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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2006
    Location
    Danville, VA
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    103

    Default Whole food/organic diet for horses-any one have "recipes" they use

    Really interested in getting my horses off commercial feed. Any one here doing that?? Would love to hear what you are feeding.

    I am lucky that my guys stay out 24/7 on good grass so don't need much grain to begin with and also have great hay local as well.

    Thanks for your ideas!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
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    Base 'natural vegetable/fruit/nut/seed' diet: (leave skin, seeds, etc. all on veggie - just chop up and feed 1X daily)

    1 - 2 yams
    3-4 carrots
    1 apple
    1 orange
    1/2 - 1 avocado (no pit)
    1 radish
    handful of fresh sprouts
    big handful of fresh spring mix greens
    1/4 - 1 cup flax
    1 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seed
    1 tbsp kelp
    1/4 cup Safflower infused with clove of garlic and sprig of rosemary

    to this, if you want, you can add other veggies and fruits that you might have around i.e. any squash, melons, trail mix (w/o the chocolate - just add small handful), raw pumpkin seeds, pumpkin skin, seeds and all, beans, peas, green leafy veggies, broccoli, swiss chard, dandelion, beet greens, ... etc.

    NO tomatoes, NO potatoes, NO eggplant.

    Feed this just 1X daily whenever you feel like it. It makes about 1/3rd - 1/2 a 20 qt. bucket.

    Mixing up a salad and adding it to regular rations (just a handful or two of salad) will benefit as well if one doesn't feel comfortable giving up all grain.
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,856

    Default

    Whole food is easy. Organic is a little trickier.

    Try searching the Horse Care forum for "soy free diet" or "grain free diet". A lot of COTH'ers have gone to this kind of plan for various reasons. Most of them are using ingredients such as beet pulp, oats, rice bran, alfalfa pellets, and powdered vit/min supplements to get the balance right.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 11, 2007
    Posts
    114

    Default

    You do realize that regular commercial horse feeds are basically all organic. It's not like the major brands such as Purina use a lot of ingredients other then beet pulp, oats, corn etc. The stuff they tend to add is the vitamins and minerals that you's have to add if you made up your own "organic" diet anyway because otherwise it would not be balanced with these items as grains and grasses lose their vitamin content over time once they are dried. Please be sure to contact a nutritionist, before embarking on a significant diet change to make sure that your horses diet is balanced and they do not develop any deficiencies over time.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    crazytown
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    1,748

    Default

    OP you have a PM



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
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    6,856

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HD2008 View Post
    You do realize that regular commercial horse feeds are basically all organic.
    Organic possibly but unlikely. If these horse feeds were buying organic produce, our horse feed would be hella expensive and people would be buying it to feed themselves.

    Any of the pelleted/extruded feeds are, by definition, not whole foods. Whole food means unprocessed, unrefined, or refined as little as possible. Under that definition, even beet pulp is iffy. The texturized commercial feeds might arguably be whole foods if they're just mixes of natural whole ingredients (oats, corn, etc.)

    For the record, I am not an advocate of organic/whole foods for horses. My horse eats a low-starch commercial pellet and I'm very happy with his diet. But the OP didn't ask what I THOUGHT of feeding a horse organically, just how to do it.
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2004
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    4,345

    Default

    3 parts beet pulp
    2 parts alfalfa cubes
    1 part oats
    1 part barley, flaked or boiled (If you're not using boiled barley, you can mix this all up in a big container with a clean shovel)
    add:
    1 cup flax seed
    2 ounces hemp seed oil

    Soak all of the above together. The flax needs at least half an hour so it can get all gooey and easy to digest. Hot water helps, I'd give it longer if you're using cold water

    Supplements of choice, I have had good luck with theracell and platinum performance.
    -Grace



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2007
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    5,252

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    Soaked alfalfa cubes, SmartVite, and rice bran for the ones who need a bit more calories. Out 24/7 on pasture, and local grass hay 4 or 5 times a day in the winter. It's very easy, everyone is in excellent weight with a shiney coat.

    If you don't want to soak the alfalfa cubes, you could use pellets.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

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    Hay. Oats. Flaxseed. Salt/minerals. Water.

    Getting all that in "organic" form is a little more challenging--the definition is not consistent, not terribly helpful, and probably not all that relevant to a horse anyway.
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    9,413

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SCFHan View Post
    Really interested in getting my horses off commercial feed. Any one here doing that?? Would love to hear what you are feeding.

    I am lucky that my guys stay out 24/7 on good grass so don't need much grain to begin with and also have great hay local as well.

    Thanks for your ideas!
    I don't understand the question. If they horses are out 24/7 on good grass/hay and holding condition and fitness why are you feeding any suppliments at all?

    If they are not holding condition/fitness on grass/alone what are you looking for?

    G.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD2008 View Post
    You do realize that regular commercial horse feeds are basically all organic. It's not like the major brands such as Purina use a lot of ingredients other then beet pulp, oats, corn etc.
    What's your definition of "organic"? There's no way Purina uses much, if any ingredients that are truly organic. Organic is $$, and Purina isn't (relatively speaking). I *highly* doubt their bp and grains are organic. Highly. If they were using organic products, especially those items which can make up a large part of a commercial feed, it would be blasted all over their labels.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,495

    Default

    me neither. Good grass, a salt block, free choice minerals, fresh water. That's about as plain and organic as it reasonably gets.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 1999
    Location
    Middleburg VA and Southampton NY
    Posts
    6,130

    Default

    Pasture, water, salt.

    Why project human perceptions/sensibilities onto creatures as basically self-sufficient as horses?

    What do you plan to do for parasite control?

    "Organic" ivermectin?



  14. #14
    sunnygirl Guest

    Default

    Organic means that the product is grown without synthetic fertilizers. Organic products have more vitamins and minerals because using synthetic fertilizers depletes the soil of nutrients by locking them up. Most all of our corn grown in the US is now genetically modified as is the case with most of the soy. There has been no studies on the long term use of GMO foods for humans or animals yet our government looks the other way while Monsanto and other big Ag companies add more and more GMO seeds into our food sources. Look at the type of fat that is added to your commercial feed. It is mostly soy. Some information points to soy not being so good for horses especially mares because of the affect on their hormones. Sources of protein are not fully disclosed. Could it be feathers and chicken skin? Remember our horses are herbivores, these types of protein could not be good for them.

    In the wild, horses forage for different kinds of foods not just grasses. They will find berries, nuts, fruits and seeds. Not to mention just chewing on a tree limb. I found my pony in my rose garden one day eating rose hips. They are high in copper and vitamin C among others. Whole foods provide many things that have not even been discovered in fruits and veggies etc. Perhaps there is something in a whole orange that helps us absorb the vitamin C that a glass of orange juice just doesn't have.

    I try to give my horses a variety of foods. I change it up every day. I could be wrong but a "bag" of feed looks very much like fast food to me.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
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    3,503

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    Quote Originally Posted by sunnygirl View Post
    Organic means that the product is grown without synthetic fertilizers. Organic products have more vitamins and minerals because using synthetic fertilizers depletes the soil of nutrients by locking them up. Most all of our corn grown in the US is now genetically modified as is the case with most of the soy. There has been no studies on the long term use of GMO foods for humans or animals yet our government looks the other way while Monsanto and other big Ag companies add more and more GMO seeds into our food sources. Look at the type of fat that is added to your commercial feed. It is mostly soy. Some information points to soy not being so good for horses especially mares because of the affect on their hormones. Sources of protein are not fully disclosed. Could it be feathers and chicken skin? Remember our horses are herbivores, these types of protein could not be good for them.

    In the wild, horses forage for different kinds of foods not just grasses. They will find berries, nuts, fruits and seeds. Not to mention just chewing on a tree limb. I found my pony in my rose garden one day eating rose hips. They are high in copper and vitamin C among others. Whole foods provide many things that have not even been discovered in fruits and veggies etc. Perhaps there is something in a whole orange that helps us absorb the vitamin C that a glass of orange juice just doesn't have.

    I try to give my horses a variety of foods. I change it up every day. I could be wrong but a "bag" of feed looks very much like fast food to me.
    Two thumbs up on this reply!
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Va
    Posts
    311

    Default

    Genesis Feeds (based in Canada) makes a line of organic feeds that I have fed to my very allergic horse for a couple of years now with great success. There are local dealers in the US so look on the Genesis site if you want to try it. My horse was horribly picky with all sorts of feeds that I had tried him on (I'm sure he just felt bad all the time) but he loves the Genesis and is in great weight and condition.

    http://www.organic-horse-feed.com/

    http://www.dailydoseequine.com/feeds...anicfeeds.html

    The second link is where I buy mine. That's me with Bentley on the Genesis page.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2001
    Posts
    15,232

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    gwen-does the processing of alfalfa pellets/cubes (or any hay pellet/cube) 'concern' you? Less so than other processed feeds?

    Also did you find a difference from adding fruits/nut/etc vs just feeding a mixed forage diet?



  18. #18
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    Mar. 10, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
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    Good Morning Leah -- hope your Thanksgiving was a nice day for you. And I send that wish to all.

    Each vegetable, fruit, nut, seed has its own vit/min properties and the varied forages help to supply the essentials for the health maintaince or healing of the body. One of the major additions feeding vine-ripened forages is that they contain *essential* glyconutrients for overall health; particularly cell health.

    In direct answer to your direct question -- a couple of winters ago I was unable to constantly and personally care for all my critters (health issues) so had to simplify for those helping me. I omitted the fresh foods and they were fed *** only *** concentrated Senior feed, "complete" feed and whatever hay was easiest and least expensive to obtain (mostly 1st cut). Every other spring I had to put the critters on diets cause they actually gained too many pounds over the wintertime. But that spring saw ribs, dull eyes, rough coats that shed out in clumps and bunches instead of magically morphing to shiny and sleek with minimal currying. I encountered laminitis for the first time in years in my herd. Misty had gone downhill terrifyingly; Dorian looked like a grey ghost; ponies didn't fully shed their coats until late June while looking motheaten most of the time. I was just horrified, scared and feeling so guilty that I had not taken better care of them over the harsh winter months.

    This was the summer when I desperately sought out 'miracles' for Misty, in particular (I'm sure many of you remember the LSJ heralding in my posts! http://www.thepenzancehorse.com/2009...S/misty09.html) and 'miracles' I found and that set me off on a nutrition obsession that hasn't stopped yet. (I just do not endorse LSJ any longer.)

    Suffice to say I will NEVER feed a diet of *all* processed feeds again -- to my critters or will I eat them. If needed to add extra calories for the seniors or health challenged then I consider processed, bagged foods (and that includes beet pulp, low-carb 'grains', etc.) merely as 'supplements' to the fresh forages that I can get. (I, personally, will only feed forage extender or hay cubes; nothing else.) Hay has always been THE major base for equine diets for me but as long as I can feed fresh produce then I don't worry so much about whether its 1st cut or 2nd cut hay. (2nd cut T/A/C being my strong preference.)

    I realize not everyone is in a position to feed nothing but hay, grass and fresh vegetables/fruits/nuts/seeds etc. but even the addition of a 'salad' once or twice a week will get *some* of the necessary forages into the diet. That's what I *used* to do before LSJ -- I'd feed 'salads' as 'supplements' rather than as 'meals' -- once or twice a week. And God forbid they get any grass!! No, no, no! -- I believed and was drawn in to the 'buy the low carb/no sugar' processed feeds and keep them OFF grass as if it were poisoned. Now? I'm seeding and praying that we can add another acres of grazing grass next spring! Horses NEED GRASS -- they're created to eat grass BUT -- they're also created to eat a whole bunch of other f.r.e.s.h. forages! trees, barks, leaves, shrubs, weeds, flowers etc. etc. That's what equine EAT! Reading results of studies done on processed foods floored me. (brief conclusion of many, many nights of reading is here: http://horseconsult.wordpress.com "Connect the Dots"

    Well, suffice to say you helped me up on my soapbox again. Thanks -- I'll step down now.

    Short answer -- YES. The addition of fruits, nuts, seeds make a TREMENDOUS difference in terms of overall health and well-being. They all have something of their own to add in terms of vit and mins. And YES ... any processed food concerns me when fed as a singular diet. Big time!
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2001
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    15,232

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    thanks gwen-please check you pm box---



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballus View Post
    I omitted the fresh foods and they were fed *** only *** concentrated Senior feed, "complete" feed and whatever hay was easiest and least expensive to obtain (mostly 1st cut). Every other spring I had to put the critters on diets cause they actually gained too many pounds over the wintertime. But that spring saw ribs, dull eyes, rough coats that shed out in clumps and bunches instead of magically morphing to shiny and sleek with minimal currying. I encountered laminitis for the first time in years in my herd.
    One must be careful not to blame the lack of fresh whole foods on this, when you went to a poorer quality hay and higher sugar fortified feed.


    but even the addition of a 'salad' once or twice a week will get *some* of the necessary forages into the diet.
    But adequate hay/grass IS necessary forage. The "salad" is not providing long-stem fiber which is the necessary forage type for horses. Not to say it's not beneficial, but they are not the "necessary forages" - hay and grass are


    And YES ... any processed food concerns me when fed as a singular diet. Big time!
    Do you mean the concentrated portion of the diet? I'm still not sure I understand your definition of "processed"
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



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