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Soy & Corn Free Diet, ugh!

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  • Soy & Corn Free Diet, ugh!

    I will preface this by stating I thought the soy-free movement or soy allergies were bogus nonsense. Then I rescued a super complicated, malnourished, hairless, abused/neglected Eeyore-like donkey jack. Get a free donkey they said, it'll be fun they said. A 4 figure vet bill and two testicles later we have a gelding and some answers...I think.

    He is allergic to a lot of things. Thankfully, so thankfully, not hay or pine shavings. But corn and soy top the list. Corn is easy. Soy is not. I recently, after much thought, switched my group over to Triple Crown 30% with a sprinkle of Senior for taste. Donkey boy is getting more Senior than 30% to add weight and create a vehicle for his current meds. He gets unlimited timothy/alf mix hay. I see even the Senior has some soy in it and the 30% has a lot of soy.

    TC has a soy and corn free feed called Naturals. Seems an easy switch but it's 20% NSC! That seems quite high. Donkey's certainly don't need that. Perhaps I should just feed a vit/min supp with a fat supplement?? Thoughts?

  • #2
    Is there a reason you haven't thought of (or at least not mentioned) the idea of a hay pellet + v/m? I'm curious why you want straight to fat + v/m.

    There are alfalfa pellets as well as Timothy Pellets.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • Original Poster

      I like the fat content of TC Sr. for him at this time as he continues to gain needed weight. That's why I mentioned fat supplement. Perhaps not needed though. I was planning to use timothy pellets with V/M if that's the route I take. I'd prefer to find a ration balancer/complete feed if I can find one that is appropriate for his needs.

      Perhaps I'm complicating things unnecessarily. Maybe alfalfa/tim pellets and V/M would be plenty for him.


      • #4
        If he needs more than hay pellets, I've had amazing success with my soy-sensitive mare with <gasp> flattened oats plus an appropriate mineral....

        I fed pelleted feeds for years, and found it was too hard to find a reliable soy-free pellet so we went old school.
        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


        • #5
          My donkey has the worst allergies! I haven't hand her tested; tried soy-free/corn-free for about a year and didn't see much difference. I think hers are environmental.

          But what I used for soy-free/corn-free:
          1. EquiPride in alfalfa pellets-- didn't love Equipride
          2. High Point Grass in alfalfa pellets with a little bit of flax-- this worked really well!

          I only used alfalfa pellets because I had them on hand for an older horse. I'd soak them in a little water before feeding. Also helped the supplement stick.

          Right now, my two donkeys get a handful of ration balancer. One gets a little flax, too (the other came to me morbidly obese). I loved the High Point Grass, but it's a little cheaper/easier to use a ration balancer when I'm personally not worrying about soy at the moment.
          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


          • #6
            How much feed by weight do you think he needs to gain weight at this time? How much senior was he getting? 20% NSC is not low but straight oats can be over 50%. One thing to consider is how much the feed is making up of his whole diet, then look at the total NSC of the diet. So, how many lbs of concentrate? How many lbs of forage? If he's eating a decent amount of say 12% NSC forage and 3 lbs of Naturals (the pony serving), the overall NSC in the diet will still be well below 20%.

            One thing about the naturals is that it's not the highest in fat, so you could also add oil for more calories while he gains weight without overfeeding the concentrate. I believe Naturals is also beet pulp free since the feed is non-GMO, so you could add beet pulp or hay pellets for more calories and more meals/day at lower NSC as well.


            • #7
              The only soy free high-fat supplement I've found reliably is Manna Pro's Renew Gold. I do like the HorseTech products, they have several v/m mixes that are really robust and in flax bases generally. Beet pulp too can be helpful for weight, and rinsing it after soaking makes it pretty low NSC. Good luck, these types are never fun to manage!
              When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


              • #8
                Rice bran, Coolstance, also soy-free fat supplements.
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                • #9
                  Renew Gold or Coolstance would be what I would use for weight gain in this situation. I also have had really good success with Caifornia Trace Plus v/m supplement. I don't think you are going to find a ration balancer that doesn't have soy in it - at least, I have never been able to find one.


                  • #10
                    MCauley's M-10 and TDI's TDI10 are soy-free balancers. BUT, they didn't replace the soy with split peas or something, so you're only at 10% protein instead of the typical 28-32% of the grass balancers. Most forages supply enough total protein for most horses who aren't majorly restricted in their intake, so that's usually not an issue. But they may still really need additional lysine, at least, and that can be remedied with either a straight lysine supplement (really cheap), or Nutramino/Tri-Amino, or the California Trace or Plus (which has a bit more), or Arizona Copper Complete, and some others, all depending on the rest of the nutritional needs.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      Renew Gold is what I switched to when I figured out that my mare was allergic to soy. I know nothing about donks, but the RG plus a scoop of multi-vitamin has worked well for mine (they also get Vit E and Tri-Amino, which might not be a bad idea for your guy too if he's in rough shape). Just bought some at TSC last night.


                      • #12
                        I'm a fan of Coolstance (although none of mine have allergies). It's done wonders to help keep weight on my 26 year old.
                        Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
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                        Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding