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Best Multivite for low grain/high alfalfa or just add BP or grass pellets?

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  • Best Multivite for low grain/high alfalfa or just add BP or grass pellets?

    So, I'm going to stop using Strategy AX because I've been feeding such a small amount that I know I'm not really getting a balanced diet with it. I do feed a small amount, up to 1 quart max/day of a simple, 10% local made sweet feed to mix MSM, Electrolytes into. ( and right now to mix meds in for one guy)
    I'd like to go with a simple vitamin/mineral supplement rather than a ration balancer, as some of my horses don't need even the 1-2 lbs that they require. They are on excellent alfalfa, getting free choice.
    One horse is a coming 2 year old, the rest are 7-18 years of age. All look great, no issues except the TB is ulcer prone, hence the huge amounts of hay in the paddock.
    I was looking at Source 1 but heard of some issues with it. Any other good recommendations?
    Last edited by Doctracy; Jan. 21, 2011, 02:38 PM. Reason: Changed title

  • #2
    Really curious, why not a ration balancer? Esp when the horses are only eating a single type of hay and in such a quantity. This would scream to me that it does need to be balanced and not just throw vitamins at them.

    The ration balancers do not contain corn or cereal grains -- they contain the balancer parts only as seen in this description for an alfalfa balancer http://www.prognutrition.com/paalfalfaformula.html so there doesn't seem to me to be any harm in feeding them the small amounts.

    Is alfalfa the only hay that you can get? If you have a problem feeding a balancer to some of the horses b/c they don't need the extra feed then free choice alfalfa is your problem. Bring the TB in and feed him his alfalfa 2x/day and he'd be fine with the calcium for the ulcer prevention.
    The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton

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    • #3
      If you were feeding 1qt of a feed, you were feeding at least 1lb, maybe only 1.25lb.

      So, 1lb of a ration balancer would be perfect.

      If there is any way you can replace a few pounds of the alfalfa with grass hay, or perhaps make it a little less free choice (do you know how much they are actually eating?) then the calories from 1lb of a ration balancer are more than made up.
      ______________________________
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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      • #4
        Smartpak makes a line of multi-vitamins. They have a bunch of different versions like easy-keeper, performance, senior, etc. They makes 2 different versions of each multi-vitamin, one for a mostly alfalfa diet, one for a grass hay or gras hay mix diet.
        I do have to wonder why you are feeding only alfalfa. I personally don't see anything wrong with it, but is it necessary in your situation? Alfalfa is much higher in calories than grass hay and in most areas it's also cheaper. For your ulcer prone horse, feeding alfalfa all day isn't going to prevent ulcers anymore than feeding grass hay all day. Alfalfa hay is fed to ulcer prone horses because the calcium acts as a buffer neutralizes stomach acid. But if you have hay in him 24/7 anyway, there isn't really any need to worry about stomach acid. You could feed alfalfa 1 or 2 times a day instead of all day as well.
        I like multi-vitamins more than ration balancers. I haven't found a ration balancer that correctly balances my horses' diets. I've found many multi-vitamins that have the correct amts of everything I need, and they cost much less per horse too.
        come what may

        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

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        • #5
          I also think a ration balancer may be best, but if you want a vit/min supplement, I like the SmartVite line from SmartPak. They have a bunch of different formulations that you can choose from depending on your hay.

          Caitlin
          Caitlin
          *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
          http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

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          • #6
            SmartVite Alfalfa, or Equi-Base or Equi-VM from Uckele (except their shipping prices are absolutely through the roof INSANE. Crazy insane. So I stick with Smartpak now.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Blue Seal also makes different vitamins based on the type of forage:

              http://www.blueseal.com/equine/winni...oducts.php#mav

              I use the one for mixed hay, as my horses are on mixed hay, pasture, and less than the recommended amount of processed feed.
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Alfalfa is $8-10$ a bale, Bermuda starts at $14 for lighter bales. I could add some Bermuda pellets, which I'm also considering. Still need a sticky carrier for electrolytes, MSM and,for a good part of the year, anhidrosis supps for one horse. If anyone has a suggestion for a supplement carrier, I'd be glad to get rid of the grain altogether. I'm getting my 100-120 lb three string bales delivered and stacked, it would be crazy not to use the local hay.
                No other types of grass hay available, I actually live in a town called "alfalfa capital of the US". Nobody delivers grass hay, either so I'd be stuck hauling and stacking 100 lb three string bales, which I'm not able to do.
                Most of the RB are very, very high in protein. Not seeing the need for that protein when they eat a high protein hay.
                Whatever happened to the days when horses were fed alfalfa and whole oats? It was actually considered a nearly perfect ration. We sure have complicated things in the past 20-30 years or so. I grew up in CO where alfalfa was the only hay we could get without importing and the horses thrived, as mine are now.
                I'm beginning to wonder if we are making horse feeding too complicated, maybe time to go back to the drawing board?
                I can't wait until I get back to a place where I can have good pasture for my horses. That was so good and so simple! My broodmares were fat,fat and babies did fabulous on practically nothing. 2 more years of the concrete desert, then back to pasture paradise.

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                • #9
                  I'd love to see those prices for alfalfa! I pay $22.00 for the same bale! ;-0

                  I use the Smart Pack Mega Mag, it's formulated for an alfalfa based diet. It comes in pelleted form, so I it's a good carrier for powdered supplements.

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                  • #10
                    Most RB are about 1200 calories per pound. Alfalfa is about 1000 calories. Taking away just 1lb of the alfalfa hay makes up the calories you're using in the RB.

                    There are RBs made specifically for high/all alfalfa diets - 12% generally. 1lb of that is hardly any protein.

                    Alfalfa and whole oats is not at all a perfect ration, no matter what anyone "thought".

                    If you truly just want a vit/min supplement, there are many, and it's hard to go wrong.

                    But you're so focused on protein, and are missing other elements of the nutritional intake, and a vit/min supplement just doesn't provide significant amounts of most things.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                      Blue Seal also makes different vitamins based on the type of forage:

                      http://www.blueseal.com/equine/winni...oducts.php#mav

                      I use the one for mixed hay, as my horses are on mixed hay, pasture, and less than the recommended amount of processed feed.
                      Not available around here but that is exactly what I'm looking for.
                      I'll go sort through Smart Pak again, see what looks good. Anybody ever wonder if there are actually real vitamins in the supplements they buy? Hoping someone here has actual experience feeding one of the supplements andknows if they are any good. Nutriceuticals have no regulation whatsoever and I know in humans, a lot of glucosamine supplements were found to contain very little glucosamine. But, I'm assuming that at least the ca/phos ratio would be as labeled on the supplement. I just wonder if the vitamins are really in the mix, and available for use.
                      I am a big fan of less is better. And, no newcomer to feeding since. I've maintained horses for 40years, at times I've had a fairly large number of mares, foals, youngsters and studs, up to 20. Since I'm living in AZ and went through a divorce Ive scaled way back. I raise a foal every couple of years, but I have quality stock, bred/raised three World CH paints in the past 10 years, many others before scaling back, as well.
                      Anyway, I got off topic but, I'd like to keep grain/ration balancers to a minimum. The RBs I've used in the past (Progressive and Buckeye) were great, but again, the crystal type supplements such as salt/electrolytes, pro-sweat and MSM don't stick so I still end up needing a sweet type grain or something so that the very essential (at least for my anhydrotic guy and the MSM for my teenagers) supplements don't end up in the bottom of the feeder, uneaten.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One does not at all need a sweet/sticky grain to make powders or crystal-like supplements stick. A cup of beet pulp, with 2-3 cups water, works very, very well. Or even the ration balancer with added water.
                        ______________________________
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you are feeding quality Alfalfa hay, free choice, why do you need a vit/min supplement?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oats! that's what I feed. No formulated grain products. Winter I use hot water soaked beet pulp, oats, a proadd vit supplement b/c the horses are on mixed hay (grass rounds all day and alfalfa a.m/p.m) - very clean and simple feed. And I have two very well developed young TB/WB crosses that are thriving with no joint development problems. Plus two older horses who are staying healthy.

                            Sorry about your hay situation. Not having choices hurts. And cost is such a factor in parts of the country.

                            What about a small amount of beet pulp as a carrier?
                            The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blondyb View Post
                              If you are feeding quality Alfalfa hay, free choice, why do you need a vit/min supplement?
                              Balance the Ca:P - alfalfa is top heavy in Ca, without using grass hay or grains to make it up.

                              My horse eats only alfalfa, beet pulp, flax seed(higher P), along with Select I for high alfalfa diets.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Blondyb View Post
                                If you are feeding quality Alfalfa hay, free choice, why do you need a vit/min supplement?
                                Because that's not a balanced diet.

                                Ok, it may be if it's been tested to be high enough in EVERYTHING. But that hay is rare
                                ______________________________
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Seal Harbor View Post
                                  Balance the Ca:P - alfalfa is top heavy in Ca, without using grass hay or grains to make it up.
                                  Except that adult horses can deal pretty well with that unbalanced ratio, at least as long as it's not above about 5:1

                                  Ideal? No. I'd be adding a bit of unfortified rice bran. But adult horses usually are ok with that ratio.
                                  ______________________________
                                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by JB View Post
                                    One does not at all need a sweet/sticky grain to make powders or crystal-like supplements stick. A cup of beet pulp, with 2-3 cups water, works very, very well. Or even the ration balancer with added water.
                                    Not a bad idea!
                                    And, beet pulp, if I can find it here ( not a lot of great feed stores in my area),but if I do find it, would up the phosphorous ratio if I remember right? That would be a good combo with alfalfa, I would think.
                                    I hate living in huge city with horses. There is no grain mill and the feed stores are what I would call mini-feed stores, more pet-stores, really.
                                    Most horses in the BNTs barns around here are on Bermuda pellets, alfalfa hay and electrolytes. Or at least the three bigger places that I know well. And, that still may be the way I decide to go. Seems logical, anyway.
                                    Perhaps rice bran or wheat bran could be used as a carrier, if nothing else. But I really like the beet pulp idea.
                                    Again, 3 older horses, no IR, no EPSM, so nothing to worry about there. Very, very low risk for laminitis as they are all at a nice weight, no crusty necks or anything. The 18 month old is pretty growthy right now, shooting up like a weed every other month or so.
                                    Basically, these should be the easiest horses in the country to feed. I'm just a perfectionist, want to make sure everything is just right. I'm somewhat limited by where I live and where I keep my horses.
                                    Whatever happened to balancing a ration using feed instead of ration balancers, btw?
                                    Sorry, everyone. I guess I'm just old school, did my equine classes at CSU in the mid-80s before ration balancers and Smart-Pak existed. I don't remember seeing a lot of malnourished horse back than, either. Even the ones on full alfalfa, which is pretty common in CO, AZ or parts of CA.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                                      If you were feeding 1qt of a feed, you were feeding at least 1lb, maybe only 1.25lb.

                                      So, 1lb of a ration balancer would be perfect.

                                      If there is any way you can replace a few pounds of the alfalfa with grass hay, or perhaps make it a little less free choice (do you know how much they are actually eating?) then the calories from 1lb of a ration balancer are more than made up.
                                      How's the quality on the Purina ration balancer? It seems to be the only one my two local feed stores carry. Or, if I drive 50 miles RT I can get Nutrena. Progressive is much harder to get, more like 80 miles RT.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Doctracy View Post
                                        Not a bad idea!
                                        And, beet pulp, if I can find it here ( not a lot of great feed stores in my area),but if I do find it, would up the phosphorous ratio if I remember right?
                                        Beet pulp is also high in calcium LOL But truly, at 1c for the issue you described, given the already free choice alf, it doesn't matter

                                        Perhaps rice bran or wheat bran could be used as a carrier, if nothing else.
                                        You certainly could, and whole the little amount you'd likely be using won't help a LOT, unfortified bran is cheap and adds some phos to the high calcium hay

                                        The 18 month old is pretty growthy right now, shooting up like a weed every other month or so.
                                        This is the one I worry about the most on an all alf-diet and not on a good fortified feed, whether that is a growth type feed or a ration balancer.

                                        Whatever happened to balancing a ration using feed instead of ration balancers, btw?
                                        But a ration balancer IS a way of balancing a ration.

                                        Most people don't have access to mills that can provide the type and amount of vitamins and minerals to truly balance what it is the horse's hay and grass, and ONLY balance those things.

                                        Ration balancers are the next best thing.

                                        I don't remember seeing a lot of malnourished horse back than, either. Even the ones on full alfalfa, which is pretty common in CO, AZ or parts of CA.
                                        But, there is a lot more to having a properly nutritioned horse than having him not look malnourished The fat, shiny, sassy horse with regular skin problems has a nutrition problem, more than likely. For example
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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