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Feeds comparable to Nutrena Compete?

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  • Feeds comparable to Nutrena Compete?

    Hi all,

    I feel kind of silly for asking this question since I'm a vet and I should know this stuff (but I do dogs and cats mostly!). I need some wise horsepeople to help me

    My new horse is growing still as a 4.5 year old WB cross, and he has been on Nutrena Compete. The problem is that it's more expensive and a bigger hassle for my barn manager to get that feed every month. The only feed stores that carry it are either too far away, or they don't carry any other brands of shavings or feed that we use routinely, making it more of a hassle.

    Right now I'll make it happen if I have to, but does anyone know of a feed that is comparable to Nutrena Compete for a growing horse? The Purina 10:6 looked very similar but a local feed store person said we'd have to put him on a growth supplement in addition to that feed :/

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    What brands do you have available?

    I'd far, far prefer to see a horse on Triple Crown Growth. The Nutrena Compete has a NSC level of 36% per their own site - yikes.

    The only Purina feed I'd be comfy with is the Ultium Growth if he needs calories, or the Enrich 32 ration balancer if he doesn't need so much, or maybe that 32 plus a couple pounds of alfalfa pellets (or similar) if he's in between
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • Original Poster

      Purina seems to be the most easily available feed here.
      http://www.horse.purinamills.com/pro...2-0032691.aspx this feed, the Strategy Professional GX, seems to be the most comparable to me in terms of nutrient profile...is that a bad choice? I can't find the NSC level on the website.

      He is on free choice T&A hay as well, if that makes any difference. He is fit and shiny and happy now and I just would hate for him to drop weight with switching feeds.

      Edit: I can get the Triple Crown, but the only store that carries it nearby is the same one that carries the Nutrena. What is the benefit of the Triple Crown Growth over the Compete? Thank you.


      • #4
        How much of the Nutrena do you feed him now? Often you can end up feeding less of a lower sugar feed with the same results (or better )

        At his age, you don't really need a "growth" feed, though good ones certainly aren't something to avoid.

        Last I knew, the NSC of the Strategy GX was in the upper 20's. Maybe ok for a hard working horse who's burning lots of calories and needs more carbs, but not what I'd consider suitable for a young and still growing a bit WB cross. The Ultium Growth is at least below 20 - I think it's about 18%
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


        • Original Poster

          He's just going through a growth spurt, as his hind end shot up and now we're waiting for the front end to catch up. I agree that a "growth" feed isn't really necessary, but he looks great on the current feed. We're doing 2 scoops twice daily. I haven't weighed the scoop yet per say but it's a standard horse scooper. (I know, I know!)

          I'd be thrilled to spend less, feed less, and have same or better results. So you think the Ultium Growth is the way to go? I'll ask the girl at the feed store, and see if anyone else has an opinion too. Thank you so much! This is like a new territory for me, haha.


          • #6
            yeah, they can for sure still be growing at that age (and for another couple of years too), but the "growth" feeds are really designed for the weanling-1-2-3yo ranges, give or take, because of the elevated levels of nutrition needed for all that growth.

            Most pelleted feeds you can consider about 1.25lb/qt, give or take, unless otherwise known. So, if it's a 2qt scoop, that's anywhere from 8-10lb or so, which is quite a lot. That's a LOT of sugar.

            So, given the number of calories he's currently eating, yes, the UG would be where I'd start.
            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


            • #7
              One other thing you would probably like to do, not just for your own sake but because there are some continuing education credits, is to take some of the online equine nutrition courses offered by Dr. Eleanor Kellon, V.M.D. on her website www.drkellon.com
              One of the cool things you would discover is how to get your hay - supposed to be the horse's main diet - analyzed and then plan any other feedstuffs so as to provide a nutriitionally balanced ration for the horse.
              I agree with those who recommend Triple Crown products, but that is actually very useful to know that Ultium Growth has such a relatively reasonable NSC level.
              RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


              • #8
                Standard scooper? My standard scooper is this three quart one. If that's what you're talking about, your horse is getting a WHOPPING amount of hard feed--I find a 3 qt scoop holds about 5 lbs of pelleted feed, for an enormous 20 lbs fed a day. No wonder your barn manager is getting tired of buying it!

                Ultium is an excellent Purina option. I might also look at Omolene 400 or 500, as they do seem to be quite similar to the Triple Crown offerings (although I'm not sure where the NSC falls.) Another to look at could be Equine Senior Healthy Edge--I have used this and been quite happy with it, but again, not sure what the NSC is.


                • #9
                  Omolene 400's NSC is about 24% IIRC. I think the 500 is over 40%.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    In Florida, I think Seminole is widely available? Their Wellness Perform Safe has a similar fat content (8%) with 12% protein, much lower NSC (9% I think) and much higher fiber while still being a pellet. Same top four ingredients as TC Growth, though in a different order. You might also look at their Grow Right.

                    What's the rest of the barn on, though? I'd probably try to go with something that your BM is already getting if at all possible.
                    "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"


                    • #11
                      I'd also recommend Seminole Wellness Show and Sport 12%/12
                      %/16 % or Seminole Complete Safe. 12%/8%/17%.

                      Feeding any horse two scoops from a standard 3qrt scoop a meal is a LOT of cereals to digest in one sitting.

                      What is his hay consumption like ? What grain would your BM prefer to feed ?

                      I"d take a long hard look at his hay make sure he is getting 2% of his body weight at least in good quality forage then fill in the missing pieces with a top line grain , pick one with a love NSC and one that is a fixed formula feed.
                      "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


                      • Original Poster

                        I do not think it is a 3 qt scoop...if anything it's a 2 qt, but I'll have to check.

                        The other horses are on Country Acres (Purina) 12% pellet.

                        I will have to see if Seminole is easy enough to get. Those are great options, thanks! My BM would prefer to feed something that's easier to get than the Nutrena and other than that is deferring the decision to me. So, I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the numbers and feeding options. He gets 5-6 flakes daily and I have to admit I'm not exactly sure how many pounds the hay is, but an average one is 60 lbs, so 5 x 5 = 25 lbs, and he's about 1200 lbs, so that's about 2%. I think the hay is adequate.

                        So, I guess my choices thus far are:
                        Purina Ultium Growth
                        Purina Senior Active Healthy Edge -- is the phosphorus too low? Concern for growing bones...
                        Seminole Wellness Perform Safe
                        Seminole Wellness Show and Sport
                        Seminole Complete Safe
                        Triple Crown Growth

                        Is that about it? Should I cut back the amount I'm feeding when I switch too? Or is the lower amount of NSCs make it OK to feed same amount? Or does it all come down to calories and feeding guidelines? Geez, it's so easy for dogs and cats...just put it down based on calorie intake and adjust as needed. LoL!


                        • #13
                          How much work is he in?

                          I fed that much grain to my terribly hard keeping TB mare when she was in hard, full work, in the middle of winter. She also got as much hay as she could eat.

                          Four scoops a day is a LOT, even if it's a two quart scoop. Without knowing anything about the horse or the situation, my first thought would be that the barn is short on hay and trying to make it up in hard feed. Granted, there are some circumstances where that much hard feed would be required, but they're not terribly common.

                          Regardless, I would want an explanation on why the horse is getting that much grain. Even if it's a two qt scoop, you're talking about 10-13 ish lbs of grain a day.

                          (I also wouldn't feed TC Growth to a 4 1/2 year old. Complete or Senior, sure, but not Growth. Growth is labeled for broodmares, weanlings and yearlings.)


                          • #14
                            Country Acres is really bottom of the barrel feed lol

                            As for the phos comment - the ratio is at least 1.8:1 ca/phos, as high as 2.1:1. That's actually a higher ratio range than TC Growth, which comes in at 1.25-2.08:1. So no, it's not too low

                            As for feeding less - aim to switch to the same amount you're feeding now, and adjust as appropriate. You might not see a difference in his weight once you're fully switched over for several weeks or months, just depending on how he's growing at the time and using calories. You might find quickly that he's gaining too much weight. So just eyeball things, particularly rib coverage. I'd say use a weight tape, but that's likely to increase just as a result of growth in general.

                            Simkie - there's absolutely nothing wrong with Growth for a 4yo If you compare the nutritional profiles of the Growth to the Sr, they are nearly identical If you use the argument that it's "only" formulated for broodies, weaners, and yearlings, then you shouldn't feed the Sr either, because it's "only" formulated "specifically for older horses"
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                            • Original Poster

                              Yeah, the other horses are pretty easy keepers (QH/paint types) and don't really use the grain as a significant part of their diet. I honestly don't see that drastic a price difference between that stuff and the other Purina stuff to make it that much worth the while.

                              I was feeding that much because that's what his previous owner was feeding. She said since he was going through a growth spurt, he needed more. He wasn't always getting that much. She had him on free choice O&A prior. He loves his T&A now.

                              I guess I shouldn't feel bad about cutting back, as he probably is getting enough calories either way. I definitely don't feel like he's gained any weight since coming home (nearly 3 weeks now). He hasn't lost any weight. If we switch feeds he might gain even, if the calories come from fat more than other sources.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you everyone,

                                I am going to switch to Seminole Perform Safe since it nutritionally seems to be fairly spot-on, has low NSCs, and it is the cheapest in the area!

                                Thanks again