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High protein PASTURE!

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  • High protein PASTURE!

    Haven't found anything in research so thought I'd ask here. 3 horses on this pasture, out 24/7. My 23 year old retired mutt, fat, no feet issues that he didn't already have when I got him back. 11 year old Paint, has lost weight but still a bit heavy with suspected IR and startung tender feet again. 13 month old WB with physitis issues off and on and now starting club foot, just now gotten to weight he should be at after being sickly skinny due to not getting his grubbies in previous boarding situation. Older guys have been on this pasture for a couple of years but not used for quite a few before that and baby came in May. I had the pasture analyzed in May, 70+ degrees and around noonish sample. Sugars are good, ESC is 5.4, but protein is 24.8%. Older guys are on ration balancers and Paint is muzzled when out. Baby is balanced per NSC guidelines and dropped this month from 4 lbs to 2.5 lbs and rebalanced except that his protein level is 2X what it should be, almost all from pasture (1.5 lbs TC 30% and 1 lb Legends 12% Performance Pellet)! Pasture has been mowed twice so it's not super tall, last time was last week and seeing tender feet in the IR horse this week. Could this pasture be causing the issues we're seeing in tender feet on the IR guy and the developemental issues on the WB baby?

  • #2
    What's the starch value? How much clover is in this pasture? I certainly wouldn't be using TC30 for this LOL

    Because it's probably clover that's pushing the pasture that high in sugars, yes, that absolutely can cause issues with the IR horse.

    Physitis issues aren't caused by protein issues, but by mineral imbalances. What are the copper, zinc, calcium, and phosphorous readings on this pasture? Do you feed any hay? what's what like? You may need to muzzle everyone on pasture, and/or reduce the time there, and feed hay more properly suitable for horses.
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • Original Poster

      JB, when I tested, there wasn't much clover but I am seeing it now and IR horse is "drooling" so he may be hitting it the hardest.

      In balancing the pasture, the TC 30 gives me the most vit/min bang per lb even if it is 30%. Here's the pasture analysis and I add Copper, Zinc and Magnesium to the mix to balance and will be adding a bit of Calcium since dropping to the 2.5 lbs. I have the nutritional values for the feeds I'm using and balance in a spreadsheet from the Yahoo Cushings group for 2-24 month olds... I'm using dry matter results from the pasture (so is 23.8, not 24.8) which are the 2nd set of numbers.

      Digestible Energy (DE), Mcal/lb .22 .96
      % g/lb. % g/lb.
      Crude Protein 5.5 24.8 23.8 108.1
      Estimated Lysine .19 .9 .83 3.8
      Lignin .8 3.6 3.5 15.6
      Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) 6.8 30.7 29.5 133.9
      Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF) 12.7 57.4 55.1 249.8
      WSC (Water Sol. Carbs.) 1.5 6.8 6.5 29.4
      ESC (Simple Sugars) 1.2 5.4 5.2 23.5
      Starch .7 3.0 2.9 13.2
      Non Fiber Carb. (NFC) 1.5 6.8 6.6 29.7
      Crude Fat 1.0 4.7 4.5 20.3
      Ash 2.3 10.5 10.1 45.6
      % g/lb. % g/lb.
      Calcium .09 .39 .38 1.70
      Phosphorus .09 .40 .39 1.76
      Magnesium .04 .20 .19 .87
      Potassium .70 3.19 3.07 13.90
      Sodium .003 .015 .014 .064
      ppm mg/lb. ppm mg/lb.
      Iron 41 19 180 82
      Zinc 7 3 32 15
      Copper 2 1 8 4
      Manganese 23 10 98 45
      Molybdenum .9 .4 3.8 1.7
      As Fed 100% Dry
      RFV 111

      I'm wondering if I should load him up on TC Sr or similar so he doesn't eat so much grass? Guestimate is 13-14 lb of grass per day for his 800 lbs. Have asked about confining but met with resistence and we have low protein/low sugar hay but even the confined area has some grass (no clover) so they tend to pick that over the hay and it's very short so probably higher in sugar as well.


      • #4
        Did you freeze the samples immediately, and ship overnight frozen? If they thawed at any time, you cannot believe these sugar numbers. Respiration and fermentation can decrease them rapidly.
        See data here:
        Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org


        • Original Poster

          Katy, yes, they were taken and thrown in the freezer within 1/2 hour and not exposed to sun until they were frozen. Followed the directions per Equi-Analytical...

          JB, meant to add that the physitis is more than likely trauma induced vs nutritional but is it because the high protein is making him grow too fast?


          • #6
            Extra protein doesn't cause fast growth or physitis. Extra calories - which may be due to a high-protein source - can cause fast growth, but even then you're looking more likely at "contracted tendons" rather than physitis. If he's just fat, the extra weight could be causing physitis. What makes you say it was likely trauma-induced?
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • Original Poster

              He's not fat, he actually just gotten to a good weight but has put on conservatively 150 lbs in the last 2.5 months. Per his balancing, we've kept his digestible energy on the low side for where he should be, 20, and he's at 16. And we may be looking at contracted tendons as he was hi/low and now the high foot is moving toward club (xrays) and tight in the check ligament.

              I say trauma induced as he is a very large boy (will top out 17h or better and just at 800 lbs, which is correct for a beastie with a mature weight of 1200) and he does some running but it's mostly duck and jive, wheeling and bouncing around playing with the boys. First time was after he came to me just weaned and didn't want to eat. Treated for ulcers for 30 days and after a few weeks, hind ankles swelled. That one I attribute to imbalanced mineral.

              2nd time the hinds swelled was the first week I brought him to this pasture and my old man kept running him off from the gate between the fields. Cut his DE 20% and added HA and it mostly went away. This time, he's blown a bog spavin in the rh, ankles have some swelling all around where before it was just hinds....


              • #8
                Iodine. Where's the iodine? Selenium?


                • Original Poster

                  Selenium/Vit E. are separate tests for big bucks and little gain from what I've read and I don't think they test for Iodine. Those are balanced per his "grain". I don't believe either would be causing the issues I'm seeing though... Selenium is best tested with bloodwork though, from what I understand.


                  • #10
                    Yep, not worth testing the soil/forage for Se when all that matters is what's in the horse's blood.

                    Robin, is OCD a potential issue? Have you ruled that out, or just not thought of it?

                    13 months is old to be having physitis issues in the pasterns, as those growth plates should be closed by now.
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • Original Poster

                      We did xrays last week of the r hock that blew the bog spavin and nothing. We haven't xrayed the ankles but no lameness ever, just seems to flare with excess activity. I figure he was fruiting around in the field and slipped/twisted/whatever the hock, but vet felt physitis and noted mild in hind ankles at the time. The ankles have come and gone and are on their way back down behind. The fronts may be from the excess growth/tendon/ligament/whatever is going on up there. That will be another post

                      From Dr Deb Bennett..

                      In order after that: Short pastern - top & bottom between
                      birth and 6 mos. 3. Long pastern - top & bottom between 6 mos. And 1 yr. 4. So we have a few months yet!