long term use. It wouldn’t be the first choice for treating an acute poisoning, but as it isn’t so porous you won’t be losing vitamins from the diet when feeding everyday.

2 – Our product is made from sustainably sourced hardwood on Exmoor. Most other charcoal in the UK (whether activated or not) is made from imported wood and coconut shells. Transporting wood around the globe just for making charcoal supplements obviously has a massive environmental impact! 

3 – Our charcoal is a truly artisan product, made by hand to exacting standards. It even has FEMAS accreditiion – the gold standard European Approval for the manufacture of animal feeds. 

What is it for? 

🐎 For Horses: 

Feed Charcoal to horses with a sensitive gut – they could be twitchy, stressy and generally uncomfortable around the gut area, ex-racehorses are particularly prone to this. They could have loose droppings as a result of a change in feed or routine, or have habits such as crib biting or soil eating. These horses are often difficult to keep weight on and fussy feeders with feisty or ‘hot’ temperaments. 

🐕 For dogs:

Charcoal is great for dogs with a sensitive tummy. It helps to prevent flatulence and soothe the gut, making it a great natural choice for dogs prone to upset tummies. It can help those dogs who are difficult to keep weight on and picky eaters. Most dogs find it palatable, just mix it with a damp feed.

🐔 Chickens:

If you have ever had a bonfire in the garden, you may have seen your chickens pecking around in the ash. Charcoal sweetens the crop and  maintains a healthy digestive system. It also promotes weight gain and egg production. As charcoal helps to adsorb ammonia it improves the environment within their coop by improving air quality. 

Learn more about Pure Devon Charcoal here