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Hay stretcher vs dengie

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  • Hay stretcher vs dengie

    My BO approached me yesterday and advised that she was running low on hay and rationing everyone but my horse - he's a super hard keeper. That being said, I have noticed that he looks a little thin (nothing new to him )... I was thinking of putting him on a hay stretcher or dengie for the time being to supplement the loss of hay. He was used to being on a round bale all winter and now the spring grass is coming in so they have no more round bale.

    Does anyone have a preference over hay stretcher or dengie? I had him on dengie a few years ago but he coliced ( there is varying opinions as to whether the colic was dengie related)....

    Here's the catch...he is SUPER sensitive to NSC and sugars... I can tell if his the sugar content in his hay changes by the way he goes under saddle...

    I would love input from everyone's as to what they use and why...thanks

  • #2
    My horse would vote Hay Stretcher. But he can't eat hay anymore because of his teeth--he is 29.

    Anyway, he LOVES the stuff!!


    • #3
      Do you have a hay auction nearby where you could buy a couple dozen bales? You'll pay a premium price this time of year, but still might be cheaper than the other products you mentioned.

      IMO it's unacceptable to a) run out of hay and b) start rationing it if one is a professional boarding operation. The BO needs to BUY SOME MORE FREAKING HAY. It's OK to charge a surcharge, and this has happened to me a couple of times and I understand that, but not feeding horses properly is not acceptable to me.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        My senior (upper 20s) has had trouble keeping weight for much of his senior life. When his teeth started bothering him, he decided that hay wasn't his favorite thing anymore. He still eats some, but not nearly the amount that he needs. Seemed like everything we tried would work for a while and then he'd get sick of it/it would stop working (especially over the winters). Adding both Dengie and beet pulp to his diet has made a WORLD of difference. He looks absolutely amazing.. possibly better than he has in many, many years. I haven't tried him on hay stretcher, so I can't comment on that... but haven't needed to try it since the Dengie has been working so well

        ... and I agree COMPLETELY with deltawave about your BO running out of hay...


        • #5
          Well, Dengie would probably be considered "better" as a hay replacement because it is still longer stemmed than the processed pellets. Isn't at least one of their products low NSC?

          That said, my BO feeds hay stretcher pellets all year as a regular supplement to the horse's hay consumption, and if a horse is looking thin, the vets' first recommendation after hay is to up the hay stretcher rather than the grain.

          My previous horse was a terribly hard keeper and picked at his hay. The only time he looked really good was when he was on Dengie's alfalfa/timothy mix in addition to his hay. Of course, it cost me a fortune on top of regular board...


          • Original Poster

            Deltawave.. yeah well i completely agree with you. We are a really small private barn (only 2 boarders) and of course, my horse is the high maintenance one. He eats more than any horse in the barn and needs to eat the better hay or else he gets a little nutty. He is so sensitive and gets distracted and a bit hot when fed the 'stalky' hay vs the 'nice fluffy green grass hay' for lack of better descriptions. That being said, I sort of felt like if I needed to supplement my horse's hay for a barn shortage, I should be paying less board or the barn owner should be buying the hay stretcher/dengie.

            I personally wanted my horse to have a haynet full of hay in front of his face all the time but the BO would only put a few flakes in the net at a time (this was last fall).. so i scrapped that idea (i wanted a bale in the net)... Up until this month he looked ok.. He looks a teeny bit ribby and his hips are boney (they always have been no matter how fat he is.)

            I guess I will try the dengie again. They do make a low starch version which I will see if my local feed store carries.

            For those of you who use hay stretcher, how do you feed it? With their grain? or in a separate feeder (say, on the floor or something)... I used to feed him the dengie in one of those black rubber feeders on the floor. Also, is there a way to measure the dengie so you can determine the amount of calories that your horse is getting?


            • #7
              I prefer Triple Crown Safe Starch for chopped forage - my 30ish Appy love's it! Haven't used Dengie but it looks to be more stalky compared to the Triple Crown.

              I haven't used Hay Stretcher (Blue Seal?) but I like the pelleted hay pellets available at Tractor Supply made by Standalee. Their website gives the NSC for each of their products. I soak those w/ warm water and they make a nice mash.


              • #8
                Both are great - i feed BS Hay Stretcher to my mare (and did for years for my old TB who was 31 when I put him down last fall). I always soak the hay stretcher (my old guy would choke on it due to the large sized pellets and its a good way to get extra water into them). If you feed Lucerne Farms then I'd feed their Gold version (molasses free). I used to feed that brand but switched to Triple Crown Safe Starch forage (molasses free) - love the stuff! The reason i switched brands was due to the inconsistent bags I'd get from Lucerne Farms forage (completely soaked with molasses (when i fed their regular stuff) to completely dry, etc. - seemed like quality control was lacking). And I found small rocks in the bags - i asked the rep at Equine Affaire about it and she said "we'll that sometimes happens" - not what I wanted to hear. Every bag i get of the TC Safe Starch forage has been the same - consistent. And the Safe Starch forage is considered a complete feed so in theory you would only need to feed that without buying vitamins/minerals, etc. and it's super low in NSC's.

                Personally I'd choose the forage over hay stretcher if I could only feed one but you can feed both. Just FYI the forage isn't cheap - i pay about $26/bag for 50 lbs (Lucerne Farms bags are either 30 or 40 lbs).

                Last edited by ryansgirl; May. 1, 2013, 12:31 PM.
                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                • #9
                  Lucerne Farms does make a bucket that has fill lines on it for each of their forage types so you know exactly how many pounds you are feeding. I feed my TC forage in a 30-qt round bucket - it's large enough so not much is spilled. As far as the hay stretcher goes - i always mixed it in with their grain (all soaked).
                  "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                  • #10
                    If the horse wasn't getting any hay at all then I would go for the longest chop length possible, which would put you into either the Dengie or TC chopped forages. However, since the horse is getting hay, you can easily use Haystretcher without a problem. I do it all the time. You can feed it either dry or soaked, and either mix it in directly into the horse's grain or feed alone. Start with a pound per feeding (or per solo snack) and work your way up. You should be able to go up to 5 pounds of grain/hs per feeding without a problem.
                    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                    • #11
                      Where are you and can you get Poulin grain? Their hay stretcher is really low carb and sugar. I give all of my horses a pound or two of it everyday in the winter time or for my really hard keepers will stay on it. Keeps weight on all of them. I usually incorporate it into their grain AM and Pm, I soak it for the night feeding in the winter because i give them beet pulp too. I will give my guys a cup or so if I bring one in from outside to ride. They think its quite the treat to come into their stall for it. Both BS and Nutrena make one as well.


                      • #12
                        I tried hay stretcher once and was concerned about choking so I wet it down--well that was a terrible idea as it then got the consistency of paste -it had no texture at all so that freaked me out (sorta looked like wet green concrete). So I decided I needed to be better educated before I ever tried to use it again.

                        Sounds like when others use it you wet it down and mix it with beet pulp (texture/fiber) or feed it dry, mixed in with the grain?