In reading some of the recent threads about soy based diets and the adverse reactions and changes in behavior that alot of horse owners are experiencing-namely Ration balancers being the culprit...what have you switched your horses diets to? I've got 2 coming 4yr wb's that had laid back/mellow/quiet temperaments-over the past couple months i've noticed them increasingly more spooky,in-attentive,and in general just harder to handle than usual-i understand they're young,winter is here,and turnout is less than usual b/c of the varying weather but i can't help but think could the ration balancer's be to blame for some of this change in behavior?
The easy keeper has been getting Progressive Nutrition's Grass Balancer -or if the feed store runs out he gets Buckeye Gro N Win,and the other gelding gets Pro Advantage Hi Fat Formula-both get some beetpulp to mix in other supplements.
I've looked on Triple Crowns website as well as Purina and Blue Seal and it seems like almost all of these feeds have got some form of soy- like soy hulls,soy bean meal, soy oil etc...is that ok or should i try steering clear of these feeds as well to see if it makes a difference? Or is it only the culprit when soy is the first ingredient listed? I was thinking of trying Triple Crown Low Starch or perhaps the lite for my easy keeper...i don't want to have to feed alot of something for them to be getting the proper vit/min's-that's why i did a RB in the first place...and the horses also have the winter off-so i'd rather not give them alot of concentrate if i can help it. I want a properly balanced diet especially since they're young wb's and still growing.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
They are mineral supplements. I don't know of any 'ration balancer' that is not soy based. Most commercial feeds also have some soy if they provide protein. Soy seems to be the protein choice in horse feeds.
Having just gone to a fairly soy free diet I had no luck finding soy free RBs. I can't afford Linpro for all 6 of my horses so I went with Beet pulp and a vitamin supp called Ultra Elite Pro Form which is soy free (Smartpak carries it). I've only had them on the diet for a month but all are doing well. I noted fairly significant changes in 2 mares physically (thyroid not swollen, bloated look vanished). I have a gelding that would spook when the wind blew (but was otherwise the laziest horse I had). The spookiness is just gone. I have 3 others I haven't noted much change in, so they might not have been sensitive to the soy. However, 2 of the horses I'm not noting changes in are on Mega Cell which DOES have soy in it (stupid me didn't realize that when I ordered 25 lbs of it). Once I run out of it all 6 will be on the Ultra Elite and I will see if those other two have any notable changes.
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
I have yet to find a soy free mfg feed. You can find corn & alfalfa free, but soy is simply too cheap a protein source... you can't get away from it until you feed whole grains.
However, that's not a huge problem. I feed COB, or just oats or just barley, whole flax, and a soy & alfalfa free vit/min. Beet pulp.
For one horse, I really don't think you can beat LinPro. I fed it at it's top amounts to my stallion one summer and he did very well on it. It is costly--worth it, I'm not saying it's overpriced--but problematic for a whole farmful. I've really simplified, and am back to using the old standby Min-a-mix from Blue Seal at the moment. It fulfills the requirements of soy and alfalfa free, and has all the extras they need. I think a hay analysis is worth every penny in that respect.
For young & growing horses and broodmares, I add alfalfa pellets. (the stallion can't have that EITHER. ) For the stallion I've been creative in trying to be sure he gets enough protein, and found Lysine seemed to really tip him over the edge as far as topline & muscle development. When in full work, he benefits When things get more stable around here, I'll be trying Tri-Amino by Uckele.
Costs are equal to what I was paying a year ago for a Ration Balancer for everyone but the stallion. The RB went up by about 30%, and EVERYONE went to whole grains and 'falf. So in reality I'm saving, but I'm just not paying 'more' at the moment. If that makes sense.
I don't think you will find a complete or bagged commercial brand food without some sort of soybean product. I couldn't find any here in Ireland. You have to go back to basics of feeding straights. For me, there's a mill up the road that specializes in dried grass feeds. They have just about every type of dried grass product, and alfalfa product available. I chose a simple grass pellet with 99% dried grass, one percent molasses. The grass pellet is 16% protein. I use a vit and min supp made for growing young stock and broodmares. I can use a bit less for the horses not in those category's so I don't have multiple vits and mins all around. I use flax as well.
If I need extra protein, which I don't at the moment, I will be using a milk pellet product. It's a whey based product designed for weight gain.
COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.
"I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.
I'm also soy free on my farm now. I feed a mixture of alfalfa pellets (my base feed) with oats to horse who need it (ie growing horses or ones who need more calories) and beet pulp. I was feeding Lin Pro until very recently when I simply got too broke and bought the powdered Ultra Elite Pro Form. I don't like it as much as Linpro but my pocket book is stretching a bit more. My goal is to finish my nutrition course and do a full analysis on my forage (from the same farmer) and come up with a custom mix eventually for my farm.
I also feed whole flax as a fat supplement as needed also.
DB-Ultra Elite looks very similar to Dynamite-didn't you use to feed Dynamite and were pleased with it?
I did feed Dynamite. The only difference I can see in ingredients is soy which Dynamite has but certainly in a much lower amount than the feed I had problems with...but lets assume that an allergy might be the culprit on at least some of my horses...than any amount of soy is a problem for them. They are just doing so well without it now...I hate to risk it. Comparing the two, I think the Pro form has a touch of molasses also in it. Not sure which one is more expensive. The powder is a PITA. I would like to just go back to Lin Pro especially now Melyni has improved the amino acids in it. I just have to consider costs too....