Stallbound.... low starch feeds.... Safe Choice vs Triple Crown Sr or Complete
My 6 yo ASB gelding is on stall rest with a badly ruptured peroneus tertius. We're 45 days in on stall rest with another 45 to 60 days of stall rest before he's allowed to be hand walked.
Barn recently upgraded their hay to a richer hay... claims the feed is low carb, but it's a custom blend so no tags to look at on the bag and nobody can actually tell me what the values are (oat and pellet blend...) aside from 12% protein and recently increased the fat from 4% to 6%
My guy's not exactly a hard keeper, but he's big (17-2) and was thin when I got him. He had been putting on weight and muscle, just seems to be holding steady at this point, still not exactly where i'd like his BCS but he's out of work so not too worrisome, but I would like him not to drop any more...
Vet suggested putting him on a low starch feed to help him tolerate his "encarceration". So... something low NSC= low starch, right?
I asked the vet for recommendations, Vet looked at the blend the barn was feeding, said it didnt' seem "low starch" between the oats and molasses and he said Safe Choice would be better for this situation (though did warn to be prepared for horse to have a less than fabulous coat and probably drop some weight on it so be prepared to supplement with a good dose of cocosoya) than TC complete or senior due to the molasses content... But I'm recalling from my previous feed issues with my last hard keeping ulcer horse, the NSC values on TC Senior/Complete are still lower NSC than Safe Choice, plus are higher fat, fiber, making them actually more suitable for this situation? I used the TC products before and never had to supplement with extra oil.... Am I right or do I have my terms crossed around in my head?
Barn doesn't feed quite as much hay as I would like either. Doubting that paying for extra would actually GET him extra at this barn as kids feed, etc, so wanting to supplement his forage with some soaked hay cubes for a third meal and to get his bute in him.... thoughts? I've always equated alfalfa as HOT.... but the NSC values I've seen are actually lower than a lot of feeds....
My gelding is on stall rest, I've been feeding him TC Complete and adding safe starch forage b/c he's not getting grass. The hay at our barn isn't great so the TC Complete fills in on some of the fiber requirements. He looks good and has been on stall rest for about 8 months!
Our barn has fed SafeChoice for awhile now. We feel the quality of the SC has gone down hill since they brought out the other varieties in the SC line. Have had many people say that the company should have just started with the Perform and Special and never had the original. That said yes the coat quality has gone down and horses aren't holding weight as well. This is being compounded by barn owner not getting very good hay this year. We've got a couple that have switched to the preform variety and seem to be doing a little better. The guy I'm riding is still on original, but he's getting SmartOmega3, tri-amino, and a cup of alflafa pellets every day. We also are buying our own hay and he's getting super nice orchard or orchard/light alfalfa.
In other words SC would not be what I would pick if I had another option...
TC Senior is even lower in starch (NSC) than TC Complete or SafeChoice. IIRC, senior is 11% and TC Complete and SC are in the 20%. My gelding has been on both TC Senior and TC Complete and in my very unscientific opinion I think he holds his weight better on Senior, plus I like the lower NSC value.
For the hay issue, you might be better off buying your own bales of hay and throwing him a few flakes when you are there. I did this for my latest round of stall rest. The only thing you have to make sure to do is be very clear on the fact that your hay is supplementing the barn's hay, and is not to replace it. I had issues with two barns when my horse was on stall rest looking and going "oh, he's got hay" and not giving as much of their hay (despite my explanation). Put yours in a haynet and make it extremely clear that they should ignore whatever is in the haynet and feed the same amount that they normally would. Just saw your note about kids feeding... this may make the whole adding your own hay flakes a little more difficult, they were the worst culprits IME!
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11
Adding alfalfa in any form wouldn't be a bad idea if he's on bute - will help buffer his stomach. Since the barn has a richer blend of hay, if you can find something to fill the hay bag that has less octane it would help to keep something on his stomach and entertain his brain during stall rest. I have used Teff hay for this and everyone has done well on it.
TC Sr is 11% NSC. Complete is 20%. IIRC SC is 18%.
I would choose the Sr in this case over the other 2, by a long shot. If he ends up not being able to take the calories from the full minimal amount, you can reduce it a bit and add a partial serving of TC 30.
Molasses content is just not high in the Sr (or the Growth - very similar formulations) despite it being a "sticky" textured feed. It can't be high with that low of a NSC. The vet's logic is a bit baffling, but not surprising, unfortunately.
I agree that some alfalfa would help both issues - calories/weight, and some of the bute. But, if he's (still) on bute, I'd be using ranitidine twice a day (3mg/lb body weight each time). The "hot" issue with alfalfa is really an allergy issue, not a sugar issue If it works, great, if not, can't use it. But leaving him with several pounds of alfalfa pellets are night would be a pretty easy thing to do - no prep, just scoop and dump.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
Ahhhh yes! This is exactly what I was thinking!!!!!!!!!! Thanks JB and all! Glad to know I wasn't getting my feed info in a muddle!
Trying to leave his feed uncomplicated as possible due to the kids feeding (and looking longingly toward the day that he's healed up enough to haul someplace else.... it's been one thing after the next since I moved back there at the end of December) - he's lucky he gets his flax seed with his grain, nevermind if I told them he needed x amount beet pulp, x amount of rice bran, a multivitamin and flax seed too. Supplementing the barn's hay with baled hay would also pose a challenge as I'm an apartment dweller with a small car and no real place to store it except in with their own hay...
Will definitely keep on the alfalfa cubes soaked as his third meal to help buffer his daily gram of bute and keep his water intake up. So far he hasn't shown signs of ulcers at all but I have omeparazole left from treating my gelding if he seems to be getting touchy.
I don't think (Or... I hope) that the extra calories from the senior will cause him a problem because hes already on a scoop and a half of the farm's not very low carb mix....
I have a big, crazy one on stall rest right now--16.3 5yo TB who was going CRAZY. He was a little more ribby than we wanted when he got here and was getting 3 pounds of Tribute's Kalm Ultra AM and PM and grass hay.
I hated to see him getting that much grain so I switched him to a little over 2 pounds of Purina's 12% Horseman's Edge 12% w/extra Lysine and 3/4 pound of Amplify AM and PM, plus about 30-35 pounds of my orchard hay daily in 4 large hay nets (2 AM and 2 PM). This hay averages 12% NSC year in and year out, and the blend of cuttings I give yields about 14% protein.
Thank GOD he's calmed down a lot in the stall (still a maniac to hand walk, unfortunately) because he was really going bonkers. Now he's quite content in the stall AND has gained quite a bit of weight already--enough to cut the "grain" down to < 2 pounds of the pellets and the Amplify.
I don't know what the NSC of either concentrate is, but when "diluted" with 30+ pounds of hay, it almost doesn't matter. He's gaining weight, he's shedding out with dapples everywhere, and he's MUCH quieter on less grain than he was getting.