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View Full Version : At what age do you start a Senior Feed?



Huntertwo
Mar. 24, 2009, 06:52 PM
I did some searching and couldn't come up with any concrete answers.

Is there a certain age to start feeding a Senior Feed? Or do you base it on the condition of your horse?

I was just wondering, as my mare will be turning 10 yrs old in May.

Is there any harm in feeding a Senior grain to a younger horse?

Opinions? Thanks. :)

Patty Stiller
Mar. 24, 2009, 07:01 PM
Many senior feeds are (ironically) WAY to high in carbohydrates to feed safely to senior horses.
If the older horse is a candidate for being insulin resistant or having Cushing's syndrome , and laminitis, you must be extremely careful with what senior feed you use. Be sure it is a guaranteed lower carb one.

Senior feeds are a source of higher protein and fat though, so I have used them for they are good for putting weight on younger but thin horses.
Ten years is not even close to being OLD.
"Old" is more like over 20.
Heck, Ten is just fully mature (barely middle aged. )
She should have many more years before he will need special senior care, as long as you keep up general good overall care.

woops
Mar. 24, 2009, 07:27 PM
I feed triple crown senior ---- very low nsc .
Talk to triple crown if your considering a senior feed .
It has been the best change for him,

Jenn2674
Mar. 24, 2009, 07:30 PM
I just had a long discussion with my vet about six weeks ago when my 19 year old coliced really bad. He's pretty healthy for that age and we had him on TC Complete but he advised me to switch to TC Senior. It then led to a discussion as to what age should a horse start a senior feed . He did say that he has some young horses on TC Senior, one as young as 7. He advises any horse with colic or ulcer issues to go on it. SOME senior feeds have way high sugar content but I wouldn't say most, probably half and half and TC Senior is like 11% or so, much less than just about any feed out there. My gelding is in regular work, is a big guy, and isn't an easy keeper so he needs the extra concentrates. He has clearly put on some weight since that colic when we put him on the senior feed. He lost quite a few pounds when he was at the vet clinic and was a hair on the thin side to begin with.

Oh, and for those of you that don't really listen to the vets when it comes to feeding, well this particular vet has a masters in nutrition.

PS. Wanted to ad that the reason he likes senior is because of the digestability factor.

dalpal
Mar. 24, 2009, 07:31 PM
I don't even feed my 19 year old TB senior. He gets Blue Seal LS along with rice bran, beet pulp, alfalfa cubes, flax and all the hay he wants.

I dont' think there is a set age....if your horse looks good on what you are feeding, no need to change.

dalpal
Mar. 24, 2009, 07:34 PM
I just had a long discussion with my vet about six weeks ago when my 19 year old coliced really bad. He's pretty healthy for that age and we had him on TC Complete but he advised me to switch to TC Senior. It then led to a discussion as to what age should a horse start a senior feed . He did say that he has some young horses on TC Senior, one as young as 7. He advises any horse with colic or ulcer issues to go on it. SOME senior feeds have way high sugar content but I wouldn't say most, probably half and half and TC Senior is like 11% or so, much less than just about any feed out there. My gelding is in regular work, is a big guy, and isn't an easy keeper so he needs the extra concentrates. He has clearly put on some weight since that colic when we put him on the senior feed. He lost quite a few pounds when he was at the vet clinic and was a hair on the thin side to begin with.

Oh, and for those of you that don't really listen to the vets when it comes to feeding, well this particular vet has a masters in nutrition.

PS. Wanted to ad that the reason he likes senior is because of the digestability factor.

I agree, but yet disagree with my particular horse.
After she colicked....that's exactly what I did..put her on Progressive Senior (she's 7)

She had no topline, no energy..even with supplements.

An equine nutritionist had me switch her to Blue Seal Vintage LS Performance and she looks SO much better and has so much more energy.

An extruded nugget feed is a great food for a colicker.

I think every horse is an individual and senior feeds do not offer what all horses need, especially the younger ones who are in hard work...JMO from my experience.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 24, 2009, 08:54 PM
I have three horses that are all fed Blue Seal Vintage Senior, and all the grass they can graze and no hay. This is because my youngest horse (who is 7 this year) had colic surgery in October, and can never eat hay again or risk another impaction.

The other two horses are 22 and 27. All three of them look better now than they did at this time last year when they were eating less processed feed and more hay.

dbtoo
Mar. 24, 2009, 10:12 PM
My horse just turned 19 and he still can't even have a handful of Senior. It makes him high as a kite. However, he is doing really well on Safe and Sound as a supplement to his alfalfa pellets. It keeps his weight on without giving him the ya-hoos.

DMK
Mar. 24, 2009, 10:25 PM
You know what? My 17 year old is on Seminole Wellness Senior ... and so is the two year old!

Let's see... it's a low carb (under 15%) high fat (10%), high fiber (18%) moderate protein (12%) feed , it just happens to be a tad more digestible than the non senior version, although I rather doubt it. I'm guessing the non-senior version is just about as digestible. I saw no discernible difference in condition whe nI switched the two seniors over from the non senior version a couple years ago, and when I got the young horse, I tried to think what food I could get that had this level of quality, when I realized I already had it in the feed can. ;)

So far I think he looks OK, in spite of the senior food. ;)

Bank of Dad
Mar. 24, 2009, 10:30 PM
We have all four, from 7 to 20 on TC Senior. Its low is carbs, 12 or 14% protein, high in fat. It keeps weight on the one's who need it, and mixes with BP for those who don't. I add some ration balancer to the ones who get just a little TC Senior.

Renae
Mar. 24, 2009, 10:32 PM
We have horses as young as 14 on senior and as old as 25 still on the regular pellets. Totally depends on the horse. If there is nothing wrong with the horse no need to change what it is currently eating.

greysandbays
Mar. 24, 2009, 11:49 PM
For my herd, it seems to be between 20 and 25 or so.

Except sometimes when I'm running a little short on sweet feed and can't fit a feed run in right away, then I'll mix a little senior with the sweet feed to stretch it a day or two.

Fairview Horse Center
Mar. 25, 2009, 12:06 AM
For the other side, my 31 year old had never been on Sr feed. Sr feed usually has higher fiber because the old guys don't seem to eat enough hay. I prefer to add soaked alfalfa cubes instead.

Huntertwo
Mar. 25, 2009, 06:46 AM
I agree, but yet disagree with my particular horse.
After she colicked....that's exactly what I did..put her on Progressive Senior (she's 7)

She had no topline, no energy..even with supplements.

An equine nutritionist had me switch her to Blue Seal Vintage LS Performance and she looks SO much better and has so much more energy.

An extruded nugget feed is a great food for a colicker.

I think every horse is an individual and senior feeds do not offer what all horses need, especially the younger ones who are in hard work...JMO from my experience.

Just curious - What is the reason to put a recently coliced horse on Senior even though they are younger?

(My barn feeds Purina if that makes a difference)

MistyBlue
Mar. 25, 2009, 08:16 AM
I'm not Dalpal but I would guess because of digestibility. If the horse is taken off of hay, senior feeds help replace that loss. That can't be easy having a 7 year old off of hay for good...but if you have ample grass that's a big help. I'd not have an easy time of that since I have very little grazing, certainly not enough to replace hay. :no:
H2...if Twink is looking and feeling good on what she's already on, I wouldn't change it yet. Some folks will go a complete senior feed when they have crappy hay or their horse can't eat much hay any longer due to old/missing teeth. (some just go with a hay pellet or cubes though) I find it easiest to think of senior feeds like Centrum Silver or One A Day Senior...old folks multi-vitamins. (my doc wants me on those...at my age! Stupid freaking early menopause) When a horse can no longer get the nutrition from their normal feed or can't digest thier regular feed or roughage, time to look at senior feeds. Some people use a senior feed to help bring a horse back from malnutrition too.
She's going to be 10 already? Petey will be eleven this year...Sonny 6. Can you believe Max will be 17 this year??? Meggi was bragging on the other Bb a couple days ago how good Max is...all the horse during a traiil ride spooked big time, some taking off bucking and that good boy just stood there staring at them like they were nuts, LOL! He even ponied one of the freaked out ones back to the barn. He's doing so well there, but I still miss the little wise guy.

dalpal
Mar. 25, 2009, 08:44 AM
Just curious - What is the reason to put a recently coliced horse on Senior even though they are younger?

(My barn feeds Purina if that makes a difference)


Easier to Digest, easier on the system.

With that said, I personally prefer the Blue Seal extruded nugget. You can get it in Senior as well.

But I've never taken mine off of hay......My mare colicked severely twice in her life (four years apart), both times was Legends Pellets. First time, we didn't put two and two together...but four years colic free on Progressive DB, then moved to new barn, switched to Legends and she had another severe colic......I put two and two together. I think for her, it is a sugar/gas issue.

TBrescue
Mar. 25, 2009, 09:03 AM
My 18 yr old horse switched to TC Sr just about a year ago. He looks great, AND was not a fruit loop this winter for the first time ever. TC Sr is high in protein and fat, low in NSCs which is why I think he was mellow this winter for the first time (less sugar in his diet) I'm a huge fan!!!

tradewind
Mar. 25, 2009, 09:10 AM
I base it on the condition of the horse and the horse's teeth. For example, my 30 year old air fern gets a mere token of grain, and her teeth are still in good shape. Now if she starts to loose weight or her teeth get wonky, I will make the switch. On the other hand, I have had horses as young as 13 that were hard keepers etc that have been on senior at that age. I think it really depends on the individual horse.

ponygirl
Mar. 25, 2009, 09:19 AM
Tradewind touched on something I feel is a factor- teeth. I have a 24 yr old who has a very healthy mouth. He gets what the 2, 7 and 11 yr old get. Beet pulp, EquiMin, alfalfa pellets and fish oil. The quantities vary with each horse due to their individual work load and metabolism but that's what he gets. THey get free choice grass hay and all the grass they can find in the pastures. He holds his weight wonderfully.

Huntertwo
Mar. 25, 2009, 06:51 PM
(my doc wants me on those...at my age! Stupid freaking early menopause)

Menopause?? Ack! I sleep with a fan on the side of my bed blowing directly on me and I'm still hot!

She's going to be 10 already? Petey will be eleven this year...Sonny 6. Can you believe Max will be 17 this year??? Meggi was bragging on the other Bb a couple days ago how good Max is...all the horse during a traiil ride spooked big time, some taking off bucking and that good boy just stood there staring at them like they were nuts, LOL! He even ponied one of the freaked out ones back to the barn. He's doing so well there, but I still miss the little wise guy.

Yes, my little girl is hitting a milestone...:( I just have this weird feeling, I guess like us humans, that we are heading down-wards when we hit that certain age.

Max is going to be 17?? Get out! Yes, I read Megs post. What a good boy. I'm so happy he is working out for them. And they really seem to love him.

How is Sonny working out?

Thanks guys for all the answers... :) I'll leave things as is.

MunchkinsMom
Mar. 26, 2009, 01:36 AM
I'm not Dalpal but I would guess because of digestibility. If the horse is taken off of hay, senior feeds help replace that loss. That can't be easy having a 7 year old off of hay for good...but if you have ample grass that's a big help. I'd not have an easy time of that since I have very little grazing, certainly not enough to replace hay. :no:

It was challenging this winter when the 9 acres of grass was dormant. I was feeding 5 times a day (2 pounds per feeding). I did notice that the horses were grazing on the brown grass anyway, probably for the roughage, and the vet said that is fine. Hay is out due to the fact that it is long stemmed, when they graze, they bite off smaller pieces, vs mouthfuls of hay.

Now that the grass is growing, I have cut back on the amount of feed, and only feed 4 times a day. Good thing I work from home, and blessed to have a 9 acre pasture of good grass and only 3 horses.