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Ration Balancers - Max pounds fed per day?

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  • Ration Balancers - Max pounds fed per day?

    Triple Crown, Buckeye, Purina etc recommend 1-2 pounds per day of their RB's.

    Nutrena lists max .3 pounds per 100 lbs of horse's weight. (Empower Toplne).

    My 950 pound long-bodied 20 year old Arabian (from a kill pen) needs to gain a few more pounds.
    I think he should weigh 1000 pounds. He also needs more topline / more muscle.
    1000 x .3 would be three pounds per day.

    The barn feeds Nutrena and I can choose any of their feeds.
    I chose the RB because it has the lowest starch/sugar and lower feeding rate.

    My horse has been fed 2/3 pound am/pm and an additional 2/3 every other night when I can go to the barn - give him more - added to his pellet/cube mash. (timothy pellets and timothy balance cubes).

    With exercise and a change to the RB his topline has improved. 1.1/3 pounds or 2 pounds/day.

    No grass - but 4 flakes/day of coastal Bermuda hay/day.

    I understand that RB's were designed for easy keepers (mine is not) and for IR horses (which I want to avoid).

    I would rather add another pound per day of the RB vs adding Special Care or ProForce Senior.

    Opinions please. Thank you.



    Last edited by grayarabs; Dec. 28, 2019, 08:37 PM.

  • #2
    More hay, unless he is not cleaning up what you are feeding. Don’t feed above the max recommended for a ration balancer. What is the max for your product? It should say on the bag. Follow the instructions. If you need more hard feed, you may need to switch products.

    Comment


    • #3
      The RB is built to give optimum viitamin mineral supplementation at the recommended amount. If you feed more than this you risk overdosing on things like selenium.

      Either switch to a fortified feed at the recommended levels or feed an unfortified high fat feed in addition to the RB. Locally we have a nice alfalfa meal and soy oil "cool calories" pellet that's palatable and plumps up the most anorexic OTTB.

      Don't just feed gallons of RB.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Here's the thing.
        Nutrena's page lists the max to be fed as .3 pounds per horse's 100 pounds.
        So a 1200 pound horse - as example - could be fed - acc to their website - 4 pounds a day.
        The other feed company RB's say 1-2 pounds/day.

        I've seen the charts on a couple of the other horse's stalls.
        1.1/2 scoops am/pm. (I think they're 2Q scoops)
        I measured / weighed - just to see.
        3 cups = 1 pound.
        4 cups = one quart
        3 quarts = 12 cups = 4 pounds x 2 = 8 pounds/day?
        I hope my math is off. Is it?
        Otherwise - should I say something?

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Also...why would the other feed companies "imply" 1-2 pounds a day?
          Why would Nutrena be different?
          I understand the concern for toxic levels..

          Nutrena vs the others - the ppm's seem in the same general range.

          FWIW I'm collecting samples (different lots) and will send them to Equi-Analytical.

          Comment


          • #6
            If your barn is not feeding the recommended amount of RB for your horses weight then of course you can ask for it to be increased. The barn may or may not comply of course.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks. My horse can be fed whatever amount of any Nutrena product I want.

              I'm being careful due to Nutrena's higher starch/sugars compared to other feed companies.

              It's too bad their Empower Boost (higher calories/fat) is 22pct starch.

              Oh - their Pro Force Sr. has something called Nutri-Bloom. I can't figure out what that is. A proprietary blend of digestive aids or something?

              I would prefer to add another pound a day of the Topline RB - three pounds/day.
              vs a pound of Special Care (same calories/pound) or PF Sr - higher calories but starch 8 pct sugar 10 pct.

              Thanks again.





              Comment


              • #8
                If you are dealing in one or two pounds of an RB that starch level is NBD. The real question is the hay. I've had hay test at 24% NSC which is higher than many feeds.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                  Thanks. My horse can be fed whatever amount of any Nutrena product I want.

                  I'm being careful due to Nutrena's higher starch/sugars compared to other feed companies.

                  It's too bad their Empower Boost (higher calories/fat) is 22pct starch.

                  Oh - their Pro Force Sr. has something called Nutri-Bloom. I can't figure out what that is. A proprietary blend of digestive aids or something?

                  I would prefer to add another pound a day of the Topline RB - three pounds/day.
                  vs a pound of Special Care (same calories/pound) or PF Sr - higher calories but starch 8 pct sugar 10 pct.

                  Thanks again.




                  When you look at nsc, you have to look at the amount fed relative to the whole diet. A supplement fed in small amounts is usually not an issue. Forage - yes because the horse is eating about 15 lbs or more a day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                    Here's the thing.
                    Nutrena's page lists the max to be fed as .3 pounds per horse's 100 pounds.
                    So a 1200 pound horse - as example - could be fed - acc to their website - 4 pounds a day.
                    The other feed company RB's say 1-2 pounds/day.

                    I've seen the charts on a couple of the other horse's stalls.
                    1.1/2 scoops am/pm. (I think they're 2Q scoops)
                    I measured / weighed - just to see.
                    3 cups = 1 pound.
                    4 cups = one quart
                    3 quarts = 12 cups = 4 pounds x 2 = 8 pounds/day?
                    I hope my math is off. Is it?
                    Otherwise - should I say something?
                    Your math is right, and you'd be surprised how many people treat a RB like a regular feed (bet they don't read the labels on regular feed either), and yes, 8lb is WAY too much for normal horses. That's in line with a very large (2000lb+) nursing draft.

                    8lb of Empower Balance is 9mg selenium

                    Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                    Also...why would the other feed companies "imply" 1-2 pounds a day?
                    Why would Nutrena be different?
                    I understand the concern for toxic levels..

                    Nutrena vs the others - the ppm's seem in the same general range.

                    FWIW I'm collecting samples (different lots) and will send them to Equi-Analytical.
                    I don't really know why the different companies have things all over the place. TC says 1-1.5lb per 1000lb for horses (half that for ponies). ProElite uses the Progressive model for feeding, an it's the model I use for all balancers unless there's a particular nutrient the horse is already borderline high in. So where TC doesn't address growing horses or late term broodmares or early lactating mares, PE does, and that bumps the amount up.

                    I use that model because it's a well-researched fact that the growing horse, especially in the first 1-1.5 years of fastest growth, has high nutritional needs. In fast growth, they have nutritional needs closer to their adult self in moderate work, and that's how the PE model is laid
                    outhttps://proelitehorsefeed.com/wp-con..._041219_LR.pdf

                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Weigh your feed and compare it to your horse's needs as per the label of THAT feed. Feed what is appropriate. Work in your hay analysis. It's not rocket science, call the Cargill support veterinary nutritionists as needed for Nutrina products. Call the Purina etc, people to contrast/verify. They are all helpful IME.
                      Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thanks JB. I love the values on the Pro Elite balancer.

                        I also see they list a minimum to be fed. So.... more than 1-2 pounds/day OK for probably most ration balancers. And to feed for expected/desired weight.

                        That's what I'm wanting to know. I would like to feed one more pound of something per day.
                        Preferably the RB. (a few more calories and more topline help).

                        PE feed is Cargill? So is Nutrena - the only feed our barn will buy.
                        Worth asking - I guess - to see if we could get the PE RB.

                        Remembering......there is a feed or a balancer that has changed recently - folks not liking it?
                        Similar name. Not Pro Elite, right?

                        If it seems I'm splitting hairs over a few pounds of bucket feed - perhaps I am.
                        I've lost two horses past years to PPID / IR complications.
                        I would prefer much lower starch/sugar than the feeds Nutrena has to offer.
                        Right now I'm stuck - cannot afford to buy more of my own feed on top of full board.
                        I'm hoping the Empower Topline will work out. For now......

                        Yes - there is starch and sugar in our coastal Bermuda hay.

                        I think I understand this correctly:

                        First bites of the morning and afternoon - bucket feed eaten in minutes.
                        Hay is eaten over hours.

                        That's the worry. Spikes / whatever. Glucose. Insulin.
                        Last edited by grayarabs; Jan. 3, 2020, 04:56 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          PE is indeed Cargill, which means milled in ionophore-safe, not i-free, mills, if that matters. It's not Nutrena though. Nutrena is also Cargill. But they are not similar feeds at all.

                          Progressive Nutrition recently (last Summer) merged with ProElite, so there are no more PN feeds. The PE feeds changed a little (for the better), and now there's also an alfalfa balancer to go with the grass balancer.
                          ______________________________
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am not sure why you are so against starch, especially if.the horse needs to put on weight.

                            I would NOT increase the Ration Balancer beyond the recommended amount. You would risk "too much" of the vitamins and minerals.

                            If you want to increase calories without increasing starch. add oil (especially rice bran, or similar, oil).
                            Janet

                            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Starch converts 100% to glucose. Sugar 50% to glucose. IR concerns.

                              I'm not entirely trusting of Nutrena. They lost me with their marketing "Safe Choice".

                              Their ration balancer is upside down - starch higher than sugar vs the other brands.

                              Their website says .3 per 100 pounds for the RB. Three pounds/day for a 1000 pound horse.

                              I'll increase to three pounds - one pound 3x/day - hoping that is safer.

                              JB ?? Could you explain the NSC's in bucket feed eaten in minutes vs hay eaten over hours?
                              I think that's the thing - the glucose to insulin spikes. Thanks.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                                Starch converts 100% to glucose. Sugar 50% to glucose. IR concerns.

                                I'm not entirely trusting of Nutrena. They lost me with their marketing "Safe Choice".

                                Their ration balancer is upside down - starch higher than sugar vs the other brands.

                                Their website says .3 per 100 pounds for the RB. Three pounds/day for a 1000 pound horse.

                                I'll increase to three pounds - one pound 3x/day - hoping that is safer.

                                JB ?? Could you explain the NSC's in bucket feed eaten in minutes vs hay eaten over hours?
                                I think that's the thing - the glucose to insulin spikes. Thanks.
                                You are talking about a 1.5 pounds of feed at a time, of which starch/sugar is just a %, fed to something that weighs 1,000 lbs. That is not a large amount. WRT "converts" to glucose, it's a chemical process that depends on the structure of the molecules that are breaking down. Your horses do not have diabetes. If you are worried about "insulin spikes," than the best thing to do is to make sure your horse has roughage in front of him almost all of the time, and wears a muzzle or has hay in a small hole hay net if necessary.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                                  Starch converts 100% to glucose. Sugar 50% to glucose. IR concerns.

                                  I'm not entirely trusting of Nutrena. They lost me with their marketing "Safe Choice".

                                  Their ration balancer is upside down - starch higher than sugar vs the other brands.

                                  Their website says .3 per 100 pounds for the RB. Three pounds/day for a 1000 pound horse.

                                  I'll increase to three pounds - one pound 3x/day - hoping that is safer.

                                  JB ?? Could you explain the NSC's in bucket feed eaten in minutes vs hay eaten over hours?
                                  I think that's the thing - the glucose to insulin spikes. Thanks.
                                  What about Nutrena senior? That one specifically has something in it for topline, and is designed to help seniors put on and keep weight and topline. Since its a senior feed it is lower ncs, and can be soaked, granted Im sure yours doesnt have dental issues but still, it would be worth it to look into it .

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by grayarabs View Post
                                    Starch converts 100% to glucose. Sugar 50% to glucose. IR concerns.

                                    I'm not entirely trusting of Nutrena. They lost me with their marketing "Safe Choice".

                                    Their ration balancer is upside down - starch higher than sugar vs the other brands.

                                    Their website says .3 per 100 pounds for the RB. Three pounds/day for a 1000 pound horse.

                                    I'll increase to three pounds - one pound 3x/day - hoping that is safer.

                                    JB ?? Could you explain the NSC's in bucket feed eaten in minutes vs hay eaten over hours?
                                    I think that's the thing - the glucose to insulin spikes. Thanks.
                                    This may interest you.

                                    "MODERATE DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE IMPROVES AND HIGH DIETARY FAT IMPAIRS GLUCOSE CLEARANCE IN AGED THOROUGHBRED GELDINGS"

                                    Low carbohydrate diets are often recommended for horses with metabolic syndrome and high fat diets are useful for managing horses suffering from RER and PSSM. It is questionable whether these types of diets are appropriate for normal, non-obese horses. This study was conducted to determine whether a moderate daily intake of carbohydrate from oats or a high level of fat intake from vegetable oil would affect glucose clearance as measured by an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT). Four aged Thoroughbred geldings (21.5 yrs ± 3.32 yrs; Weight 572.16 Kg ± 50.53 Kg; BCS 5.0-6.0) were used in a 4 X 4 Latin square design study to assess the effect of energy source on glucose, insulin, NEFA and triglycerides during a glycemic response test (GRT) and an IVGTT. Each period lasted 4 weeks. The treatments were isocaloric and consisted of ~11 Mcal DE/d from grass hay and ~7.5 Mcal DE/d from either 1. Additional grass hay (GRASS), 2. Lucerne/grass blend pellet (ALF), 3. Whole oats (OATS) or 4. Lucerne cubes + soybean oil (OIL). GRASS and ALF supplied 53-54% of DE from fiber, the OAT treatment supplied 31% of DE from NSC and the OIL treatment supplied 30% of DE from fat. On day 14 of each period the GRT was conducted where horses were fed ½ of their regular daily intake (3.75 Mcal DE) of their respective treatment feed, Blood samples were taken before (0 m) and at 30 m, 60 m, 90 m, 120 m, 150 m, 180 m, 210 m and 240 m post feeding. On day 28 of each period the IVGTT was conducted where a 50% dextrose solution was administered IV at a rate of 0.5g glucose/kg BW over 10 min and blood samples were collected immediately before (0 min) and at 5, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, 300 and 360 min post administration. Data were analysed using repeated measures ANOVA with Fisher’s post-hoc test. Significant differences were accepted at the 5% level. A moderate intake of NSC (31% of DE) improved glucose clearance during IVGTT compared to an all hay diet, while a high dietary fat (30% of DE) impaired glucose clearance during IVGTT compared to an all hay diet. Blood glucose returned to baseline in 126.6 ± 25.8 min in OATS compared to 216.7 ± 23.5 min in OIL (p<0.05).

                                    The results of this study suggest that feeding a diet containing a moderate quantity of carbohydrate (31% of DE) improves glucose tolerance in non-obese aged horses compared to an all hay diet. Conversely, feeding a high fat diet (30% of DE) impairs glucose clearance. Moderate carbohydrate equates to 2.0- 2.5 kg/d of grain and a high fat diet equates to about 500g/d of oil (for a 500kg horse). More research is needed to determine the effect of different energy sources on glucose clearance in horses with metabolic syndrome, obese horses and in non-obese exercised horses.

                                    https://ker.com/published/moderate-d...0edb3b3-376433

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks. I've started adding a bit of Special Care to his supplement container / adding some ProForce Sr along with more of the RB to his evening mash of cubes. (Timothy Balance Cubes).

                                      I know - a pound of feed looks so innocent. Past years I've had to read on the ECIR group - (lost two metabolic horses - hoping not for a third)........The posts / info there can scare the daylights out of a person.

                                      The safe diet is low starch, low sugar, no alfalfa, no oil/fat and balance for high iron. What am I forgetting?
                                      Grass - obviously. Weeds.

                                      It makes sense not to feed fat/oil to an overweight IR horse.
                                      It seems that it's also not safe to feed fat to an underweight at risk horse.
                                      Something about fat doing something - inducing something / increasing the risk for IR / making it worse / causing laminitis?

                                      P.Beach - thanks for the article. I saw that one weeks ago - read through it.
                                      I read where the study used TB's. Not an easy keeper breed / prone to metabolic issues.
                                      So not sure how that study would apply to "thrifty" / higher EMS risk horses.
                                      I'll study it further - my first reads overwhelmed my poor pea brain.

                                      I found an article I'll try to add.
                                      https://equusmagazine.com/diseases/g...nce-risk-21483

                                      Last edited by grayarabs; Jan. 10, 2020, 03:13 AM. Reason: add / delete

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        What kind of exercise program do you have your horse on?

                                        Comment

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