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High Fat/Low Protein?

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  • High Fat/Low Protein?

    I will be moving soon and having been looking at barns in my new location at which to potentially board my horse. It seems that many of the barns I've looked at, when asked about their feeding program, stress that they feed a high fat(~14%) and low protein(~10%) grain, and how good that ratio is.

    Why is it preferable to have a high fat content and lower protein content? This seems counter-intuitive to me.

    I have a quite young(4y/o) performance horse that is just starting to come into fitness and warrant an increased work load. His diet is composed mainly of T&A hay(15-18lbs daily), supplemented w/ a relatively small ammount(3lbs daily) of a high protein/low fat feed(14%/6%). I find that he does very well on this diet, and am reluctant to change it to something so drastically different. It is my understanding that a high protein grain will facilitate increased energy and muscle development.

    Perhaps I'm just being naive, but I'm curious as to why so many seem to prefer a high fat/low protein formula.

  • #2
    I dunno...my Fibergized is 12 percent protein.

    Any idea which feed they are feeding or are they having their feeds custom blended from a mill?


    • #3
      I can't imagine.
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


      • Original Poster

        The facility I am most interested in feeds Manna Pro sweet 10.


        • #5
          Can't find much info on it on the Manna site except.."COMPARE to OMELENE 100"....Omelene has 4.5 percent fat.



          • #6
            I would have the hay tested, maybe they are making up the protein there?
            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


            • Original Poster

              Hmm. The barn manager definitely made a big point of saying how good and high the 14% fat was in the sweet 10.
              Perhaps it is being made up for in hay - they do feed quite a bit of fairly good quality T&A, with the option of free choice. I didn't even think to ask if they'd had it tested. I certainly will though.


              • Original Poster

                Well. I just looked it up, and apparently sweet 10 has only 5% fat ...which makes me question if the BM knew what she was talking about, as she went on for a few minutes at least on how great this super high fat food was ...

                Another barn I looked at fed some type of Purina grain that I actually looked at(can't for my life remember the name though) - it was 11.7% protein and I thiiiink 13.5% fat. They also said that they liked the higher fat/lower protein situation.


                • #9
                  Maybe they have a lot of hard keepers.

                  Maybe they have some PSSM horses (or think they do).

                  Maybe they are on a bandwagon.

                  Either way, you can't call a whole ration "low protein" or "high protein" unless you factor in what's in the hay. Even several pounds of a feed that's VERY high in protein (like some ration balancers, which are 30-32%) will give you a very moderate TOTAL protein intake if it's fed with hay that is modest in protein.

                  Fat isn't going to hurt an animal, but it might be more calories than the animal needs. You really need to know what's in the hay before making up your mind on a feed regimen, in terms of whether it's really "high" or "low" in something.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    High fat, low protein, low sugar diets are recommended for ulcer horses by many vets and large vet hospitals. I am assuming it may have benefits for normal equines as well although my experience with this is strictly in the area of ulcers. I am sure googling it will produce some results.


                    • #11
                      I may be the odd one out but I may not consider 10% protein to be really low for a grain. While it is on the lower end, I have always been told the normal mature non-breeding not high level horse would be just fine on the recommended amount of a 10% grain. To some old school people 5% fat may see higher, as many older feeds were around 3% and maybe they were also thinking that at 10% fiber that is higher than many sweet feeds as well. Just a few thoughts.


                      • #12
                        I don't consider 10% to be "low" protein either. LowER than performance type grains, sure, as they are typically 12-16%.

                        Whether any given grain, or whatever is being fed, provides enough protein (really it comes down to enough lysine, nearly always) entirely depends on the forage, as mentioned.

                        9% protein hay can seem low, but a 1000lb horse eating 20lb of it gets PLENTY of total protein. However, the lysine is likely to be lacking.
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                        • #13
                          Maybe they got fat and fiber confused? (Since they seem to have had the wrong value for the 'fat'.)


                          • #14
                            I actually prefer a high fat, higher protein, lower sugar/starch feed. And I'd also like to see high fiber in it as well. Some people wrongly assume that low protein will keep a horse quieter, but they really need to address the sugar content in that case.


                            • #15
                              I am another in the higher-fat (versus feeding higher concentrates/starches), higher protein, lower sugar/starch feed camp as well. There are a lot of benefits to feeding higher fat diets however one must find a balance (too high or low in anything is not beneficial and can actually be harmful). Both protein and fats are important and fat is very efficient.

                              Google "high fat diets in horses" if you are looking for additional information./
                              ....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
                              ~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.


                              • #16
                                Google "high fat diets in horses" if you are looking for additional information
                                Can't we do better than Google? There is a whole load of garbage out there! What ever happened to books and references?
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #17
                                  Although many people see a higher fat content today and may think it is a lower NSC grain, but this one does not appear to be. Corn and Oats are a big part of it, but actually while many people would run away from that it doesn't look all that bad. If the horse seems fine on it, I would not worry.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                    Can't we do better than Google? There is a whole load of garbage out there! What ever happened to books and references?
                                    Books are kind of becoming a thing of the past, methinks. And I say good riddance, the internet's faster and more up to date. I want that instant gratification of a mouse click!

                                    A nice compromise, however...

                                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                                    • #19
                                      I have never heard of a 10-14 feed. I have, however, heard of 14-10 feeds (such as TC SR and Growth). I feed Cadence Ultra, which is a Buckeye product, and it is a 14-14.
                                      'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall


                                      • #20
                                        faster and more up to date
                                        I guess. If you have the ability to sift the wheat from the chaff! And most of it is chaff . . .
                                        Click here before you buy.