Jan. 27, 2012, 09:27 AM
Thinking of mixing my own feed, especially for older TB who has persistent loose stools, lots of gas. Vet has seen him several times and we have tried multiple feeds and supplements.
Any one with feed mixing advice?
Jan. 27, 2012, 10:12 AM
I am now mixing my own feed. I sat with my vet and for my horse, worked out what would work. We based it on what feed she had before, what we have tried and what showed up as we experimented. Has it made a difference? absolutely, we got rid of wheat and soy. no more cow flops, no more hives, no more being hot, and now she's finally putting on incredible weight.
this was a rescue horse that for 15 months, my vet has pulled out her hair trying to get her right. obviously we constantly monitor/treat teeth, blood and worm load. She was getting 18 lbs of grain per day plus 10 lbs alfalfa cubes plus a bale of timothy per day. She was still losing weight. My vet had us contact or go to kentucky, ohio, tufts and cornell. No one could get a handle on this horse and we tried many different diets. Finally, we gradually got the picture of what would work.
steamed crimped oats, steamed crimped barley, beetpulp shred w molasses, pure alfalfa pellets, ricebran meal. For supplements she gets red cell and she's still on ulcerguard. She's on a bale or more of timothy and orchard hay 24 hours a day.
I get 1000 lbs of grain at a time and mix it by pouring in the correct amount little at a time and then mixing with a shovel in my grain bin.
she's gone from a body score of 2 to finally being a true 5. Her coat is glossy, her hooves are finally right and her attitude is sweet. We've finally been able to scale back to a normal amount of feed and only have to feed 2 times a day. Now on 8 lbs of grain and her hay she's still gaining and eventually should be right with full muscle and proper weight.
Jan. 27, 2012, 02:02 PM
I used to lease a skinny nervous TB mare. i mixed 1 quart Barley with 2 quart soaked BP w/o molasses, 1 cup soaked flaxseeds, 1 cup rice bran, and a bit of salt in the warmer months... i think...dont remember exactly. Now i have a pony so regular grain is fine.
Jan. 27, 2012, 02:17 PM
We have a recipe I get made up at the local elevator. With their large mixer, the items are getting combined better than if I did "a little of this, a little of that". Plus we have a quantity of horses, so it would be a BIG time problem trying to micro-manage the mixing.
All the horses eat the recipe, which I can make additions to for one individual if needed. One older horse needs more cracked corn, so I can easily add it to her feed bucket while dishing up all the grain dinners. At this time mix is 50% cracked or rolled corn, 50% whole oats, with 10% of total weight, for the soybean meal number added on top, all 3 things added together for the final mix. So if I would order 250# oats, 250# corn, then I would add on 50# of the soybean meal, get a 550# total delivery in the bags of my mixed recipe.
If you have fat horses you can up the oats, lower the corn, soybean percentage is still 10 percent of the other two's total weight. And you can feed LESS, full scoops are not required! I top this with Selenium with Vit E, plus Vitamin pellets. Horses here stay good looking, work well, and eat it just fine. Usually the horses get less than a pound total per day, each. Some only get a literal handful a day, still fat and sassy. Cheaper to buy, have mixed, no paying for inedible fillers, never spoils with no molasses in there. Grain mix is added to their wet beet pulp, along with the extras mentioned, to insure EACH horse gets the required amount of Selenium and Vit E every day. We had some problems when I had the Selenium in the grain mix, individuals not getting enough because they were fed such small amounts of grain, so I stopped adding everything into the mix. Inidividualized additions have worked much better for us and how we use our horses.
We have had some issues over the years with runny poop. A couple of the purchased horses just couldn't manage the alfalfa hay straight. They had been raised on the western Great Plains in herd situations, so grazing was the method of feeding. Grasses were prairie type, not anything rich. Oat straw fed to the herds when temps dropped down to about -30F. When we brought them home they REALLY reacted to the alfalfa, more like pig poop than cows! LOTS of gas windys when used. Getting in some grass mix hay for them, first and second cutting fixed the loose poop problem. No more rich hay for those guys.
Another idea is to check how much sugar is in her diet? Sugars will often make horses very loose in the poop area, and you might be surprised how MUCH is actually in what she eats. Wet beet pulp used to be a good food for this problem, but now you have to read the labels. Many brands of beet pulp, shreds and pellets, have added molasses to the recipe before drying the pulp. Even though the beet pulp is made from sugar beets, without the molasses added, they really don't have any sugar/sweet in them. You have to believe that the sugar makers get EVERY MORSEL of sugar pressed out in production, before sending by beet fiber on to be made into a feed product. Wasting money to not get all the sugars out of the beets first.
My older horse got the runs terribly when swapped over to Equine Senior. That stuff is LOADED with sugars in the form of molasses, reeks of the stuff when you open the bag. Other brands can be equally sugar laden. She sure didn't NEED all that sugar, had never been fed molasses flavored grains before in her life, so we had to make feed changes again. We tried various brands of Senior type feeds, finally settled on Old Kent, which had a bit of sugar but not much. We tweaked and experimented to get her a feed combination that kept her looking good, but not overloaded with sugar calories. Her digestive system settled down, back to normal poops again.
Sugar and sweets are NOT REQUIRED in a horse diet. They are for the OWNER to feel better. Horse is not MADE to need sugar, would never find it in a "natural" setting where he lived. I just avoid sugars in feeding our animals. They don't get much in treats, maybe some alfalfa pellets which they like.
Do READ THE LABELS on each item of packaged food she eats, compare them. See what might be in those mixes that surprises you, along with the QUANTITY of the items like molasses and sugars. Molasses IS A SUGAR, whatever name they call it.
I would try going to a straight grain only mix, see what happens. Give it a couple weeks, maybe with a hay change to a less rich mix if she is getting the "good" stuff now.
Does she drink a LOT of water, eat or lick up a LOT of salt? She has to move that water, might be going thru the digestive tract and not into the bladder, for elimination.
Hope some of these ideas are helpful. Just what we have encountered over the years.
Jan. 27, 2012, 04:42 PM
For one horse having the mill mix an order is likely not wise. Generally they req at least 500 lb min. It would likely start going bad b4 you could use it. I use my custom blend up in ~14 days and then call in for another batch as I am getting low.
But if you do decide to go that route I would advise against any loose minerals. Those older mills have a ton of mixing issues. Instead go with premix pellets. Most mills have a balancer and a fortifier pellet line to select from. These mix well in with grain and/or other pellets such as hay pellets or BP pellets.
If the mill has much commercial biz they will have test info on hand....which is wonderful. Some mills do not have test info however.
Now for the gas? What are your plans there? Start with one ingredient and build? Could be any number of ingredients in prebagged feed at the root of this problem.
Jan. 27, 2012, 05:14 PM
If you have to mix more than a bit, get a small electric concrete mixer.
They look like a wheelbarrow, but the box is a small mixer and it has a small electric motor that turns it.
We have used that to mix cattle minerals and would work just as good for horse feed.
You can use them to mix concrete also, just rinse it very well and clean thoroughly.
Jan. 28, 2012, 09:19 AM
We have our formula at the mill and they mix what ever we want. the one ingredient that has made a huge improvement in our (usually ten or more) growing young horses is Prosponse Yeast. When in Florida I buy it in a small container and it is called Brewer's Yeast. Based on our success feeding large numbers in groups, this addition to our formula has decreased stomach issues altogether. Knock on Wood!!!