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What to Feed Horse with NO back teeth?

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  • What to Feed Horse with NO back teeth?

    I'm exploring my options for a 19 year old mare who we've owned for awhile now. I've had plenty of older horses missing teeth but not one with literally no back teeth. Of course, she is no longer able to sustain on our pasture and round bales. I know I can use beet pulp and senior feed soaked together but also wondered if short chop hay, such as chopped alfalfa, can be soaked with the beet pulp and consumed? I feed my other horses some chopped alfalfa and it would be convenient if she was able to consume it, but if this is a bad idea, I will resort to alfalfa pellets or just leave out alfalfa entirely.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

  • #2
    I have had some luck with a mixture of beet pulp pellets (the beet pellets melt down into smaller particles that the shreds), senior feed pellets and that "hay in a bag" stuff you can get at TSC. It is finely chopped up hay with a little molasses. I soak the whole mixture until everything is dissolved in luke warm water, and then add enough luke warm water to make kind of like a thick soup that is a little on the watery side.

    The mare I feed this concoction to actually sort of sucks it up like she is drinking. I feed her three times a day. I also give her a few handfuls of this hay-in-a-bag stuff dampened so she can pretend to eat it. It satisfies her need to "chew" even though she has little nubs in front and maybe one or two back teeth.

    She still likes to be turned out to 'graze" but I really don't think she actually manages to get much of anything/

    Comment


    • #3
      I use a whole oat based sweet feed and slow cook it in the crock pot (or on the wood stove in the winter) until the groat is plump and gel'ed and the fiber swollen with water. This I pour over SBH pellets and alfalfa pellets and add oil. This sits until the pellets soften and the slurry cools. Mixture ends up about the thickness of my morning oatmeal and slides down easy.

      PM me if you want the exact recipe.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks Bayou Bengal. I was actually looking at the stuff in TSC because it's several dollars less than the Purina chopped Alfalfa I've been buying. I might try her with a little of that. She is basically an outside horse and she does graze but is starting to lose a little weight and I knew it was to the point I had to change her feed. She was able to eat hay up until this summer and apparently all her back grinders fell out thru the summer.

        D Taylor - that sounds like a wonderful recipe but it also sounds like something I wont have enough time for. I have a lot of horses here and that's why I am starting to use soaked beet pulp. I have hot water in the barn so I can make her a mash in a heart beat. What are the SBH pellets you're using - didn't know what SBH stood for? I do appreciate the oil suggestion - that I had not thought of and I need to get a little weight back on her. Now that our weather is cooling, I will start adding in some corn oil for her.
        Susan N.

        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

        Comment


        • #5
          We fed beet pulp,alfalfa pellets, and senior formula grain soaked twice a day. Our guy lived for 7 years on this diet until he passed of an unrelated cause at 37. The amount varied by the weather but it kept him fat and slick. He had no access to any hay due to choking on it real bad once. He did however quid any scrapes he could find that had blown into his pen.

          Comment


          • #6
            Two horses in their 30's did well on Purina Senior mash and a big, soft, dairy quality square bale free choice.

            They ate their mush and then loved to pick and quid the alfalfa and did get some good out of it too.
            They both dunked mouthfuls of alfalfa in the water tank, so cleaning the tank out very regularly was imperative.

            Just more to go by, other to try, that has worked for some.

            Comment


            • #7
              SBH pellets = soybean hull pellets... which I buy wholesale bulk. Very affordable and an excellent source of fermentable fiber.

              Tho I do use some beet pulp on my hard keeper for the most part my horses are not big fans of beet pulp. Everyone will eat the SBH pellets tho.

              As for time....not really a big investment of time for my "crockpot senior delight" as when I dump the crockpot I reload for the next feeding and set the timer for 6 hrs on low cook. Cost savings is huge and worth a little effort on my part as I am feeding 19 hd.

              Comment


              • #8
                D Taylor's crock pot mush sounds almost good enough to eat. I agree that a little oil wouldn't hurt things either. I am totally unfamiliar with SBH pellets.

                I do add some rice brand to my mixture in the winter. Rice bran is pretty common down here becasue of the rice grown in southwest Louisiana and some in southeast Texas, too I think. Actually the wter is pretty hot coming out the tap, but everything has to soak and by the time it is ready the minture can be pretty cold, especially in the winter.

                My mare seems to like her mash or gruel or soupy feed luke warm, so I do add a little water to make it more soupy and warmer at the same time.

                I have a friend that know a lot about draft horses and he described cooking crimped oats and cracked corn down in a crock pot much the same as D Taylor described.

                I am thinking of adding some cracked corn to my feed this winter, but thought I would cook it in a crock pot to soften it so it will not be as hard on my poor old horses' teeth.

                I am never amazed at what some horse people are willing to do for our poor old pensioners.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have to say every senior horse here has done better on the crockpot feed than any senior feed I have used. However the cooking process does break down some of the carb's into sugars....so something to think about for a metabolic horse.

                  I do not add corn. It is not that I think corn is bad in moderation by any means. But I do not use corn in my custom blend as I tend to have easy keepers. They do not need it. I do not add corn to the crockpot senior as getting fiber in to the toothess is my focus. Energy needs are pretty easy to meet as oil is an easy addition.....but getting fermentable fiber so the gut continues to function is the challenge. Fiber in a form that they can eat anyhow and will not kill the pocket book at the same time. By the time the back teeth are gone even soaked hay cubes or any other forage that meets the 1" course fiber rule is a guarenteed choke.

                  Years and years ago every farm raised a lard hog every year. Corn would be soaked/cooked on the back of the stove until soft and gel'ed and the hog slopped with this. You can imagine the size of this hog compared to the others...my horses tend to look the much same with corn in the ration. LOL!

                  But I do have few whole roasted soybeans in my custom blend. Very high in fat and excellent fiber too. My Custom blend runs 17.5% CP, 12% CFat, 16% CFiber. My horse receive only 1-2 lbs. For the seniors if they need more grain than a 2-3lbs per day then I simply add extra whole oats to the crockpot. The crockpot does the rest of the work for me.

                  And yes bayou bengal it just does not sound good enough to eat...it smells like molasses cookies baking. Last year the old rescue horse would get a whiff of it cooking and his eyes would brighten up and bug out he he would start begging for his dinner.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My ancient pony doesn't have any back teeth any more (he's somewhere between 35 and 40 years old). I give him about a quart of timothy/alfalfa cubes soaked thoroughly -- I have to break them up with a dull knife before soaking, or the water doesn't get right into them. He also gets a cup and a half of fat-n-fibre pellets, a cup and a half of flax pellets, and a cup of vegetable oil. All of this is mixed and mashed in his feed bowl so that there are no lumps. In the winter, I also add 3/4 cup of rice bran to the mix. He gets this recipe twice a day.

                    What has made a big difference for him is the addition of a good probiotic, and gamma orizonol. When either of these components is missing, he loses weight quickly.
                    My Equestrian Art Photography page

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Alfalfa, timothy hay cubes, or timothy balance cubes dissolve into mush when you add water, and are smaller particles of fiber than the bagged hay. IME, they are less expensive as well. They really don't require chewing. Here are are a couple of products I have used: (can be found at most feed stores)

                      My favorite: http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-07.htm

                      Lots of variety in cubes:
                      http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-06.htm
                      http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-01.htm
                      http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-03.htm
                      http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-04.htm
                      http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab02-02.htm (never used this one, contains dehydrated oats and corn)
                      Same company makes timothy pellets, in addition to alfalfa pellets, if that is more appropriate for your horse. They also make the usual beet pulp with and without molasses etc. In my area, almost every dealer carries their products.

                      If you like the idea of beet pulp, these two products make up faster than reg beet pulp, and are high quality, have some added biotin etc: (can be found in my area - New England, not sure about others:

                      http://www.britishhorsefeeds.com/speedi-beet

                      http://www.britishhorsefeeds.com/fibre-beet

                      I also like to soak extruded "grain" or pellets if they need even more weight than their fiber source can provide.

                      I'm still waiting for my overnight package to arrive containing D Taylor's crockpot feed. Sitting here with my coffee hoping I get it for my breakfast today..... :P

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        TC Senior mush and alfalfa cube mush.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for all the suggestions. I was a little discouraged that I couldn't provide her enough high fiber nutrition but apparently it is very possible to do so. I'm making a trip to TSC this afternoon to take a look at their Standlee products since they seem to be pretty high quality from what I've read. OTTB FTW - those are some interesting products made by OntarioDehy but it doesn't look like any of them are available in my area (I've never seen dehydrated oats and corn for sure). I tried to find Speedi-beet before because I heard it was good stuff but I seem to only have a choice of pellets or shreds in my area. I've used shreds a lot at various at times and am very comfortable with feeding them.

                          D Taylor - the crockpot recipe is probably the best stuff since sliced bread for a horse like I am trying to feed - it's very alien to me but I'm going to consider it anyway. I have a big old crockpot that I'm not using and I think I may try it out to see how it works. My old girl is not a picky eater so I think she would be amenable to just about whatever I offer her.

                          Thanks again - I'm feeling much more optimistic about getting her back up to par weight-wise.
                          Susan N.

                          Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just wanted to say that I prefer the chopped alfalfa hay for my old guy with bad teeth. I prefer them to the cubes because the cubes take forever to soak clear through and get thoroughly soft. My old fart is prone to choke and wolfs his food down like he never gets fed so it's important that his food is soaked through. So he gets a mixture of beet pulp, ADM Patriot Sr. feed, and chopped alfalfa. I buy a different brand of alfalfa that is cheaper than the Sandlee brand. I can't remember the name off the top of my head. It comes in a white plastic covered bale with green printing. American Allfalfa Co or something like that.
                            I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by D Taylor View Post
                              As for time....not really a big investment of time for my "crockpot senior delight" as when I dump the crockpot I reload for the next feeding and set the timer for 6 hrs on low cook. Cost savings is huge and worth a little effort on my part as I am feeding 19 hd.
                              DUH! A crockpot on a timer! Why didn't I think of that? My old boy loves a hot "happy meal" in the winter. I've been carrying boiling water in buckets; using a electric tea kettle in the feed shed, etc. This is perfect.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by wireweiners View Post
                                Just wanted to say that I prefer the chopped alfalfa hay for my old guy with bad teeth. I prefer them to the cubes because the cubes take forever to soak clear through and get thoroughly soft. My old fart is prone to choke and wolfs his food down like he never gets fed so it's important that his food is soaked through. So he gets a mixture of beet pulp, ADM Patriot Sr. feed, and chopped alfalfa. I buy a different brand of alfalfa that is cheaper than the Sandlee brand. I can't remember the name off the top of my head. It comes in a white plastic covered bale with green printing. American Allfalfa Co or something like that.
                                This was exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. I bet you are buying the U.S. Alfalfa because I've seen it locally in white plastic bales. I have been purchasing the Purina brand for several years now, also in a white bale, and it is wonderful stuff. I just wasn't sure if a horse with literally no teeth in the back of her mouth could eat it. I'm going to try it in a very small amount and see if she's okay with it. This mare had a serious choke about 5 years ago and I believe she may have scar tissue built up in her esophagus, so I also have to be very guarded in what she eats. Like your guy, she can be a wolfer of her food. Thank you - I was sure hoping to hear something positive about chopped alfalfa for the ones with bad/no teeth.
                                Susan N.

                                Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ksojerio View Post
                                  DUH! A crockpot on a timer! Why didn't I think of that? My old boy loves a hot "happy meal" in the winter. I've been carrying boiling water in buckets; using a electric tea kettle in the feed shed, etc. This is perfect.
                                  I am even dumber than you. I used to take feed and put it thru a hand grinder on the max setting to get it chewed up a bit. Then I would add hot water and let it soak. It worked...but was a ton of work. One day I was cooking homemade split pea soup in the crock pot. DOUBLE DUH...the dehydrated peas are just like grain and they soak, cook and swell up. Then I remembered what happens to barley and dried beans in a soup recipe and how it they soften and plump. TRIPLE DUH...and I even know/like the texture of steel cut oats and how long did it take me to figure out not only will the grains swell and gel, but the fiber from the whole grains will also swell with water and become tender with slow cooking?

                                  I am an idiot for not thinking of this years ago. Even sat there and listened to the stories my great uncle told about the lard hog and more and how slow cooking softened and naturally sweeted the grains.

                                  Rather slow on the draw for someone that thinks herself so smart am I not??????

                                  So someone smarter than I was kind enough to add a timer to the crockpot and at least I got that choice right in the first go round!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My 25+ Arab has had four molars missing for the last four years.

                                    He eats EquiPride, pelleted rice bran, soybean meal, Omega-3 Horseshine, and arthritis meds mixed in warm water twice daily, 365 days/year.

                                    In addition he gets 3 lbs of mushed up timothy/alfalfa cubes, divided into two feedings daily. I feed his mushy cubes in a separate tub from his supplements.

                                    Last winter was the first time he's never held his weight. That was when I added the soybean meal and the tim/alfalfa cubes. He picked right back up.

                                    He is only 13.3H & weighs around 840 lbs. I started him on 1/4 cup soybean meal daily but cut him back to 1/8th cup when the grass came on.

                                    Comment

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