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Need help w/ selecting grain for horse

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  • Need help w/ selecting grain for horse

    First, I'm not necessarily looking for brand recommendations, but wouldn't turn those down. Mostly looking for explanation
    After colic event vet make sure horse is fed a "high fat low carb" diet. I'm presuming the low carb is low starch/sugar content. When examining current feed and others I'm now thoroughly confused. Example: one product calls itself high fat low starch, but the fat % number is only 8%; starches @12%.
    other product does not call itself anything other than performance feed. It has 12% fat and starches at 16%. So how does one evaluate these various numbers? Is there a ratio that makes sense? How does one decide??
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

  • #2
    I'm feeding ReLeve, horse equivalent of "Atkins Diet". Also if you want to get really into this, consider signing up for FeedXL, lets you analyze your horses diet completely....


    • #3
      If you actually want grain, then I suggest sticking to oil grains. Examples are flax, BOSS, whole roasted soybeans, and high fat canola meal. Most newer canola oil processor these days are more efficient at getting more of the oil out tho and the higher fat is getting not so common.

      Or you can go the fiber route and add your own oil. 50:50 alfalfa pellets to soyhull pellets with oil tossed in would work nicely there.

      Also be advised the ethanol plants have in the past few months started removing more fat. DDG's used to run 10-12% Cfat and now down around 5%.


      • #4
        Oh forgot this link. It is handy...



        • #5
          Some companies, IME, consider anything over 8% to be high fat. Low starch for a nutritionally challenged horse, I would not consider anything over about 15% NSC and preferably under 12%. Watch out for feeds that separate %starch and %sugar on their label, total %NSC is %starch+%sugar.

          If you find a feed you like but may be a bit lower in fat than you want, you can always supplement fat. You can go an oil route (flax, wheat germ, rice bran, etc.) or dry (soybean meal, rice bran pellets, flax meal) or a prepared pelleted fat supplement (pretty much every feed brand has one now). Then you can control how much fat he gets on top of his feed.

          As far as deciding, it also depends on his calorie intake from forage. In the winter, while on hay, my guy goes to a higher fat (10%) feed than when on summer grass (usually ~6% fat). He always gets 2oz of wheat germ oil in his feed (2x/day). I have access to two feeds that are low in starch that meet the seasonal fat bill: TC Senior (10% fat/~12% NSC) and TC Low Starch (6% fat/13.5% NSC). It really depends on the horse, his workload, and the severity of his condition.
          Last edited by WNT; Dec. 26, 2012, 10:20 PM. Reason: Adding a thought
          Leap, and the net will appear


          • Original Poster

            WNT - thanks! this was VERY helpful; I'm hoping to find one that will not require a fat supplement, but will do that if need be.
            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........