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Talk To Me About Protein

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  • Talk To Me About Protein

    I have a young horse - a 3.5 year old Azteca filly. She hasn't filled out a lot yet, although that is fairly normal for her breed. She also isn't skinny, but I can feel her ribs when I lightly pass my hand over her side. I feed her in slow feeders so she has constant forage, as well as also being on pasture 24/7 (although this time of year the pasture isn't much).

    My vet told me he'd like to see her filled out a bit more and suggested I feed her an LMF feed. He also suggested I add timothy or orchard hay to my hay regimen, which was just local grass hay for the last several months.

    So I am feeding her now about 2.5 lbs of LMF Gentle Balance, which has 14% protein. I am not sure about how much protein the hay has, but it is a timothy/local grass mix. I basically feed one flake of local and two of the timothy, am and pm. Do you think she's getting too much protein? There is an LMF feed called Showtime (also no grain) which is only 10% protein.

    I have also heard how you shouldn't try to help a young horse fill out. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and look forward to your feedback!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Oops. I will amend my statement about the Showtime feed. It does have grain, but is not supposed to make them "hot." The Gentle Balance is no grain.

    Comment


    • #3
      I like to be able to feel the ribs on my horses. For an idle horse, probably the amount of protein in the forage is sufficient, but you might think about making sure she has the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. One of the typical ration balancers (not sure if that's what's in your product) should fill the bill admirably, assuming the hay is of at least average quality.

      Meeting all of a growing horse's nutritional "must haves" is more important to me than whether or not you can feel their ribs. If you're really wanting to be certain, you can have your hay analyzed and use a program like FeedXL to make sure all the nutrients she needs are present.

      IMO there is no such thing as "too much protein" for a healthy horse. It might be a waste of money and nutrients, but extra protein is turned into other things or dumped.
      Click here before you buy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you are doing the right things.

        1. the hay your using is fine. Timothy is my favorite choice. Just avoid alfalfa, protein is EXTREMELY HIGH in it.

        2.Most grains have 14% protein and she is only getting 2 1/2 pounds so I wouldn't worry about it.

        3.Make sure she is getting enough vitamins and minerals. That is very important for a young horse.

        Not sure how much your horse weighs so I can't tell you if she is getting enough for her body size. Pics might be helpful.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
          1. the hay your using is fine. Timothy is my favorite choice. Just avoid alfalfa, protein is EXTREMELY HIGH in it.
          Define EXTREMELY HIGH. My orchard hay is usually 16% protein, the same as alfalfa. That is not EXTREMELY HIGH. Alfalfa is a wonderful source of nutrients for horses who have need of a bit of extra protein, particularly broodmares.

          2.Most grains have 14% protein and she is only getting 2 1/2 pounds so I wouldn't worry about it.
          Most grains are 14% protein? Really? We have 4 different kinds in our barn and none of them are 14%. One is 10, another 12, another 18 and another 30%.

          If I fed 2.5 pounds of ANY grain to my very large Irish mare she would be disgustingly obese and probably founder. Weight-based feeding guidelines are never supposed to be a "one size fits all" thing.
          Click here before you buy.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks for all your input!

            Sorry it took me a bit to get back to you.

            I think she may just be a bit of a hard keeper, or is just in a growth spurt. I have been worming her every two months as well so that probably isn't a factor.

            She has been getting the Gentle Balance formula by LMF for two weeks now, at 2.5 lbs/day. I am noticing her top line forming a little more, which may be the extra nutrition or my training or a combo of the two.

            The Gentle Balance includes selenium and other vitamins or minerals that she needs out in the PacNW. I also feed her a probio, flax seed, and pysllium.

            Here's a picture of her for your reference:

            Or I would post a picture of her, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to attach a picture. I've read two troubleshooting posts on how to do this, and don't see the buttons anywhere for the tasks they describe.

            Meh.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Maybe this will work. Here she is. 3 years and 7 months. Please excuse her dirtiness!



              Comment


              • #8
                She looks like a healthy young mare. Her weight at a glance seems fine but of course all that fuzz gets in the way of really seeing!

                Deworming every 2 months is no longer the standard of care and does not necessarily allow us to say worms are not a problem. Consider a fecal egg count, maybe? And has she been treated for bots, tapeworms, encysted strongyles? The standard rotational deworming does not necessarily cover those beasties.
                Click here before you buy.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  About a year ago exactly I sent a fecal sample to the vets and it came back showing large strongyles. In April, I believe, I gave her a Panacur Powerpac. I waited a few months because she at the time had bad diarrhea and I wanted to avoid digestive complications.

                  I was just about to do another fecal sample this month.

                  How often does one deworm now? I gave her Ivermectin in November.

                  Also, I will say she's the only horse in acre of field and I try to either compost the turds in a little hill on the side of her field, or drag them up to the farm's poo pile with the cart every other day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Worms are ubiquitous and have gigantic biological pressure to do their thing (get inside a horse and reproduce) so although having excellent manure management and no other horses is a huge advantage, I'd still not be complacent. I do FECs twice a year and since my herd all seem to have minimal to no worms using this method, I don't do extra. I deworm based on the late-winter and late-summer FECs and make sure that I go for tapeworms at least once yearly. I have seen exactly one bot egg in the past six years so I don't worry about bots too much.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by brennab View Post
                      I have a young horse - a 3.5 year old Azteca filly. She hasn't filled out a lot yet, although that is fairly normal for her breed. She also isn't skinny, but I can feel her ribs when I lightly pass my hand over her side. I feed her in slow feeders so she has constant forage, as well as also being on pasture 24/7 (although this time of year the pasture isn't much).

                      My vet told me he'd like to see her filled out a bit more and suggested I feed her an LMF feed. He also suggested I add timothy or orchard hay to my hay regimen, which was just local grass hay for the last several months.

                      So I am feeding her now about 2.5 lbs of LMF Gentle Balance, which has 14% protein. I am not sure about how much protein the hay has, but it is a timothy/local grass mix. I basically feed one flake of local and two of the timothy, am and pm. Do you think she's getting too much protein? There is an LMF feed called Showtime (also no grain) which is only 10% protein.

                      I have also heard how you shouldn't try to help a young horse fill out. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and look forward to your feedback!
                      according to the manufacturers website: "Feed LMF Gentle Balance to adults (mature) horses at a rate of 3 – 8 pounds per day (for a 1000 pound horse). Vary the intake of Gentle Balance based on activity, body weight, and body condition of the horse."

                      You might want to contact LMF to determine if 2.5Lbs is enough to meet her needs. It appears that the minimum amount per label is 3 pounds/day/1000lb horse. But if she is growing she may need slightly more than 2.5lbs to meet her daily needs.
                      Redbud Ranch
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                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        She's a little less than 1000 lbs and LMF's nutritionist told me to feed 2.5 to 3lbs/day but I may start feeding 3.

                        deltawave, can you show me exactly what your deworming schedule is? I'd like to get on a good and accurate one. I guess I am chiefly worried about encysted strongyles. I plan on getting a fecal done very soon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can't really show you, but I can tell you. Late March, I have my vet out to vaccinate, run Coggins, and I do a FEC. A week or so later he emails me the results and any recommended treatment based on the FEC. September-October, I do the same. If the spring recommendation did not include something that would cover tapeworms or encysted strongyles, I make sure the fall treatment does, so the horses are getting covered for those species at least once a year. If either FEC showed heavy infestation, I might send him another sample a month or two later from the affected horses to make sure they're back to normal. Never had to do that--I've had "zero" or "light" consistently since I've started using this method. I will add that if I bring a new horse onto my property I will usually hit them with ivermectin just in case they have a bunch of worms. That part is a little hit-or-miss, but still makes me feel better.
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            But if you want to go by what a real "local" (to COTH) expert does, check out anything that poster JB writes on the topic.
                            Click here before you buy.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks a lot for that info. I really hope I haven't done anything wrong by her! Ugh.

                              Do you use Panacur Powerpac for the encsysted strongyles?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You can do the Powerpac or use Quest Plus.
                                Caitlin
                                *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                                http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by brennab View Post
                                  I have a young horse - a 3.5 year old Azteca filly. She hasn't filled out a lot yet, although that is fairly normal for her breed. She also isn't skinny, but I can feel her ribs when I lightly pass my hand over her side. I feed her in slow feeders so she has constant forage, as well as also being on pasture 24/7 (although this time of year the pasture isn't much).

                                  My vet told me he'd like to see her filled out a bit more and suggested I feed her an LMF feed. He also suggested I add timothy or orchard hay to my hay regimen, which was just local grass hay for the last several months.

                                  So I am feeding her now about 2.5 lbs of LMF Gentle Balance, which has 14% protein. I am not sure about how much protein the hay has, but it is a timothy/local grass mix. I basically feed one flake of local and two of the timothy, am and pm. Do you think she's getting too much protein? There is an LMF feed called Showtime (also no grain) which is only 10% protein.

                                  I have also heard how you shouldn't try to help a young horse fill out. I just want to make sure I'm doing this right and look forward to your feedback!
                                  Growing horses NEED protein: 14-16 of their entire ration and timothy/grass hay averages 10%.

                                  We used to have our horses on straight alfalfa hay and they were in excellent shape; we can only find grass hay where we've moved to and I can see the decline in the horses. We're having to add in special feed and we've never had that before.

                                  "Too much protein" for horses is out-dated; calcium and phosphorus are what you want to consider.

                                  I don't think you've done anything wrong by her but I would up her protein and worm her with Quest in the spring.

                                  http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in.../bc/182602.htm

                                  http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...le-out-protein
                                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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