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Help me understand protein percentages?

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  • Help me understand protein percentages?

    I am looking to start my older TB on a weight gain supplement. I asked smartpak and I am debating between Smartgain 4 and Cocosoya Ultra SP. The only difference is that the Cocosoya is higher in fat (38% vs 20% in smartgain 4) and lower protein (12% vs 24% in smartgain4).

    My TB is still WTC sound for trail riding and hacking in the ring. His topline is okay, but could use some improvement. It's his hip area that really needs to fill out. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm mostly looking for strictly weight maintenance. The "weight gain" by farnam appears to have stopped working.
    Read my adventures with my 4 year old OTTB, Scott's Truluck at: Scottie's Journey, Rehabbing and Retraining a Louisiana-bred OTTB http://scottieottb.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    It's a % of the amount fed.

    What is his base diet? I dislike "weight gain" supplements as a general category. I don't consider fat supplements like Empower Boost or Envision Classic to be "weight gain" supplements. Fat Cat and others like that, fed at a couple of ounces, those I don't like.

    What is his rib coverage like? If you can't VERY easily feel ribs, then he doesn't have a weight problem, he's got a muscle problem, and if "still wtc sound for trails and hacking" means he's got soundness issues, then you may never be able to work him to the point of filling in those hip muscles.

    Yes, SmartGain4 is higher in protein at 24%, but it's providing .7gm of lysine in a 2oz serving. Often if lysine is a missing protein component of a diet and is limiting muscle growth, then you're looking at adding 5-10gm of lysine, well over 7 times the amount in the SG. SG appears to be mostly a probiotic supplement, improving digestion. if that's what it takes for a horse to gain weight, I might be looking at the base diet first and seeing if anything there might be limiting how well nutrition is digested, such as too much sugar.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

    Comment


    • #3
      Without adding SUBSTANTIAL CALORIES, no weight gain "supplement" is going to do much. An ounce or two of even pure fat only has a couple hundred calories. What does the horse get to eat now? Is his hay of good quality, and can he get more? Any reason to think he's missing out on essential amino acids or basic nutrients? (many horses who get no concentrate can be lacking)

      Why not just add some fat to his diet if all the other bases are covered? Cocosoya is fine, so is corn oil, or there are products like Cool Calories 100 or Buckeye Ultimate Finish that are high in fat, but they are meant to be fed by the POUND, not the ounce.
      Click here before you buy.

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/in.../bc/182602.htm

        I would look first at his hay-I think after the wonky hay seasons in the country the last few years a lot of hay is not optimum. I know the good hay we used to buy got shipped out of state last year and we had to go to local grass which did not provide nearly the punch that the good alfalfa hay did for the horses. We we've had to modify. I always look to add larger quantities of hay with higher protein when we have one that needs to gain weight.

        That's also assuming that teeth and worming are up to speed. But since you asked about protein levels, read the link above and:

        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

        Comment


        • #5
          Deltawave and Cowboymom called it.

          The basis of all equine rations is good quality hay, preferably grass.

          Your horse needs calories, not "supplements." The cheapest way is usually to go free choice, high quality hay. Do you know the quality numbers on your hay? If not, learn them and what they mean. If you're in a hay-deprived area as a result of last year's drought then maybe you need to consider alfalfa pellets or cubes. These are not cheap, but they are cheaper per ton than a lot of grain products.

          When you start to work a horse seriously it's probably impossible to keep the calorie count up without going to grain supplements. Here, depending on the horse, discipline, husbandry conditions, etc. you have multiple choices.

          Dollars count in this. Calculate the cost per ton of any feed program you're using. This may require that you weigh hay, feed, etc. and calibrate your feed scoop, can, etc. to ensure that you are giving enough but not too much. Overfeeding results in equine obesity and unnecessary raw fertilizer.

          It can take several weeks before you see a significant change in equine weight. Not all horses react the same way to increases in feed. Patience, based on science, is a virtue!!!

          Good luck in your project.

          G.
          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            He gets safe choice, in addition to chopped timothy-alfalfa hay 2x day, plus alicia-bermuda hay (as much as he can eat at night) and a few pads of alfalfa. He always finishes alfalfa, but not the bermuda. The alicia bermuda hay is okay as far as bermuda hay goes. I know its not the preferred hay for horses, but that's all we can get around here. The alfalfa is shipped in from out of town and $32/bale. I guess I can add a few pads of alfalfa a night. The other thing is I think his grass intake has gone down because its been so muddy. The pasture has grass in the summer and roundbale 24/7 but its not great roundbale hay. I'm not sure what my other hay options are, as I am pretty much limited
            Read my adventures with my 4 year old OTTB, Scott's Truluck at: Scottie's Journey, Rehabbing and Retraining a Louisiana-bred OTTB http://scottieottb.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              So, how easily can you feel ribs? That's a better guide to weight vs muscle needs

              How much SC?
              ______________________________
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ThatBayHorse View Post
                He gets safe choice, in addition to chopped timothy-alfalfa hay 2x day, plus alicia-bermuda hay (as much as he can eat at night) and a few pads of alfalfa. He always finishes alfalfa, but not the bermuda. The alicia bermuda hay is okay as far as bermuda hay goes. I know its not the preferred hay for horses, but that's all we can get around here. The alfalfa is shipped in from out of town and $32/bale. I guess I can add a few pads of alfalfa a night. The other thing is I think his grass intake has gone down because its been so muddy. The pasture has grass in the summer and roundbale 24/7 but its not great roundbale hay. I'm not sure what my other hay options are, as I am pretty much limited
                Do you know how much any of this weighs and what the caloric density is?

                What is BCS for this horse? This was not asked before but really is an important question.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is he actually eating all that hay himself? Or is in a pasture with other horses that might be eating faster/more than he is?

                  And yes, weight and calories in that two flakes will make a difference, quite a lot of difference. As will his actual BCS or an evaluation on his condition. Including teeth and a fecal.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                    What is BCS for this horse? This was not asked before but really is an important question.

                    G.
                    I've actually asked twice, just in a different way
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      I've actually asked twice, just in a different way
                      No answer yet, though!!!

                      G.
                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Not all of us can sit on the internet all day

                        I would say he's probably a 4-5 at this point. I'll have to take a picture.


                        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                        No answer yet, though!!!

                        G.
                        Read my adventures with my 4 year old OTTB, Scott's Truluck at: Scottie's Journey, Rehabbing and Retraining a Louisiana-bred OTTB http://scottieottb.blogspot.com/

                        Comment

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