I can give you my experience with it as we feed this now and have been for over two years.
I was a born and raised Buckeye kid all my life and have purchased our farm feed from the same feed store all my life so I know the feed salesman really well.
Buckeye started really raking the prices up about three years ago when grain prices started to skyrocket. At the same time, I was having lots of trouble with my hay supplier and the hay was junk. Whole barn of horses start losing weight. Not good. Boarders went nuts.
Long story short, I spoke with grain guy while I was working on the hay issue. He was going to change grain suppliers because he was losing customers over the price increases.
Kalmbach feeds is up in Sandusky Ohio and has been there for some time. Family owned and very proud of their line of animal feeds. They wanted to get into the horse market (not sure the timeline) and about that time Mars bought out Buckeye and cleaned house. Several guys from Buckeye approached Kalmbach for a job in the equine department.
so the Kalmbach equine feeds has the backing of a group of really well informed nutritionists and sales reps that essentially left Buckeye due to management takeover. Thus the formation of the tribute line of Equine Feeds.
I use the Essential K pellets because our hay is really good and it fits well for most of our horses needs. I have a couple horses out of 20 that also eat Kalm and Easy for calories. We have a fantastic feed rep from Kalmbach who has become a personal friend in the last two years we have done business. Kalmbach will hay test for free to ensure you are matching with the right grain product. The pellets have a little bit more fines in the bottom of the bag than Buckeye because of how the grain is formulated and the ingredients. If i recall correctly, it's because they use less sticky stuff to hold it together, like molasses. But that doesn't bother me. I don't want our horses having the sugar anyway. And if out of a 50 pound bag, I get less than one half cup of fines, that's not a big deal to me.
I have everything from a three year old to a thirty year old on the Essential K pellets. Everyone is glossy, good weight and happy. We did the numbers and saved money per feeding going from Buckeye to Tribute.
My barn has been on it since last spring. My mare gets Essential K, but they use three or so of the feeds total for a variety of different horses (30+ horses in total). Everyone looks great and I'm very pleased with the feed. Would definitely recommend.
Yes, Liscar, Doug Sutherland is my bud. Great guy, very knowledgable and will tell you if he doesn't know an answer, he'll try to find it but won't bulls*** you. and yes, Doug brings out the core sampler and gathers the hay test, sends it off and brings me back the results to discuss. Kalmbach pays the tab, or at least they do for me. Maybe it helps that I give Doug a big bag of homemade chocolates at Christmas time!
Just curious, Liscar, where are you. I'm in Grafton west of Valley City and get my feed at Smiths.
Ah yes! Doug has been to my place a couple of times. Once when we first started to feed Tribute (he set up the plan for us) and then when my mare blew up like a balloon (the same one that has the other thread going on about liver failure). I am going to talk to him!
I have been talking with Dr. Burke about the nutritional needs of my sick mare. He too, is a great guy!
I'm in Geauga Cty. I get my feed from Valley Feed in Orwell.
Shadow Dancer 2/17/91-12/23/10 - "My Horse, My Heart <3"
Liscar, Doug is great. I definately think you are on the right track with the new doc. Based on the new protocal, Doug could definately tell you if you are using the right tribute product for your mare based on the vet's recommendations.
Tribute sponsors my trainer, so I have switched all of mine to their feed. I am very happy with them--have used the Kalm Ultra (which is very much like Ultium and puts just as much of a shine on a horse as that product) as well as their Essential K ration balancer and both their suckling and weanling formulas. Right now the weaners are guzzling the latter stuff down by the gallon, growing very nicely with soft, shiny coats, great hooves, and are both as healthy as . . . well, horses.
Just a few more questions - For those of you that feed the Essential K, is that the only thing you feed? How much do you feed per day? I was looking at a pamphlet for Essential K and it said you could also feed oats with it, does anyone do that?
My mare doesn't get any other concentrates besides the Essential K. Just grass hay and her supplements (MSM, SmartOmega 3, and 1/2 dose of Smart IR). I've not weighed exactly what she gets, but it's right at about a pound a day. The barn has a little cup/scoop thingy that I think is recommended to go with the feed (I'm not sure if it's from Tribute feeds or just from our feed store)? It measures pretty much exactly.
I used to feed my mare the Tribute Kalm Ultra and I LOVED it. It was better imo than ultium for about $14 a bag. The feed store that I got it from however was not easy to work with and this was a product they did not keep in stock and therefore had to order and it was just such a hassle I switched to something from another feed store. Both of my girls are on a ration balancer and hay - and the tb gets rice bran and both are maintaining their weights beautifully- but it's not as easy as feeding one prepared feed and if I could get the Tribute more easily I'd probably stilll feed it.