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Feeding the horse with allergies

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    Feeding the horse with allergies

    Anyone have any feeds that they would recommend that are alfalfa free? I'm having a really hard time finding something that will work for my mare. Per vet suggestion we want to try her on an alfalfa free diet to see if it helps with her crazy itching... Unfortunately it looks like almost every brand name feed in the US has alfalfa as a main ingredient... Ideally I need something low in fat as she is not one to need to gain weight. TIA!

    Why not do a powdered vitamin and mineral supplement and toss it on top of some soaked timothy pellets/cubes?


      we had an allergy screen run on DD's new long yearling .... he is allergic to grain based feeds so his feed at the time when others get grain is alfalfa pellets

      he also allergic to Pine so standard shaving are out, he is bedded on shredded paper

      and there are just 28 other things that came up in the screen

      Rather than guess or assume the cause it might be best to have a lab screen test run, not cheap but does provide an answer

      I am to the point that I believe an allergy screen might become part of our future PPE


        FWIW, I have a super sensitive guy who had all that stuff disappear once I upped the MSM from 10 g to 20 g a day.


          Originally posted by clanter View Post
          we had an allergy screen run on DD's new long yearling .... he is allergic to grain based feeds so his feed at the time when others get grain is alfalfa pellets

          he also allergic to Pine so standard shaving are out, he is bedded on shredded paper

          and there are just 28 other things that came up in the screen

          Rather than guess or assume the cause it might be best to have a lab screen test run, not cheap but does provide an answer

          I am to the point that I believe an allergy screen might become part of our future PPE
          I also ran an allergy test on my horse who is allergic to many, many, things. He's bedded on flax straw. However, his allergies are more of the respiratory nature - extremely sensitive to dust and certain grasses.

          But it has been so nice knowing exactly what he is allergic to as it has really helped with his management and made him nearly symptom free.

          So I would recommend this.

          Avoiding alfalfa isn't terribly difficult if you get a bit creative. You can feed a vit/min supplement and mix it with oats, barley, beet pulp, Brewers yeast, oil, it just depends on what your horse needs. An easy keeper is easier in this respect. You can mix a vit/min with beet pulp. My easy keeper gets his mixed with a handful of oats.

          It would be ideal if you could test your forage to figure out what you have to make up for vit/min wise.


            Why not feed soaked Timothy pellets (available from Tractor Supply) and top dress with a multi vitamin?
            Are you sure it's alfalfa hoss is allergic to, or are you starting there in a process of elimination?


              Original Poster

              Thanks everyone!

              Vet discussed doing blood sample allergy testing and/or skin testing at equine hospital. She recommended against the blood sample testing because it can be overly sensitive and likely come back saying they are allergic to nearly everything. Skin testing more accurate but a bigger investment as requires traveling to hospital for overnight stay. Which is why we opted to try an elimination diet as Sansena said to see if we can pin-point what the main allergen may be ourselves without having to make the trip to Tufts.

              I was looking at Blue Seal's min-a-vit light as a vitamin/mineral catch all, does anyone have any experience with that? Or have another vit/min supplement they would recommend?


                Hallway Pure and Simple balancer cleared my guys allergies right up!
                when the world turns on you your horse will be there.


                  If you find the alfalfa to be the problem, but need more protein or calories than timothy pellets or BP will get you, Triple Crown has a few alfalfa free feeds - one is the 30% Ration Balancer.
                  "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham


                    Originally posted by MissAriel View Post
                    If you find the alfalfa to be the problem, but need more protein or calories than timothy pellets or BP will get you, Triple Crown has a few alfalfa free feeds - one is the 30% Ration Balancer.
                    Agree with this wholeheartedly.

                    But be ware of pre-mixed feeds and 'balancers'.. they can contain soy, which is also a big trigger for allergies. And many, many are allergic to beet pulp as well.

                    Worst case of allergies (he was actually scratching himself to bloody, hanging shreds) turned out to be an allergy to Timothy. Now, trying to find a way to completely eliminate Timothy from a horse's diet is another endeavor entirely!


                      My horse who is allergic to alfalfa (based on blood test) and a number of other things gets timothy hay plus and oat hay pellets as his main diet. I mix his supplements with Integrity Senior. Initially I avoided any supplements that contained any alfalfa, but more recently have been using some pelleted supplements that use alfalfa as a binder.

                      My vet also recommended a source of omega fatty acids that was high in DHA. I use HorseTech Profile. The other supplements he gets are also HorseTech.

                      He also came back as allergic to gnats. If he starts to get little bumps in his neck and chest area I use IBH spray on those.

                      He also gets the immunotherapy shots. The shots don't include food allergens.

                      With all of this he is a far less itchy individual that he was before.
                      The Evil Chem Prof