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Ration Balancer Or Alfalfa Pellets?

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  • #21
    I think in general, ration balancers tend to be similar, quality wise. You may want to look into TC Lite, which is sort of in between an RB and a regular feed, meant to be fed at 2-4 lb a day I believe. It could be a viable option for you. I personally use TC 30, triple crown's RB, and I love it. My hard keepers get TC Senior and I've found they keep weight on very well with it.
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


    • #22
      I don’t know what hays you have available to you. But I have a 16.3h 5 year old in work (pretty big girl, wears an 82” blanket and a 54” girth), who requires a fair number of calories. I did have her on grass hay mix, and was feeding alfalfa pellets, in addition to a RB, and oil, she was losing weight – switched to a fortified feed and I found I was having to add more and more concentrates to keep her weight up, until I was feeding a big ol’ bucket full.

      I ended up switching over to alfalfa hay. She now gets alfalfa twice a day (over 20 pounds total) and grass hay for lunch. In addition, she gets 1 pound of RB (designed for CA alfalfa) and 1.5 pounds of rice bran (although she is now in very good weight, so I may reduce that – but it has made her coat nice and slick!).

      I happy with the results so far, and I feed the hay in a nibble net, which means she has food out basically 24/7. I like that she gets the extra chewing time / forage over pellets.
      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


      • #23
        TC Lite is 1lb/500lb weight, so yes, somewhere between 2-4lb for horses, though most closer to 2.

        But, keep in mind it's a Lite feed, so lower in calories than a regular feed. It's just more fortified than regular feeds so it can be fed with fewer calories - between a RB serving and a regular feed serving.

        Nothing wrong with it,but not as helpful in terms of calories as if you just switched to a regular feed at 4-6lb/day
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • #24
          Like others have said, I'd switch to a fortified complete feed.

          My 17 yr old guy is on a round bale and keeps good weight but needs a little help when the temps drop now that he's getting a little older. He gets beet pulp, a few pounds of complete feed, and flax to keep him a little plump and happy.

          Also, my guy lives outside 24/7 and I've noticed in the last few years I've had to up his blankets. He's more susceptible to cold now than he was when younger so he wears his light blanket when he used to wear nothing, and his heavy blanket when he used to where his light one. Keeping him warmer has helped keep the weight on him, too.


          • Original Poster

            I doubt I can find (or afford) alfalfa hay this winter, what with the scarcity of hay due to the drought. I am lucky to have found some decent round bales.

            I just checked and only 1 dealer in another county can order it - and it's only $8 less per bag than the RB!

            Maybe I should just give more of the RB; be less expensive.


            • #26
              You can't give more of the ration balancer above and beyond what is indicated on the bag - its essentially a superconcentrated form of nutrients....doubling up can easily lead to feeding too much of certain vitamins and minerals, and for some like Selenium, you don't want to over feed.

              By the time you add in the cost of the alfalfa pellets, ration balancer, cubes, blah blah blah, figure up what your daily cost to feed is. I bet its more than feeding TC Senior daily, even when that alone is $8.00 less a bag than the ration balancer.
              Last edited by SuckerForHorses; Nov. 29, 2012, 01:55 PM. Reason: spelling errors
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


              • #27
                I switched my senior citizen from a ration balancer and senior feed plus alfalfa pellet to Nutrena Pro Senior and nothing else. It is alfalfa based and has pre and probiotics. As long as he eats the recommended amount he is getting everything he needs in one product.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • #28
                  RBs are designed to be fed at a specific (and often small) amount as they are highly fortified. Feeding over the recommended amount will result in feeding over the levels of the minerals and vitamins that are recommended (not advisable, especially if they are fat soluble vitamins).

                  I would certainly add more alfalfa pellets before “over dosing” on the ration balancer.
                  APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                  • Original Poster

                    I believe I will try the Nutrena Senior Pro.


                    • Original Poster

                      What about Safe Choice Perform?
                      I am having trouble even finding Nutrena SP


                      • #31
                        Have a Kent Dealer in your area?


                        • Original Poster

                          Purina mostly. Some Nutrena. Buckeye at 1 place only.


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                            I switched my senior citizen from a ration balancer and senior feed plus alfalfa pellet to Nutrena Pro Senior and nothing else. It is alfalfa based and has pre and probiotics. As long as he eats the recommended amount he is getting everything he needs in one product.
                            I can't find Nutrena Pro Senior - Their site lists only Life Design or Triumph as the available senior feeds. Could they have changed the name?


                            • #34
                              No, the Pro line is new. I guess they aren't selling it everywhere yet.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home


                              • Original Poster

                                I wonder what other Nutrena product is best until I can convince them to stock it.
                                Life Design Senior? Safe Choice Special Care?

                                Very frustrating!


                                • #36
                                  Triple crown IMO is really one of the best feeds. I still say like others to switch him to tc senior. Example on cost, tc ration balancer is what I use to use when I needed to it was 30 a bag then if you add the alfalfa pellets at 15 a bag that they are here for stanlee, then alfalfa cubes at 15 to 20 a bag depending on how many bags of alfalfa you go thru anyhow often the cost a week if it's a bag a week is 30 for just alfalfa and 30 a month for the rb thats 150 a month compared to tc senior if feed by the bag requirements it's about 72 a month around here. You'd actually be saving money.
                                  Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                  • #37
                                    Tc senior u get 1548 calories per pound
                                    Legends senior you get 1355 per pound
                                    Nutreana senior you get 7% high fat content versus 5%
                                    tc senior you get 10% high fat content versus 5%
                                    With the textured tc senior your also getting the beet pulp in the feed instead of having to add
                                    Crude Protein (min.) 14.00%
                                    Lysine (min.) 0.70%
                                    Methionine (min.) 0.20%
                                    Threonine (min.) 0.40%
                                    Crude Fat (min.) 10.00%
                                    Crude Fiber (max.) 17.00%
                                    Calcium (min.) 0.90%
                                    Calcium (max.) 1.40%
                                    Phosphorus (min.) 0.60%
                                    Magnesium (min.) 0.37%
                                    Iron (min.) 175 ppm
                                    Potassium (min.) 1.25%
                                    Selenium (min.) 0.50 ppm
                                    Zinc (min.) 170 ppm
                                    Manganese (min.) 100 ppm
                                    Copper (min.) 55 ppm
                                    Vitamin A (min.) 6,000 IU/lb
                                    Vitamin D (min.) 1,000 IU/lb
                                    Vitamin E (min.) 170 IU/lb
                                    Ascorbic Acid (min.) 45 mg/lb
                                    Biotin (min.) 0.30 mg/lb
                                    Lactobacillus Acidophilus
                                    Fermentation Product (min.) 1.3 million CFU/gm
                                    Saccharomyces Cerevisiae
                                    Yeast Culture (min.) 2.5 million CFU/gm
                                    Cellulase Trichoderma
                                    Fermentation Extract (min.) 110 CMC–ase Units/lb
                                    Protease (Bacillus Subtilis
                                    Fermentation Extract) (min.)


                                    Nutrient Level
                                    Crude Protein 14.0%
                                    Lysine 0.60%
                                    Crude Fat 3.5%
                                    Crude Fiber max 16.0%
                                    Calcium 0.65% - 1.00%
                                    Phosphorus 0.6%
                                    Copper 30 ppm
                                    Zinc 120 ppm
                                    Selenium 0.3 ppm
                                    Vitamin A 3,500 IU/lb
                                    Vitamin D 350 IU/lb
                                    Vitamin E 75 IU/lb
                                    Biotin 0.3 mg/lb
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                    • #38
                                      Try Purina Senior Active healthy edge. It has a little bit less fat than TC Senior, but is still more than most feeds. Also, go to activestill.com and take a quiz and you can get $ off coupons for it. You don't tell us how much hay cubes you are giving but I would suggest starting with 4-6 lbs of senior feed and adjusting from there.