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Ration Balancers - Palatability?

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  • Ration Balancers - Palatability?

    Before I waste money buying one, do most horses eat it?

  • #2
    Most horses eat most feeds because feed manufacturers put time and effort into making the feeds palatable.

    Ration balancers have a fair bit of bulk to carry the nutrients, not as much as a regular extruded feed but way more than a VM supplement. They should have enough bulk to mask any bitter vitamin taste.

    Of course some horses are picky but that's true even with regular extruded feeds. If you have a picky horse you might need to experiment. Otherwise I usually see horses wolf down their RB. Since they only get a pound of it which is nothing, 3 cups.

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    • #3
      I have fed the following ration balancers over the past ~10 years to a rotating population of 10-15 horses: Purina Enrich, Triple Crown 30%, Legends CarbCare Balancer, ADM StayStrong 33, FCA Fortify.

      I had serious palatability issues with the ADM product, which I fed only briefly many years ago. My horses ate all of the others equally well. What I will say about ration balancers and palatability is IME they're not great carriers for powdered supplements. The pickier horses will eat the balancer just fine when it's plain, but won't clean up if there's a less-tasty supplement added. I apply a handful of TC Senior as needed to solve that issue.

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      • #4
        That's a very good point that they are not good supplement carriers. It's helpful to have an extruded feed handful for that. I've fed both Triple Crown 30 and Seminole Equalizer without any horse complaints.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have fed Kauffman’s Ka-Hi, McCauley’s M-30, and currently feed Triple Crown 30%, and have had no palatability issues.

          Triple Crown Lite was created in part to deal with palatability issues. You do feed more of it than a ration balancer, 2-3 lbs. for a horse per day, but horses do seem to like it.
          "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

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          • #6
            My 2 are getting Purina Enrich Plus and they love it. I will add that these 2 are not picky eaters to begin with, but it smells good to me too.

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            • #7
              My horse loves the Buckeye Gro N Win. I can add his electrolyte to it and he eat both. I either make my own electrolytes with mint tums as part of the recipe or add the Apple a Day.

              He was getting a tiny bit of TTC senior with it but was getting a bit round on the summer grass so is down to just the RB.
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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              • #8
                My horse lives out 24/7 so he only gets “grain” when I come out. Usually 5 days/week. He does well weight wise so I just feed a RB, a pelleted hoof supplement and a powdered vit e/selenium supp.
                It’s true that RBs don’t carry powder well. I just add a quick squirt from the hose and he cleans everything up.

                I’ve fed both Tributes essential k and Masterfeeds VTM 20. No issues with either.

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                • #9
                  Over the years, I’ve used Buckeye’s Gro N Win, McCauley’s M30, Hallway’s Stamm 30, Tribute’s Essential K, Triple Crown 30%, Purina Enrich...

                  Everyone has eaten all of them. If I had to rank, I think Gro N Win is the most palatable and Triple Crown 30% is the least. But overall no major issues.
                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                  • #10
                    Gro-N-Win smells like candy to me and is one that my super picky horse will usually still eat even if he's not feeling well (semi-annual cellulitis usually puts him off his feed).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Balancers aren't extruded products They are pelleted. And no, like any pelleted feed, they are not inherently good carriers for many supplements. A cup or 2 of water makes them perfectly fine to carry powdered supplements. You can also add a cup or so of alfalfa pellets or shredded beet pulp to the mix if you need more volume


                      They are like any feed - most horses will find most of them good enough to delicious. Some horses will never like a particular balancer. No balancer is palatable to all horses.

                      I used to say that TC 30 was like cardboard, and I have a mare who ate it for 1 bag the first time I used it, then the 2nd bag was less and less eaten. But TC recently added a gut support package which has peppermint oil, and that seems to have greatly increased the palatability - it sure smells better!

                      Use whatever one you have the best access to. Depending on where you live, TC, Buckeye, Seminole, Poulin are some of my top recommendations. I tend to not recommend Nutrena simply from a cost perspective - 40lb bag at around the same price as most other 50lb bags. But there's nothing wrong with the product.

                      One thing to remember is they each weigh differently. Most are in the 3c/lb range. Purina Enrich Plus is more dense, closer to 2c/lb. So just weigh whatever one you choose, or ask the company how many cups make 1lb.
                      ______________________________
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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                      • #12
                        I always say my Gro n Win smells like Fruit Loops. All of mine (including the HARD KEEPER DONKEY wtf) love it and will happily eat it with TC Senior added or alone with anything I feel inclined to add into the mix (currently Redmond Daily Gold, Simplifly, and some probios).
                        Brand Loyal
                        BLM Mustangs: Smokey, Dollar, & Tanner
                        BLM Burros: Radar & Ping

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheHorseMutterer View Post
                          I always say my Gro n Win smells like Fruit Loops. All of mine (including the HARD KEEPER DONKEY wtf) love it and will happily eat it with TC Senior added or alone with anything I feel inclined to add into the mix (currently Redmond Daily Gold, Simplifly, and some probios).
                          I didn't realize that hard keeper donkeys existed!

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                          • #14
                            My old QH who has never been a picky eater absolutely refused to eat the Triple Crown 30 after the first week. You just have to pick something and try it to see what your horse likes.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DinkyDonk View Post

                              I didn't realize that hard keeper donkeys existed!
                              You and me both.
                              Brand Loyal
                              BLM Mustangs: Smokey, Dollar, & Tanner
                              BLM Burros: Radar & Ping

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My mare is somewhat picky but she likes the LMF Super Supplement just fine (I top dress this onto some Triple Crown Complete, since she doesn't need the full amount of pelleted grain in a complete feed, but she needs a bit more than just ration balancer alone).

                                Also, to the folks noting the supplements, I add some powder supplements (Omega Horseshine and some electrolytes) - she seems to eat these mixed with the pellets fine and kinda licks her feed bin when she's done, so I assume it's all getting into her without wetting the feed. I worry if the feed is watered the powders might get more stuck to the bucket than the feed and not make it into the bin she's eating from - is this the wrong way to look at it? I noticed today most of the other horses in my trainer's program get wet grain.
                                Mr. Sandman
                                sand me a man
                                make him so sandy
                                the sandiest man

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I feed LMF Super Supplement G...smells like apples and my mare finds it very palatable. I dump in 4 Vit E capsules and a bit of loose salt. She licks the bowl clean.

                                  I have also fed Triple Crown 30...she ate that fine too.

                                  Susan

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by piedmontfields View Post
                                    That's a very good point that they are not good supplement carriers. It's helpful to have an extruded feed handful for that. I've fed both Triple Crown 30 and Seminole Equalizer without any horse complaints.
                                    I've never had an issue with my mare, who gets nearly as much medication and supplements (by volume) as RB in the morning. She's on the Poulin ETEC balancer, which most horses seem to eat willingly.

                                    Morning feed is wet, however, so she gets all the powdered stuff (vitamin E and thyro-L powders.) She will lick her feed pan clean!
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My late gelding, who was a very very picky eater, ate LMF Super Supplement, Purina Enrich, and Nutrena Empower Balancer with gusto. He wasn't a fan of Triple Crown 30 and I had to resort to mixing a little senior feed in to get him to eat it. My barn feeds their personal horses TC 30 and their horses love it, so I'd say it boils down to each horse's personal preference. As someone said above, they tweaked the formula in the past year and I have to say it does smell better than it used to.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My Cushings pony on Prascend decided he didn't like the Triple Crown but eats Gro N Win. However my two fat mares like ALL of the ration balancers I have fed -Triple Crown, Enrich, Progressive, the Nutrena one, and Gro N Win.

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