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soy hulls in feed increasing energy???

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  • soy hulls in feed increasing energy???

    Hey everyone,
    I currently have a wonderful 15.2h OTTB gelding. He is 10 yo going on 2! Still very green but incredibly willing. He has been on ADM Seniorglo since February 1st. In April, we increased feed to the lowest recommended amount, 2lbs per feeding. He looks stunning, beautiful coat, great muscle development, no ribs, no more bloaty belly (he tends to get that from most feeds) and he has been able to come off every supplement. I love it! The problem is........ He has TOO much energy. It is almost as is he cannot burn it off. He is on 24 hour turnout and runs around the field like a crazy man. He is getting hard to handle on the ground (he cannot stand still). Under saddle he is fine but you can tell he wants to explode and just run, but he knows better.

    He has a history of ulcers so I am very overprotective when it comes to feed. The vet mentioned it could be the soy in this feed causing excessive energy. It also contains alfalfa and stabilized rice bran. He has been on straight alfalfa and never become hot from it.

    Has anyone else had experience with soy causing increased energy? He seems to be frustrated with himself because he can't burn off enough energy. Any advice or stories would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    It almost sounds like he's having some sort of mild reaction to something in the feed, although at only 4 lbs it seems a bit unlikely. That being said, my Arab gelding has a problem with alfalfa if he gets more than what is in his hay - his behavior becomes just as you describe.

    Does your horse need a concentrated feed to hold weight? If not, why don't you just feed hay and put one of those Grostrong vitamin/mineral blocks that ADM makes? Those might fit your needs better.


    • Original Poster

      Sterling2000- Per his breeder he was always an easy keeper. Since I have had him we have been up and down with weight (probably the ulcers and stress). I think with the nice grass and free choice round bales we can probably go with less. I thought about Primeglo since requires less. I have not used Grostrong mineral blocks. My concern with no feed is the fact that he is a show horse and competes.


      • #4
        Soy hulls themselves are relatively low energy-- they are very fibrous which prevents complete absorption of most of the protein and calories. They have less energy than common high-fiber feed stuffs like beet pulp and alfalfa.

        Horses have weird reactions or sensitivity to different ingredients, though. Maybe it's the feed, maybe it's something else entirely. An easy test would be to trial him off the feed for a week and see if it helps.
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


        • #5
          A reaction to soy can definitely show as excitability or nervousness. If he's been on soy before and this is the first he's acted up, it's probably not that.

          You mention bloating on past feeds...that is often a symptom of soy sensitivity also. Is he getting any other soy products in his feed now or just the hulls? I ask as he may just feel better being off an irritating ingredient for the first time.


          • Original Poster

            The bloating was from a high NSC sweet feed and what appeared to be a hindgut acidosis as well. I think this feed is just soybean hulls, not sure if it contains more soy products. It's ADM Seniorglo. This is the first time he has been on soy since I have had him. It does appear to be a nervous excitability.


            • #7
              Could you put him on a completely soy free diet and see what happens? I would suggest a mixture of beet pulp and alfalfa pellets. You can add fat with rice bran or oil.

              If you fed a processed feed to him at any time before, he was most likely on some soy products. It's nearly impossible to avoid them in processed feeds.


              • #8
                You mentioned he was on an all-alfalfa diet before - why not just supplement his calories with alfalfa pellets if you need to? You can use a vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in the nutritional gaps.

                Daydream is correct - nearly every processed feed has soy in some form or another. I never really had exceptional results with any processed feed, although I never had access to some of the really high quality stuff like Triple Crown. I was having issues with a particular horse keeping weight and eventually gave up and started feeding the entire barn whole oats and a vit/min supplement, and oil for the horses in work that did not inflate like the Goodyear Blimp. Darned if all the horses didn't put on a glossy shine and muscle up - I could actually cut all of their grain rations so that even the hard keeper was down to three pounds per day in hard work. Sometimes simple really is better. If it doesn't work, change it until it does work.